The future of Big Data in facilities management: opportunities and challenges

Vian Ahmed, Algan Tezel, Zeeshan Aziz, Magda Sibley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: This paper aims to explore the current condition of the Big Data concept with its related barriers, drivers, opportunities and perceptions in the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry with an emphasis on facilities management (FM). Design/methodology/approach: Following a comprehensive literature review, the Big Data concept was investigated through two scoping workshops with industry experts and academics. Findings: The value in data analytics and Big Data is perceived by the industry, yet the industry needs guidance and leadership. Also, the industry recognises the imbalance between data capturing and data analytics. Large IT vendors’ developing AEC industry-focused analytics solutions and better interoperability among different vendors are needed. The general concerns for Big Data analytics mostly apply to the AEC industry as well. Additionally, however, the industry suffers from a structural fragmentation for data integration with many small-sized companies operating in its supply chains. This paper also identifies a number of drivers, challenges and way-forwards that calls for future actions for Big Data in FM in the AEC industry. Originality/value: The nature of data in the business world has dramatically changed over the past 20 years. This phenomenon is often broadly dubbed as “Big Data” with its distinctive characteristics, opportunities and challenges. Some industries have already started to effectively exploit “Big Data” in their business operations. However, despite many perceived benefits, the AEC industry has been slow in discussing and adopting the Big Data concept. Empirical research efforts investigating Big Data for the AEC industry are also scarce. This paper aims at outlining the benefits, challenges and future directions (what to do) for Big Data in the AEC industry with an FM focus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)725-745
Number of pages21
Issue number13-14
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jan 2017
Externally publishedYes


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