In this blog, Glider’s Head of Product, John Adams, takes a closer look at information management and why we need it.

Information management is crucial in facilitating the smooth operation of buildings. However, collecting, storing and distributing this information can be a daunting challenge, particularly for established built assets. Often this is something that is started but never completed, and it’s only when there is a serious incident where the necessary information isn’t available that this becomes a priority. Sound familiar? You’re not alone. 

By outlining your requirements and putting together a case for information management, you can ensure that the right people have the right information at the right time enabling them to make the right decisions. 

You can never get good digital outcomes without good digital information

If you want good results, you need good information. The introduction of Building Information Modelling (BIM) during the construction phase has helped to standardise the way that built environment data and information is created, stored and managed. For asset owners and operators, information management is best achieved through the use of an information management platform that can provide a common data structure, protocols and automated systems. 

Information management platforms and emerging standards driven processes can help with: 

  • Collating structured Operation and Maintenance (O&M) manuals 
  • Establishing reference data libraries for standards, templates and data requirements so data is collected in the same place and format every time
  • Collecting manufactures data structured in a way that can be interrogated (and not just in a pdf format)
  • Collating new structured data formats about buildings (such as COBie and Brick Schema
  • Creating models of buildings to help you understand what you’re looking at (which works with your data sets) 
  • Understanding usability data for better usage of the facility

Start with compliance 

When embarking on a new information management programme start by looking at what information you have currently. Review your Exchange Information Requirements (EIR) to check whether  you are already collecting information that helps you to comply with the Building Safety Act. 

Preventative maintenance

A lot of the components in the building will be providing essential information about how efficiently it is operating using sensors. They can be fitted in new buildings or during a refurbishment project and can tell you when they need maintenance.

Data driven estate planning

With working behaviours changing and evolving since covid and more people working from home, data can provide essential insights into how a building is building utilised. 

Smarter buildings

Often this is considered too late to be designed into a project successfully, but the information requirements should be collected as early as possible to ensure that smart building technology matches the user (occupier) experience. Putting together user stories will help to understand what you want from the building and how the FM team will use it.

Machine learning

Machine learning can be used to simplify a process and apply some logic to do a job quicker for you. For example, it can interrogate your documents and look for a title, and a signature, and then rename the doc accordingly. 

There are some great examples of these technologies being used across building projects and all of them are underpinned by good information.

How do you get there?

Tick them off one at a time and work through any challenges. We’ve put together the Information Value Chain which helps to break down the process into five steps. 

  • Define & communicate – What are your information requirements? Go back to your documentation and make sure it aligns with your goals and provides value. If it doesn’t revisit it and trim it down or change it. Give your supply chain templates. 
  • Collect & verify data – Once you start to collect the data, make sure the information is verified. You can use technology and machine learning to test the information and store it securely. 
  • Connect & share – The data can then be used in different ways by connecting it to your  CAFM, CDE and other integrations. Connecting the data will help you to work more efficiently and build more insights. 
  • Analyse & evaluate – With data that’s consistently stored and accessible, you can start to evaluate it and build a better picture of how it’s operating and being used.
  • Learn & improve – The data should be evolving as the building does, so take the lessons learned from this project to the next to improve communication, collaboration and delivery.

If you’d like to find out more, take a look at our on-demand webinar ‘The case for Information Management’.

For more, speak to our information management experts
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