Big Data and analytics are being used by businesses and industries to make changes in processes and operations in big ways. When it comes to facilities management and energy efficiency, Big Data analytics is helping real-estate companies to increase profits, improve operations, and reduce their carbon footprints. In an exclusive interaction, Benjamin Kott, Founder and CEO of Fabriq explains how the company’s flagship data analytics platform Fabriq OS identifies and assesses savings and optimisation opportunities for buildings, all in one platform.
Kindly brief us about the company, its specialization and the services that your company offers.
I founded Fabriq (previously known as EnergyDeck) in 2011, after gaining experience as European Head of Green Business Operations at Google, with the mission to provide an analytics and software platform to help building managers, owners, as well as tenants gain insights into making real-estate assets more energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly.
Over the years, the company’s mission became even more ambitious. Today, Fabriq aims to not only offer a data and intelligence platform to make buildings and spaces more energy-efficient and sustainable, but also smarter, healthier, and more productive and is continuing to engage with partners as well as customers to advance the ‘smart building’ agenda.
Kindly mention some of the major challenges the company has faced till now.
Launching a software and analytics platform from scratch is never as simple as it might look, and it was no exception for the team at Fabriq. There were setbacks on the technical front to speak of over the years, which the team made sure resulted in learnings and insights that ultimately allowed the platform – today known as Fabriq OS – to develop into what it has become. The team will continue to push the envelope when it comes to refining the Fabriq OS platform, and ensure that feedback from customers, partners, and thought leaders will continue to be taken into account when developing the company’s product roadmap.
While the company has always been committed to playing a part as a technology provider in making buildings and spaces more efficient, stakeholders along the real-estate value chain have not always been completely aligned in prioritising the need to operate real-estate assets efficiently. However, recent signs do point to the industry as a whole becoming more motivated to make the efficient use of buildings and spaces a higher priority, which is encouraging. In many ways, Fabriq sees the role that it can play to make relevant data and insights pertaining to how buildings and spaces are used more available and accessible to key decision makers more vital than ever.
What is your biggest USP that diﬀerentiates the company from competitors?
The Fabriq OS platform has always been known for its user-friendliness and accessibility. It is adaptable to provide the appropriate level of access to the right audience with the aim to make valuable datasets accessible to both technical and non-technical users alike.
Furthermore, Fabriq OS is one of the most open platforms in the market for building-performance data. Data of various formats from a multitude of sources can be acquired, and the data can also be made available as required to enable a variety of applications and services that are offered natively on Fabriq OS or even by third parties.
And finally, the company is recognised as an innovator in the space that is willing to engage its partners and customers to seek out the most appropriate and leading-edge solutions to help make buildings more optimised and valuable.
What are the key trends driving the growth in Big Data analytics/AI/Machine Learning?
Specifically within the building-management space, the conditions are ripe for technologies in Big Data analytics, AI, and Machine Learning to make significant contributions in making buildings easier to manage and optimise. With a large number of complex and valuable commercial buildings still being operated via antiquated systems and procedures and innovations in smart sensors and networking technologies continuing to develop at an advanced rate, the opportunity to apply new approaches and solutions to automatically optimise the running of buildings is apparent. This should only make topics like Big Data analytics, AI, and Machine Learning even more relevant in the space.
How do you see the company and the industry in the future ahead?
The company is expected to continue innovating alongside like-minded partners and customers who are committed to making buildings and spaces more efficient and valuable. The Fabriq OS platform will continue to be refined with the aim to uncover actionable insights on how buildings should operate to relevant stakeholders and decision makers.
The industry is expected to continue seeking out technical as well as non-technical solutions that will promote the ‘smart building’ agenda. While challenges remain in terms of ensuring that all stakeholders are aligned to promote the agenda, more concerted efforts from thought leaders in both public and private sectors should allow the movement to continue trending into the right direction.
How is the Big Data/AI/Robotics industry changing? What are some of the key technology transformations in this space?
When it comes to technologies that are applicable in our space, advances in smart sensors and networking will continue to transform the industry. More sophisticated sensors that have built-in connectivity with minimal footprints are being introduced to market and are being made available at increasingly-accessible price points. How 5G can factor into the conversation is also worth monitoring.
Overall, the advances in these technologies are significant as they offer a lot of potential when it comes to making effective use of sensors to gather quality data pertaining to building performance. And it is this level of access to relevant and granular data points that will play a key role in enabling the potential of Big Data and AI to be realised in the ‘smart building’ space.
How is your company helping customers deliver relevant business outcomes through adoption of the company’s technology innovations?
Via the Fabriq OS analytics and intelligence platform, which was designed to help various stakeholders in the real estate space, Fabriq is helping customers to uncover insights pertaining to how buildings and spaces can become more efficient, sustainable, responsive to needs of tenants and occupiers, and ultimately more useful and valuable. The platform can be seen as a single pane of glass that provides those interested in monitoring the performance of buildings insights into how buildings and spaces are used and where efficiency and improvement opportunities lie. These opportunities can be tied to the achievement of a number of financial as well as non-financial business objectives, and should in turn motivate more to take interest in making buildings and spaces more efficient.