Building Analytics for Facility Managers: Top Tips for Streamlined Operations

In today’s data-driven world, analytics should be a core part of any facility manager’s toolkit. With the right analytics, you can gain invaluable insights into your buildings, occupants, and operations. This allows you to make smarter decisions and create a more efficient, cost-effective environment.

Implementing a solid analytics strategy does take some investment. But the effort pays off in the long run through optimized building performance. Here are some top tips to get started:

1. Track Energy Usage Trends

One of the biggest costs in any facility is energy. Getting a handle on your energy data is key to finding savings opportunities. Look at usage patterns over time and compare them to weather data. This can reveal areas of overconsumption or times when equipment may be running.

Also break down energy usage by specific systems like HVAC, lighting, plug loads, etc. You may find that one system is driving the majority of costs. Focusing efforts here would provide the biggest return on investment. Reviewing energy analytics allows you to spot anomalies and address issues early.

2. Monitor Equipment Operations

It’s not enough to know how much energy your systems are using. You also need to know if the equipment is operating as intended. Analyze parameters like runtime hours, equipment loads, zone temperatures, and system pressures.

Abnormal or unexpected readings can state developing problems like:

  • Faulty valves and dampers
  • Failing actuators and stuck relays
  • Refrigerant leaks
  • Fouling and loss of efficiency

By incorporating a data driven maintenance strategy, you can make informed decisions that lead to improved energy efficiency, reduced operational costs, and enhanced facility performance. Operational analytics connects equipment status to energy use. This allows you to identify poor performers and maintenance needs before they impact costs and comfort.

3. Manage Space Utilization

Understanding occupancy and space across your portfolio is vital for rightsizing operations. Collecting analytics on foot traffic, room reservations, WiFi connections, and other usage metrics provides insight into demand.

You can use utilization reports to:

  • Identify opportunities to consolidate or repurpose underused spaces
  • Adjust cleaning schedules based on traffic patterns
  • Optimize equipment runtimes to match busy periods
  • Inform space planning and reconfiguration projects

Accurate utilization data also allows you to challenge assumptions. You may find certain spaces are far less busy than department heads claim. This analytics gives you the hard evidence to make your case for change.

4. Track Work Orders and Asset Performance

Looking at maintenance and work order trends offers a wealth of actionable information. You can identify:

  • Problem areas with frequent service needs
  • Systems beyond their useful life that warrant replacement
  • How much labor-specific repairs need
  • Parts with high failure rates
  • Most and least reliable equipment models

Cross-referencing work orders with inventory and maintenance logs provides a snapshot of asset performance. You can focus on upgrading or replacing assets that need excessive upkeep and negatively impact operations.

5. Monitor Indoor Environmental Quality

The indoor environment impacts occupant comfort, health, and productivity. Issues like poor temperature regulation, insufficient ventilation, and high CO2 levels can cause complaints.

Leveraging a network of sensors allows you to check critical IEQ parameters like:

  • Temperature
  • Humidity
  • Air quality
  • Light levels
  • Acoustics

With regular IEQ reporting, you can catch hot and cold spots as they develop, adjust systems, and respond to comfort needs.

6. Survey Occupants

While sensors provide quantitative data, capturing qualitative feedback from occupants is also important. Regular occupant satisfaction surveys can uncover pain points you may not detect otherwise.

Poll building users on comfort, facilities condition, amenities, communication, and other aspects. Look for trends in complaints that warrant attention. Surveys also give occupants a channel to voice their needs and feel heard.

7. Set Performance Metrics and Goals

KPIs (key performance indicators) are essential for evaluating operations. And defining targets for improvement. Relevant metrics for facilities may include:

  • Energy use per square foot
  • Work orders per 100 assets
  • Percentage of reactive maintenance
  • Time to close work orders
  • Occupant satisfaction score

Set realistic but challenging goals around these KPIs and track progress over time. Comparing to the industry benchmarks also gives useful context for your standings.

8. Leverage Data Visualizations

Raw data only becomes insightful when you translate it into a digestible visual form.

  • Charts
  • Histograms
  • Heat maps
  • Floor plans

are tailored to facility needs making analytics understandable for staff and stakeholders.

Good visuals condense data, highlight relevant patterns and trends, and drive discussion. They also convey your performance and priorities to leadership in an impactful way.

9. Integrate and Centralize Data

The full value of your facility analytics can only be realized if data is centralized and integrated. Bring together data from various sources like,

  • Building systems
  • Equipment sensors
  • Utility meters
  • Work orders
  • Business platforms

A centralized building analytics platform eliminates data silos. Open APIs also allow integration with business intelligence solutions. This gives you a single pane of glass for easy access, analysis, and reporting.

10. Automate and Set Alerts

Manual number crunching can’t provide real-time insights nor handle large datasets. Automating analytics with preconfigured algorithms frees up your team for more strategic initiatives.

Alerts also keep staff in the loop on critical events without being buried in data. Set trigger thresholds for things like:

  • Spikes in energy use
  • Temperature fluctuations
  • Humidity outside setpoints
  • Abnormal equipment operations

11. Invest in Analytics Software

The right software becomes essential as your facility analytics ambitions grow. Solutions like energy information systems, fault detection diagnostics, asset management platforms, and occupant engagement tools can take your efforts to the next level.

Look for interfaces that allow customization to your business. Scalability is also key as your portfolio expands. The goal is to get more value from analytics while spending less time.

12. Build an Analytics-Driven Culture

Don’t keep analytics isolated to a small team. Foster a data-driven culture where all staff appreciate the value of benchmarking, tracking KPIs, and decision-making grounded in facts. Engage maintenance techs, groundskeepers, custodians, and other roles with relevant facility insights.

Provide self-service portals with reporting tailored to each user’s needs. This exposes more eyes to the data for better identification of optimization opportunities.


1. What are the biggest benefits of using analytics for facility managers?

The main benefits are:

  • Finding ways to lower energy and maintenance costs
  • Improving how buildings work and making occupants more comfy
  • Automating tasks so your team can focus on important stuff
  • Making data-backed decisions instead of guessing
  • Showing bosses where the problems are so they support fixes

2. What metrics are most important for facilities to track?

Some of the most useful metrics are:

  • Energy use per square foot
  • Work orders per 100 assets
  • Percentage of reactive maintenance
  • Time to close work orders
  • Occupant satisfaction scores

Tracking these over time helps make buildings run better.

3. How much does analytics software for facilities usually cost?

Costs vary based on building size and capabilities. But for a 100,000 sq ft facility, expect:

  • Energy analytics software – $3,000-$7,000
  • Work order tracking system – $2,000-$5,000
  • Central analytics platform – $5,000-$10,000
  • Occupant surveys – $1,000-$3,000

The investment pays back through better efficiency and savings.

Start Your Analytics Journey

Implementing even a few of these tips positions you to make smarter, more cost-effective management choices. Focus on starting with low-effort tactics with big potential like energy monitoring. As your skills grow, tackle more advanced analytics like equipping technicians with IoT sensors.

The journey requires an investment, but realizing the long-term benefits will prove analytics a worthwhile try. Better decisions translate to bottom-line savings, fewer complaints, and more comfortable, productive spaces.