Analytics vs Alarms

Doesn’t an alarm programmed  in a control system tell me something is wrong? Not really.
Alarms require that you fully understood what you wanted to look for ahead of time and took the time to program that specific definition into the system. While there are many issues that fit that requirement,  like a temperature going outside of a limit, there are many inter – relationships between equipment systems that may not be known at the time the control system was programmed.

Analytics enables you to find patterns and issues you weren’t aware of – patterns that you didn’t expect or couldn’t have imagined. Analytics provide results that show how your building systems really operate versus how you thought they were operating.

Expressing what you want to find and combining different sources of data are another important difference. Alarms don’t typically enable you to implement sophisticated  logic that interrelates multiple sources of data.
A typical alarm might evaluate a single item against a limit at a single point in time. For example, while an alarm might tell us our building is above a specific KW limit right now, analytics tells us things like how many hours in the last 6 months we exceeded the electrical demand target. How long were each of those periods were, when they occurred, what pieces of equipment were operating when the demand went above the limit, and how those events were related to the weather or building usage patterns.