How to scale KPI analysis and benchmarking for large building portfolios [A Wattics Guide]

Introduction

The Portfolio Analyst builds on the functionalities of the Wattics Breakdown tool –  developing your energy analytics capabilities. It provides you with an immediate overview of how your portfolio, or building/s, are performing with the ability to dive into your data to whatever extent is useful. This is particularly helpful where there is a sizable portfolio to manage since scaling your analysis is simple and painless. You are able to consolidate all your incoming data with the Portfolio Analyst whether information is arriving from meters, submeters, sensors, IoT, KPIs, environmental or business data.

There are numerous analysis options available from interactive charts to energy management dashboards that can be viewed in a myriad of ways; Thresholds that can be set to any data point; Tags & Groups where you can assign qualitative tags or group equipment/sites by type; a Grid view that permits you to immediately filter all data points that have consumed a certain volume of energy; and an easy-to-use KPI functionality that allows multiple levels of analysis and provides different ways to normalise your data.

At your fingertips is perhaps the core of the Wattics platform. It is a powerful way to keep a handle on the performance of your equipment or building/s, while the various automated analytical tools can simply run in the background doing the work for you, so you don’t have to. This leaves you to focus your attention on the ground armed with clear insight into where interventions are needed.

Contents

1. Where to find the Portfolio Analyst in my Wattics dashboard
2. What’s new in the Portfolio Analyst and how is it different from the Breakdown tool?
2i. Threshold
2ii. Tags & Groups
2iii. Grid
2iv. KPI

1- Where to find the Portfolio Analyst in my Wattics dashboard

Log into your Wattics dashboard and click on the ‘Portfolio Analyst’ briefcase icon on the top right of your toolbar to access the ‘Portfolio Analyst’:

Fig. 1 Locate Portfolio Analyst
 

Once inside the Portfolio Analyst you will see a view that is likely familiar to you, if you have previously used the Wattics Breakdown tool. All your data points are listed out to the left of the screen and are fully selectable; while on the right you will find your Control Panel, where you can change the visualistion of your chart, the type of data displayed, the granularity, the time period of your data, as well as being able to opt to compare different timeframes:

Fig. 2 Portfolio Analyst tools

2- What’s new in the Portfolio Analyst & how is it different from the Breakdown tool?

You will see that alongside the Breakdown tab there are now a number of additional sections which provide you with enhanced monitoring and analysis potential: Threshold; Tags & Groups; Grid; and KPI. For a quick overview please see table below:

Features Uses
ThresholdSet consumption thresholds that can appear against your energy usage charts. This allows you to quickly see if equipment or your building/s are consuming over an established limit/target - or indeed significantly under, which could suggest that targets need revising.
Tags & GroupsAssign tags to your monitored data points so you can directly filter to buildings/sites that you wish to compare to one another; place data points into groups to aggregate similar equipment/sites and so on, which then appears as a group within your organisation hierarchy meaning you can quickly focus in on your area of interest.
GridThe Grid functionality allows you to look at your data in a consolidated view, which is particularly useful if you manage a large portfolio. It can support bill validation and tenant recharging.
KPIThrough the KPI tab you can set performance indicators that are specific to your organisation meaning you have more in depth visibility of how different buildings/sites are performing alongside one another.
Fig. 3 Summary Table

2.i – Threshold

In this section you will find your data points listed on the left hand side. Moving along to the right you can label your threshold and then there are further options available to manually feed in energy limits or targets at hourly/daily/monthly or yearly levels.

Fig. 4 Threshold tab
 

In order to make changes to the blank cells, double click and simply type – and you can drag the content to your other data points:

Fig. 5 Add bulk thresholds
 

Once you have fed in your threshold values, these appear associated with the relevant data point in your control panel as the first icon appearing in green on the far right. If selected, your threshold will appear as a line overlaying your actual energy consumption, so you can immediately see instances where this has been exceeded. The next green icon along overlays an average value line allowing you to compare average usage against your stated threshold. The final option opens up any remarks that have been associated with your selected data point visible at the bottom of the screen.

Fig. 6 Threshold and Average
 

In this example for MAIN AHU (Fig. 6), we can see that that energy usage per day has been around 100 kWh higher than the stipulated daily threshold for June 2020. This indicates that a targeted intervention is required to understand whether the AHU unit is operating as it should be: Is the unit malfunctioning? Are there perhaps influencing factors such as an early summer heatwave causing the unit to work harder? Or, do threshold target needs to be re-set, as these were not reflective of standard operation?

2.ii – Tags & Groups

Here you can assign tags or group your equipment/sites by type allowing you to identify similarities between points in the same pool. Useful examples could be assigning tags to stores of a similar size or age to a particular group, if you happen to be a retailer; a fast food outlet might find grouping stores of a particular type together useful e.g. Drive-Thru vs. sit-in, or breakfast only service vs. 24-hours. 

