Brian Frank, Founder & CEO
IoT is quickly gaining traction in the built environment because of its ability to connect various devices, improve processes, and provide valuable real-time information. However, cross-compatibility of smart equipment is a prevalent issue in smart building automation as the profusion of IoT devices from disparate vendors can lead to inconsistent connectivity protocols or platform lock-ins.
Virginia-headquartered, SkyFoundry is addressing this challenge with its revolutionary IoT device management platform SkySpark. The firm is widely recognized for its innovative edge analytics, which automatically processes rules and algorithms to detect equipment and sensor data issues. The firm also offers an arsenal of tools such as the Spark app, Historian app, Arc Workflow app, KPI app, as well as the Energy and Greenhouse Gas app to dramatically reduce implementation costs while delivering insightful analytical findings to owners and operators.
Skyspark Takes the Critical Steps to Normalize the Data from these Heterogeneous Sources to Provide a Seamless Presentation of Energy and Operational Data
“SkySpark has a comprehensive suite of analytics functions that address all phases of data management, from efficient collection to the normalization of datasets from diverse sources,” explains Brian Frank, Founder and CEO of SkyFoundry.
Implementation begins with the data collection process, where the software acquires energy-related and operational data from on-premise smart meters, web service data feeds, and equipment systems. SkySpark takes the critical steps to normalize the data from these heterogeneous sources to provide a seamless presentation of energy and operational data.
The platform supports a variety of data acquisition connectors as a standard feature, including BACnet/IP, Haystack, SNMP, SQL, CSV, a REST API, and Energy Star Portfolio Manager—an online solution that helps track and improve energy efficiency across an entire portfolio of properties. SkySpark also provides a development tool that enables integration with non-standard protocols.
On the analytical front, the company provides a suite of tools that automates the analysis process. One of those, SkyFoundry’s KPI app, computes Key Performance Indicator values and trends over time. The software also provides users access to real-time and historical data via a graphical user interface. The company also delivers the best visualization solution through built-in applications that automatically produce intuitive visuals without custom development effort. On the other hand, SkySpark also secures, streamlines, and simplifies the delivery of notifications, minimizing the conventional risks of sharing sensitive information across disparate organizational silos.
SkySpark has a comprehensive suite of analytics functions that address all phases of data management, from efficient collection to the normalization of datasets from diverse sources
Using these tools, SkySpark assisted The University of British Columbia (UBC) in mitigating their data collection and unification issues. Initially, the institution was manually downloading the energy data from metering systems and struggling with its management. With the cumbersome nature of their manual data consolidation processes, information analyses were limited to four times a year. SkySpark enabled UBC to automatically collect energy data from metering databases with any necessary calculations and transformations performed in real-time. This automation facilitated quick identification of data discrepancies and enhanced the delivery of customized, up-to date, and easily accessible views to support a continuous benchmarking process that met the university’s aggressive sustainability needs. UBC also benefitted from the data unification SkySpark provides as the institution had three independent building management system (BMS) providers, each with unique data archiving processes. SkySpark also synchronized trend logs from all BMS providers to ensure zero data loss. Today, SkySpark synchronizes 80,000 trend records in roughly 20 minutes from 100,000 data points across 160+ buildings with 16 million square feet of floor space.
Over the years, SkyFoundry’s worldwide network of over 150 authorized implementation partners has played a vital role in implementing SkySpark to over 1 billion square feet of facilities worldwide. The company is keen to help businesses optimize their operations and progress toward energy and sustainability goals with SkySpark and its edge analytics capabilities. Looking ahead, SkyFoundry plans to continue to expand SkySpark’s capabilities to address the challenges in the smart building arena.