Laura Sanchez 2016-03-01 10:59:01
We are cartographers of the modern age. We gather information, evaluate it, and use it to chart our trajectories and future plans. Unlike Mercator’s, our coordinates are invisible and intangible, yet they are often valued beyond physical assets. In today’s knowledge economy, data is precious. And it relies on energy. Individual pieces of information are measured and collected at every turn. They relate the details of our shopping experiences, a power line’s wattage, a building’s energy usage. Each informational impulse is power-dependent throughout its lifetime—as raw, active, and stored data. Energy therefore fuels our quest for efficiency and understanding. Data has become increasingly didactic. Evidence-based decision-making is how we guide and grow business today. The patterns that emerge when numbers are interpreted and analyzed explain collective behaviors and habits. They can predict future events and suggest prescriptive actions. Data offers empirical insight that allows us to take enlightened steps forward. In this issue we address data’s ever-increasing value as well as its need for protection. We explore smart building systems that collect data and use it to streamline operational processes. Sensors, automated programming, customizable configurations, and memory of usage patterns enable systems to warm, cool, and illuminate our environments precisely and economically. Smart construction makes our buildings intuitive and dynamic. And so do smart people. On page 16, we discuss the role of commissioning agents, construction professionals that aggregate multiple data streams and efficiently orchestrate building processes. Their omniscient perspective and contracting role allows them to bridge technologies, ensure system interoperability, and maximize a structure’s potential. But data’s facts and figures not only streamline our processes, they contribute value to buildings and companies. Every pixel of information today has monetary worth. Quite simply: data equals dollars. And that value can grow exponentially as data is enriched, analyzed, and leveraged. Its value makes data increasingly important to protect. We take a close look at HVAC systems that successfully keep hospitals, IT facilities, data centers, and laboratories at optimal airflow levels and temperatures on page 10. Uninterrupted, clean energy is also essential for safe data storage. As our feature about powering data centers (page 28) reveals, system redundancy is tantamount with well-planned backup configurations, paralleling generators, and unit synchronization. As we navigate this era of discovery and data reconnaissance, with the computer as our compass, we map new territories and cross meridians of technology. We chart continents of impulses with sensors and software, not for their gold, but for the exquisite efficiency and enlightenment that their information affords. How does data guide the trajectory of your business? BE
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