Tools that help contain, display and analyse data.

With building assets you are usually managing large amounts of data that can be in multiple formats. Spreadsheets, drawings, specifications, maintenance manuals, reports, budgets, estimates, emails etc. Managing this information and keeping it live and up to date and  making it accessible is a challenge.

  • Hyperlinks are a great way to link to filed data. As long as there is an explanation as to what is in the repository.
  • Spreadsheets are flexible and easy to use, but a bit hard to access from the web. There can be a revisioning issue if people are working on multiple copies.
  • Databases are good for access but require some skill in querying the information and keeping the database updated. We can use SCRUD tools for keeping the database current.
  • We can store numerical data and references to other documents (drawings/reports etc) in spreadsheets  and databases and use tools such as maps to display some of this information.
  • Specific websites can be setup to reference a lot of the data, see the Property Information website.
  • We can also restructure data either in Spreadsheets or with analytic tools such as Knime, so that we reformat the data to allow for user analysis on datasets, the example for this is Heatmaps.
  • There are proprietary programmes that can manage the data, one I have been exploring is OpenMAINT. This has an asset register, stores documents such as contracts/insurance etc does workorders and communicates between all parties in the process via email.

Your strategic requirements, budget and resources will influence what type of process you use. Many systems can take your data and manage all your requirements in their LAN or Cloud system. The processes that I advocate keep the data with the client, not the service provider.