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16 January 2019
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ThinkFM: FM must take responsibility for data 

Lionel Prodgers © Christian Trampenau

8 May 2018 Martin Read


The ongoing revolution in sensor deployment and data capture will require facilities managers to answer critical questions about who has responsibility for retaining and managing data, says former BIFM chairman Lionel Prodgers.


Speaking at last week’s ThinkFM conference in London, Prodgers – now managing director of the consultancy Agents4RM International – said there was a need to consider who is responsible for “the plethora of technologies all processing information”.


“Who is responsible in the outsourcing process for retaining and managing data? We ought to have processes, procedures and regulations. We need policies about who owns the data, where it resides, and who has the responsibility for keeping it up to date.


“The message is that managing data is as important as managing assets and people. The shift we need to address is that it should be the asset owner owning the data.”


In his session, which was first in the 'Preparing for the revolution' programme covering big data, artificial intelligence and automation, Prodgers also spoke about new ways of dealing with building information modelling (BIM) data.


“Many of you will have faced the conundrum of what to do with BIM data and how we relate it to computer-aided FM (CAFM) and other systems,” he told delegates. “But it is no longer the challenge it once was.”


Prodgers explained how a new generation of integrated servers was helping ease the issue of parsing data from BIM systems into others through the non-proprietary Construction Operations Building Information Exchange (COBie) data format.


“We can now manage the use of a specific asset against design criteria by direct reference to manufacturer’s data.”


And Prodgers also spoke of making more of the direct links to component manufacturers’ databases that sensors now allow.


“We are talking about expanding information related to a particular asset, not by taking more data into proprietary systems but by going out to manufacturers to get their data, in real time, as related to the asset we are talking about.


“What is required is thinking about how this relates, how we thread data together and how we can use that. We don't have to spend a lot of money to make this happen.”


A full report on ThinkFM will appear in the June 2018 edition of FM World.