Drivers and challenges associated with the implementation of big data within UK facilities management sector: an exploratory factor analysis approach

Ashwini Konanahalli, Marina Marinelli, Lukumon Oyedele

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The recent advances in Internet of Things (IoT), computational analytics, processing power and assimilation Big Data (BD) are playing an important role in revolutionising maintenance and operations regimes within the wider Facilities Management (FM) sector. Big data which is defined as “datasets whose size is beyond the ability of typical database software tools to capture, store, manage, and analyse”, offers the potential for FM to obtain valuable insights from a large amount of heterogeneous data collected through various sources (BMS/BEMS/BAS, BIM, CAFM/CMMS/IWMS, ERP, LiDAR etc.) and the IoT allows for the integration of sensors. The aim of this research was to extend the exploratory studies conducted on Big Data Analytics (BDA) implementation and empirically test and categorise the associated drivers and challenges. Using exploratory factor analysis, the researchers aimed to bridge the current knowledge gap and highlight the principal factors affecting BDA implementation. Questionnaires detailing 26 variables were sent to FM organisation in United Kingdom who were in the process or had already implemented BDA initiatives within their FM operations. Fifty-two valid responses were analysed by conducting Exploratory Factor Analysis. From the results, six factors were extracted. The findings suggest that driven by market competition and ambitious sustainability goals, the industry is moving to holistically integrate analytics into its decision-making. However, data quality, technological barriers, inadequate preparedness, data management and governance issues and skill gaps are posing to be significant barriers to the fulfilment of expected opportunities. The findings of this study have important implications for FM businesses that are evaluating the potential of BDA and IoT applications for their operations. Most importantly, it addresses the role BD maturity of FM organisations and its implications for perception of drivers.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Engineering Management
Early online date17 Jan 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 17 Jan 2020


  • big data
  • facilities management
  • technology implementation
  • analytics


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