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Turn Building Data into Answers Faster

Haystack tagging and data analytics close the gap in building data management | By Jamie Lee, Global Product Manager, Siemens Smart Infrastructure USA

Every day, facility managers receive enormous amounts of real-time data from the growing number of smart devices throughout their buildings. Applying this data to improve equipment performance means you need to understand it first. That takes a smart building management system (BMS) and advanced data analytics application to work together concurrently. It also takes a method for describing the data and the equipment that generates it, a process called semantic tagging. Haystack tagging – the market’s leading-edge, open-source standard for data and equipment – is building automation’s answer to HTML, the open code that made websites possible. When it comes to analyzing and managing your building’s data, Haystack tagging can save you time and money. Simultaneously, it helps your BMS assist in reducing facility operating costs and increase energy efficiency quicker and more easily.

How Haystack works

As a necessary first step, tagging allows building automation applications of all types to access and use building data. Haystack tagging was created by the Project Haystack community that formed when the Internet of Things (IoT) started impacting building systems – dramatically increasing the amount of data generated. Project Haystack set out to meet industry needs for seamless data access and interoperability. The resulting Haystack tagging standard, followed by the Haystack API, ushered in a new level of sophistication because the methodology makes the volumes of smart device data self-describing. Minimal human labor plus no additional software steps are required in the process of naming, describing and classifying equipment data. With Haystack, tags exist in end devices and in network controllers. Tags are applied automatically in server-level applications. Today, the proven Haystack tagging methodology is deployed in over 50,000 buildings incorporating millions of square feet globally.

Making data analytics faster

Data analytics is crucial to reducing energy consumption, equipment faults, maintenance costs and the time between repairs and other performance issues. With Haystack, data is tagged at the earliest point possible: the field device. The tags immediately specify each piece of equipment and the role it plays in the building. Haystack tags also specify each equipment’s points and their roles. For example, it tags the HVAC system’s rooftop unit as well as its fan, supply air and discharge points.

The Haystack application programming interface (API) gathers all tagged data and migrates it to the cloud, where it can be quickly accessed and analyzed to help determine if a building is meeting efficiency goals and performance standards. No tags must be reapplied. No work must be redone. The improved tagging also makes the data searchable, so data management is easier than ever. On receipt, data analytics firms can immediately recognize a building’s data. This allows them to get started right away, writing algorithms and implementing their rules and tasks rapidly. They’re able to deliver timely, finished analysis that answers important questions, identifies pain points and provides actionable insights.

Better, quicker integration

In just a few minutes, Siemens building management software, Desigo Optic, can be integrated seamlessly with data analytics applications. You can quickly and reliably use real-time data, analytics-driven insights, and on-demand reports to better manage your building and gain quantifiable results.

For example, the open connectivity protocol allows you to connect directly from Desigo Optic to the Cloud without additional devices. This means you can connect your building in minutes, map and tag all equipment and points in a couple of hours and start using analytics-powered answers to improve your building’s performance by the end of the day. Your costs will be reduced, integration streamlined, and benefits accelerated.

Seamless integration with analytics software gives you access to fault detection and diagnostics (FDD) platforms, which plug into existing building systems, analyze thousands of data points and pinpoint the highest impact performance issues, complete with diagnostics. Each issue is prioritized based on how it impacts energy consumption, the indoor environment and equipment availability. You’ll receive an energy model that quantifies avoidable costs and projected annual savings once issues are resolved as well as a punch list for proactively maintaining your buildings. Analytics software can digitally model each piece of equipment and determine proactive optimization opportunities to avoid unplanned downtime and reduce costs.

Smarter data management

Make data the answer to your smart building needs, not the cause of more problems. Haystack tagging makes your building data manageable and immediately useful. Data analytics can help you quickly pinpoint and follow up on critical equipment issues across your building, determining their causes and fixing them promptly. You’ll see increased energy efficiency, better indoor air quality, operational transparency, improved equipment performance, extended equipment life and opportunities for next-level building operation. Together, Haystack tagging and data analytics help deliver the promise of your smart building management system – and your smart building.