June 2015

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Becoming an Autodidactic Asset

The process of coming to be a self-taught person who is a valuable thing.

Ken Sinclair,

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Facilities Management

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Control Solutions, Inc

Let me use Google to help explain and better define my obscure title.

"Becoming" is the process of coming to be something.
"Autodidactic" is a self-taught person.
"Asset" is a useful or valuable thing, person, or quality.

So our May theme is: The process of coming to be a self-taught person who is a valuable thing.

I started several months ago with the realization that our greatest assets as an industry are our people. This led me to the conclusion that we needed to grow our industry by dragging young IoT savvy folks across the skills gap. During this journey, I discovered that our lead industry assets badly need to become autodidactic, bridging their skills gap about IoT and its savvy folks.

This includes being part of all the social media interactions that they are now not part of, to learn more about how these young folks think and interact.

Ironically the skills gap is widened by our (yes, us old guys) lack of evolving skills; always in teaching it is the teacher that is taught.

I was very pleased that Realcomm/IBcon published my article in their show magazine realcomm-edge/flipbook. This prompted me to tweet: "Be sure to read page 42 and Grow younger with me."

So you see you can teach an old dog new tricks (smile).

Be sure to read Jim's and my discussion about IBcon - The Smart Building Discussion Gets Louder and Louder!

I just returned from the BACnet Global Roadshow in Seattle with great presentations by all, and this month Jane and I are part of the Haystack Connect event in Colorado Springs. I am a presenter and moderator.

From last month's start Self-Learning Knowledge Sharing Platforms: How internal company Wikipedia and other virtual knowledge sharing platforms allows Creating Self-Learning Cultures which attracts self-learning assets.

I am still hoping that I can learn to think younger, learn to try to think like them. Here are some of my thoughts this month about this journey: Social Media Interface. Give me some Slack!

So you can see we are taking our own advice and Becoming an Autodidactic Asset.

Linkage to this kind of thinking brought got me here:
Creating Self-Learning Cultures: How do we create them? How do we use them to increase the value of our only assets our people?

Our February editorial Growing our only Asset our People: How do we motivate them to be Curious? Passionate? Generated lots of interest and comments from the industry much of which was captured on social media.

To achieve the ability to grow our assets, our people we need to create a self-learning culture within our companies and communities. For the last year I have been exploring ideas in my editorials on how we might achieve this. Some of these editorials are: Autodidacticism, Creating Your Collaboration, The "I of Me" of IoT, and Education for Your Vocation.

Please join me on my crusade to help our industry attract more self-learning assets to build our industry stronger and younger.

Managing a Building's Big Data

From this article: Managing a Building’s “Big Data."

The best industry example of creating name conventions and models is Project Haystack for data points of building automation systems. - Jim Sinopoli PE, RCDD, LEED AP, Managing Principal, Smart Buildings LLC

Naming Conventions

There are roughly 6,500 to 7,000 languages spoken in the world today; for data management, you only want one "language" of standard naming conventions, formats, indexing and data descriptors. It makes it easier to access and understand the data. Creating a naming convention for equipment should have different fields and a common number of characters. The key to naming is that once a naming convention is in place, that it be enforced for building employees and third party contractors.

The best industry example of creating name conventions and models is Project Haystack for data points of building automation systems. With the leadership of the Sky Foundry principals and the development of an industry community, they have created a valuable piece of a building’s “Big Data”, which eventually will become a standard. The open source Project Haystack effort has streamlined the interchange of data and the techniques for managing, presenting and analyzing the vast amount of data generated by today’s buildings.

We don't organize data just for the sake of organizing but are doing so in order to maximize the effectiveness and efficiency of operating buildings. A structured approach can provide additional opportunities for greater correlation between data, improved data analytics and the possibility of developing or identifying new building data metrics.

Control Solutions, Inc Data is an asset. During design and construction of a building, data will be generated; it is in the operations of the building that data not only will be generated but also consumed. Given that building operations and maintenance is the most expensive part of total life cycle costs and the longest time duration within the building's life cycle, we need data management during every building phase: design, construction and operations.

A key element is to elevate the importance of data management and provide a person or group of people with the responsibility and authority to manage all the facility data. It’s likely such a group would have IT, facility management and business representatives.  During design and construction, we typically have two to three people tasked with managing various building data. One is the LEED consultant tasked with gathering energy and sustainability information for the building certification; another is the BIM consultant organizing BIM models and data; the third is the architect who uses project management software to communicate and share data with the project team. But after commissioning or occupancy of the new building, the roles of the BIM and LEED consultants, and the architect, expire; thus the need for an ongoing internal group with the responsibility for data management.

The facility data group would have a much larger responsibility in implementing the data management system for the building and the acquisition and management of the data from the initial building design through construction and facility management. The group would design, deploy, maintain, monitor and even enforce a comprehensive program for data management.

Ken Sinclair is the founder, owner, and publisher of an online resource called AutomatedBuildings.com. He writes a monthly column for FacilitiesNet.com about what is new in the Internet of Things (IOT) for building automation.


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