Page 27 - Campus Technology, May/June 2018
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Hamilton explained. If you have 100 buildings, all with slight- ly different control systems and multiple analytics applica- tions, every time you do these integrations, it adds to the layers of complexity. “From a labor standpoint, all this smart stuff we are putting in place to save us 80 percent on labor costs and make us 80 percent more efficient is doing just the opposite,” he said.
At Stanford, the energy metering systems are used for bill- ing individual colleges and forecasting projections for the on-campus generating plant. In order to create verified bill- ing data, the university has created its own data correction tools for times when there are errors or gaps in the data flow or IP reliability issues. Yet one problem is that new stake- holders in the colleges are getting access to the raw data in one-minute timeframes. “What if someone tries to re-create that verified number from the raw data?” Hamilton asked. “They might say, ‘When I add up these instantaneous values, I am not getting the same total you got.’ That is an issue. If we want to do reliable forecasting, we need to have a clean set of historical data. That means we have to disregard the bad data or come up with some way to automatically backfill with reasonable approximations.”
Hamilton said it all gets down to figuring out the business drivers. “Are we trying to be perfect for the sake of being perfect? There is some responsibility that comes with access to the data.”
From Tech-Infused Stadium to the Classroom
IoT efforts at Arizona State University have seen a similar pattern of “exponential growth.”
Last year, Campus Technology described how the institu- tion was outfitting its Sun Devil Stadium with sensors con- nected to the WiFi and cellular network, to collect tempera- ture, humidity and noise data for use by facilities staff. Sensors can identify if a faucet anywhere in the stadium is left running after a football game is over, for example, to help cut water usage. ASU also worked on providing information through a mobile app on the availability of parking and wait time estimations for concession lines and restrooms.
The tech-infused stadium was created as a test bed for a larger investigation of and investment in IoT technologies at ASU. “One thing we explored was what beacons can and can’t do and what we can and can’t get from the network,” explained Chris Richardson, assistant vice president of IT development at ASU. “Some of that experimentation influ- enced our broader approach to using the network.”
The university has piloted the installation of location-tracking beacons in classrooms to understand trends in student attendance in big classes, where taking attendance manu- ally is impossible. “We have turned a few of our classrooms into a lab to study how to check students in and out without much intervention,” Richardson said. Because the provost’s office has expressed interested in attendance, ASU wanted
to see if it could collect that data in a way that doesn’t expose students to unnecessary privacy risk.
“We decided to test out these beacons and have students’ phones pick up what is happening,” he said. ASU built an API to the student information system to pull in the record of the student, and with student and instructor permission they outfitted a few classes with the beacons. Interested stu- dents downloaded an engagement app on their phones. The app allows students to see if the room has a beacon. Once they click on it, any other time they come into the room, the beacon automatically picks them up. “Many students were interested in having their attendance in the palm of their hand, to know how they were engaged with classes,” Rich- ardson said. “In fact, we found that some students would use the app to check in manually in classrooms that aren’t beacon-enabled.”
ASU didn’t share individual student data with the instruc- tors, but it is using the pilot to rethink how it communicates with students via mobile app. “We have partnerships with groups that run student success in our provost’s office, and we are building communication plans to engage students through push notifications,” Richardson said. “We will be able to better understand why they may take action or not and determine if that is something we might want to impact with adviser relationships,” he added. “It’s not easy to see the path from the stadium pilot to the classroom to now a

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