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19 June 2019
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Herpreet Kaur Grewal reports on key themes from the IWFM conference on artificial intelligence. 

AI - Getty Images
© Getty Images

7 January 2019  Herpreet Kaur Grewal

The key challenge facing facilities management is “securing access to reliable and potent big data”, said Dr Ashwini Konanahalli of the University of the West of Scotland, who was speaking about artificial intelligence at the first event held by the IWFM. Konanahalli told delegates that research carried out by her team had found FM  unable to extract value from big data.

She said: “Poor-quality data and the mere value for this particular variable was the highest. We’re failing not the aspect of big data [but more]…the sense that we're not addressing veracity [and this] is what big data is all about." 

She said the research methodology for her study was a combination of qualitative and quantitative aspects. For the qualitative aspects the researchers conducted a questionnaire study. The data revealed that only 72 per cent of firms are in the early stages of big data implementation.

She added that the FM sector had other issues too, such as skills shortages and bringing legacy systems together to produce big data.

“Our industry has barely scratched the surface when it comes to big data”.

The industry, she said, is promoting “real-time evidence-based decision-making” and “greater data transparency” so it is “able to have digital trade to evidence engineering compliance”. 

She said the research concluded that the industry is at a very early stage when it comes to big data implementation, with well resourced larger organisations emerging as “front-runners". 

FM companies need to collaborate with technology firms, consultancies, and even higher education in order “to scale up for this enterprise level adoption”.  


IWFM’s 2019 conference

The IWFM Conference 2019 will take place on 24 April at etc. venues, St Paul’s in London. Here are details of speakers already announced: 

Keynote: Marcus Child

One of the UK’s leading motivational speakers, Marcus Child will set the foundation for the day and ignite your IWFM conference experience.

Lucy Adams

CEO, Disruptive HR

Lucy is on a mission to disrupt the HR profession. What has she learnt and what lessons can we apply to our own profession?

Bruce Daisley

author, and Eat. Sleep. 

Work podcast

Bruce will show us what we can do to make work less demanding and a place where we can laugh.

Richard Mullendar former hostage negotiator, Scotland Yard

What can hostage negotiation teach us 

about the art of listening?

Daniel Rowles

CEO, TargetInternet.com

Employee experience is king. Daniel will help us understand the journey marketers have been on and what we can learn from it.

Carolyn Taylor executive chair, WalkingTheTalk.com

Carolyn is a world-renowned culture change expert who’ll help us address both how we can influence the culture of our organisations.

To book your place, visit iwfmconference.org/book/

Emma Potter