Tuesday, August 18, 2020

AIRAH took a successful leap into the realm of online conferences on August 6 with its Big Data and Analytics Forum.

More than 100 participants tuned in to the half-day live-streamed event, which featured 13 experts speaking on the latest developments in big data and analytics.

“This year’s Big Data and Analytics Forum was very much a product of our times,” says AIRAH CEO Tony Gleeson, M.AIRAH. “Obviously, it’s the first major event that the Institute has held online – and the response was fantastic.

“It also reflects the growing importance of big data and analytics for the HVAC&R industry. As various presenters noted, the traditional lines between sectors are blurring, and we must keep expanding our knowledge across fields such as IT and cyber-security, not to mention indoor air quality and occupant wellbeing.”

Addressing the question on everyone’s minds, the Forum explored how big data can help us in a post-COVID-19 world. Keynote speaker Amber Keogh began proceedings by positioning HVAC as a holistic solution that not only efficiently cools and heats a building, but also safeguards the health and wellbeing of occupants. She noted that as commercial vacancies increase and the market becomes more tenant-driven, big data can make these benefits more visible.

“It’s about shifting the value proposition of what you may do as an HVAC&R provider, building automation, or sustainability consultant,” says Keogh. “You may improve efficiency and reduce costs, but it’s about talking in value-proposition terms that will speak to that changing market: enhance productivity of a workforce, reduce illness or optimise asset cost. That kind of language will really come in alongside those health and wellness metrics as we move out of COVID-19.”

This message was echoed by Ura Sarfejoo, M.AIRAH, who presented “From the plantroom to the boardroom – how to make HVAC&R visible by employing digital technologies”.

“After COVID-19 and working from home, for offices to become those places that we want to go back to, they have to be better," says Sarfejoo. “There’s going to be a lot of competition in having better working environments, because otherwise why would people want to go back?”

Other speakers presented the latest developments in areas such as machine learning, digital twins, predictive maintenance, and more. There was a case study on Sixty Martin Place, Sydney, and a panel session on cyber security in a world where big data increasingly travels over networks and is stored in the cloud.

“After the successful first running of this event last year, we were determined to open this space again,” Gleeson says. “And we believe it will continue to flourish in the years to come.”

Those who registered for the event will soon be able to access recordings of the presenters through the Big Data and Data Analytics Forum website.

AIRAH thanks major event sponsor CopperTree Analytics.

For more about the virtual Big Data and Analytics Forum, click here.