4 min read

Part 6: The Independent Data Layer [Nexus Newsletter #130]

Hey friends,

Today, we're continuing our series on Nexus Lore: the core concepts that come up again and again in this newsletter, on the Nexus podcast, in the Nexus Foundations course, in Nexus Pro gatherings, and in the community chatroom.

If you want to start at the beginning, check out our white paper with all 10 parts: Nexus Lore.

Lore is never written by one person, so send us your feedback for v2!

Now for part 6...

The Independent Data Layer

Since we're past halfway, let's start with a quick review...

In short, we need more out of our buildings, but siloed systems hold us back. In an attempt to improve outcomes, the number of connected devices and point solutions has exploded, the silo problem is only getting worse.

The horizontal architecture lights our path forward by focusing on building a sturdy infrastructure that enables smart building apps, starting with the network layer.

Next up in the stack: The Independent Data Layer. It's a continuation of that horizontal philosophy: providing the infrastructure for any smart building application that is independent from each of them. Why independent?

In short, because integration is hard.

Any time we want to deploy a new tech use case, we need to integrate with existing siloed systems to communicate with them. That integration is labor-intensive and often takes much longer than it should.

Each overlay solution provider sends their integration team on-site and deploys a full-stack overlay solution—complete with integration hardware/software, a historian database, a mostly-custom data model, some sort of analytics or data transformation, and a user application—on top of the existing silos.

And then when we want to deploy another use case, we deploy another full-stack overlay, sending the next company’s integration engineers on-site to do their thing.

Now we’re doing some cool stuff with data and providing an app to occupants, but we’ve also created new silos. If we need to connect these new silos, we’re then creating new point-to-point integrations that make it difficult to keep the whole thing updated—there’s no single source of truth on what the data is and what it means in context.

Finally, we’ve created an architecture that’s difficult to adjust and adapt. For example, if I want to remove a vendor and pick a better one, I need to literally start over from scratch for that use case. If I want to pilot multiple vendors and compare them to each other, each will be doing redundant work.

The core promise of the IDL is to minimize all that integration work by abstracting away all the complexity of each silo, while chopping up all those overlaid stacks into centralized infrastructure.

The resulting value proposition is reduced deployment costs, reduced time to value, future flexibility, and choice at the application layer.  

I think that's ultimately the problem that an independent data layer solves for is giving the owner, the operator, the facility manager choice on what kinds of solutions they want to bring to bear for different kinds of problems within the system.”

Andrew Rodgers

Do you agree? What did I miss?

Let us know on LinkedIn,

—James Dice, Founder of Nexus Labs

P.S. Go deeper on this by checking out our members-only deep dive on the IDL, which explores what today's IDL products can and should be able to do.

✖ At the Nexus

Here’s everything worth sharing from Nexus HQ this week:

★ PODCAST: 🎧 #103: Nuveen's top technology prioritiesEpisode 103 is a conversation with Jeanne Casey, Global Head of Proptech & Innovation at Nuveen.

We dove deep into Jeanne’s skillset as an expert in digital transformation, venture capital, and proptech. She talked about what proptech is, giving the clearest definition I’ve heard, where smart buildings fit into that, how real estate organizations can innovate from the inside, which technologies Nuveen is prioritizing right now, and much more.


★ UPDATED: Defining and exploring the Independent Data Layer (Members only)



  • Subject Matter Expert Workshop: CEO at BuiltSpace Technologies Corporation, Rick Rolston will present on Motor Monitoring
    and Analytics.
  • Subject Matter Expert Workshop: Co-Founder and CTO at Senseware, Julien Stamatakis, will join us as the subject matter expert leading the conversation on how Real-Time IAQ Data Drives Modern Building Management.
  • Member Gathering: James and Pro member Brian Vaughn of Cushman Wakefield will discuss the key ways technology is transforming building operations. James and Pro member Andrew Knueppel, also of Cushman Wakefield, will discuss the three categories of MSIs in the marketplace today. Plus, breakout rooms for networking!

Join Nexus Pro now to get the invites and access to the recordings.


★ ON LINKEDIN: If you are interested in smart buildings and a new way to think about delivering a better experience in buildings through technology and integration, you NEED to check out...


★ READ OF THE WEEK: The business case for intelligent buildings


👋 That's all for this week. See you next Tuesday!