Tags can be added by clicking on the ‘+ Tags’ icon seen below, naming the tag and manually inputting the value for the field required. A tag based on size may for example read ‘Medium’, or specify floor areas under/over a sqm value; you could enter the age of buildings if you wish to associate premises built at the same time; or perhaps classify buildings based on their geographical location to take into consideration local conditions etc

Fig. 7 Add Tags & Groups
 

Once you have attached tags to your data points you are able to now search or filter to just those points with a particular Tag attached to them, so your small stores for example. This brings benchmarking across your portfolio to another level.

Groups can be added by clicking on the ‘+ Groups’ icon. A new column will appear to your right presenting you with a set of checkboxes, which by ticking or unticking allows you to add any number of data points to your group. Once this is completed, on returning to the Breakdown tab you will see that you are able to organise your data points by the specified groups – instead of the customary hierarchy.      

Fig. 8 Select Groups
 

It is an extremely useful capability to be able to aggregate similar types of data points, as this allows for swift recall of information pertaining to the points of interest, whether you are looking at a group of chillers, for example, or wishing to view sites of a similar age/size e.g. old small buildings, as seen above.

2.iii – Grid View

This section shows you your monthly energy consumption in kWh/cost in a consolidated view. The interface looks just like an Excel spreadsheet with comparable functionalities available such as filtering, data sorting and the creation of charts based on the data range of your interest.

Fig. 9 Grid view
 

Having this ability to view all of your data in one place is particularly useful if you manage a portfolio that contains multiple buildings/sites. It allows for simpler bill validation and the allocation of energy consumption/costs across your various locations.

2.iv – KPI

The KPI, or Key Performance Indicator, section lets you create your own customised performance indicators, which can be applied across your entire portfolio allowing you to analyse and benchmark your energy usage to ensure that you are on track to meet your energy or sustainability goals.

Find the KPI tool by clicking on the tab indicated below, or you can access the tool by first selecting a data point from your list of data points and hitting ‘Create new KPI’, which will take you into the KPI view:

Fig. 10 Select KPIs
 

Once in the KPI view, you will be able to apply normalisation or conversion factors to your monitored data points providing you with enhanced benchmarking and performance evaluation capabilities. 

Common examples of normalisations are the evaluation of specific energy consumption by factoring floor areas of a space (sqm/sqft) which may be useful if you are a retailer with stores of multiple sizes; heating and/or cooling degree days if external temperatures influence the level of your cooling/heating consumption; production metrics such as tonnes of material/units produced in a manufacturing setting; occupancy levels in the hospitality sector; hours of operation and so on.

Applying conversion factors means you can adjust the way you view your data. For example, you can turn your consumption into kgCO2, or kgCO2e emissions – which also takes into account the emission of other greenhouse gases expressed as a kgCO2 equivalent; or you can use this functionality to apply metric conversions such as changing your gas kWh usage into a cubic measure, so looking at the volume of gas consumed.   

Let’s imagine we are interested to normalise consumption data for a hotel ‘Beta Report & Spa’ by area, so we can see energy usage per sqm on each floor. To set and map the parameters of a new KPI, click on ‘+KPI’ as seen below:

Fig. 11 Add new KPI
 

The following window will then appear with blank fields that need to be filled. Here we type our ‘KPI Name’ and we can select whether to take the unit directly from the data point, or manually input our own by unticking ‘Use monitored point as Unit’ and entering m2: 

Fig. 12 New KPI
 

Since here we want to look at energy consumption per sqm, we select the ‘Divider’ operator from the ‘Select Operation Type’ dropdown menu. It also makes sense to tick ‘ Apply Calculation to cost figures?’ since this will give us visibility also of the cost of energy per sqm. Finally, we hit ‘Create’:

Fig. 13 Select operator
 

Once the New KPI is created, a new column will appear in the KPI table with blank fields for manual population with your normalisation factors, or select automated normalisation factors such as HDD (Heating degree days). Double click on a cell to select a point from your menu tree: 

Fig. 14 KPI fields
 

If you navigate back to the Breakdown tab you can now select to compare data points where you have set a KPI in terms of the normalised figures – rather than the actuals, by choosing the relevant metric from the KPI dropdown menu within your Control Panel:

Fig. 15 Normalise your data
 

For further support and clarifications, please don’t hesitate to contact our support team. If you would like to enable this feature on your Wattics dashboard, please also contact Wattics Support for more info.

If you are not currently subscribed to the Wattics energy management platform and want to schedule a demo of this tool, please, request a demo below:

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