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How IoT Relies on Data Normalization in Smart Buildings

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Patrick Gilhooly

The Internet of Things (IoT) is transforming built structures into energy-efficient environments that enhance the experiences of those who occupy them. This goes beyond mere comfort control or cost-cutting. Digital environments enhance the operational efficiency, energy savings, comfort, and health of building owners, managers, and occupants. Smart buildings connect people, support collaboration, and increase productivity while conserving resources. To make this possible, data must be standardized and flow efficiently through gateways with sufficient capabilities and capacity.

In smart buildings, cloud-based management platforms evaluate IoT sensor data in real-time and alter when and how building equipment operates. This optimizes a building’s performance  and enables better management of both resources and conditions. However, buildings might have hundreds of gateways and thousands of devices, often with diverse operating systems, firmware, and software. To fully realize the benefits of IoT, data normalization is essential.

How Data Flows Through Smart Buildings

Data normalization is the process of making source data consistent to enable simplified downstream processing and analysis. To understand the importance of normalizing data within a building’s IoT network, you must first understand how data flows through it.

Data within a smart system passes through several layers of technology.


The first layer consists of the building and operating equipment, including IoT devices, and is where real-time operational control occurs. These building systems do not communicate with each other directly but are integrated with OT systems, normally through an open protocol framework, which normalizes, gathers histories, and tags data.


The middle layer includes a normalized system middleware that defines relationships between the received data and manages workflows from building systems. Ideally, it consists of an advanced integration engine that acts as the core of the building management system, reading data and managing how the systems relate to each other. This is the layer that makes buildings smart.


The final layer makes data meaningful for users. It includes a smart building management platform that offers unified control. This platform turns data into easy-to-understand visualizations, customized reports, and intelligent insights that provide deep visibility into building operations. It also empowers the application of smart automation strategies based on specific goals and objectives.

Within these layers of technology, solutions can be tailored to meet specific needs. 

IoT Data Normalization 

Smart buildings depend on extraordinary volumes of IoT data constantly flowing between technological layers. That can only happen when data is modeled and normalized. 

In increasingly complex networks of equipment, devices, and software, IoT data normalization is essential to ensuring:

  • All devices can be interacted with and monitored
  • All operational data can be read and historically analyzed
  • Analytics, control, and decision-making are seamless

It also protects data integrity by:

  • Supporting data consistency
  • Optimizing database efficiency
  • Minimizing risk of corruption

Normalization allows building systems to react faster and ensures you have a complete picture of real-time and historical conditions. It also gives you the flexibility to easily add and benefit from new devices as your needs change. 

Getting Expert Guidance

While IoT data normalization may seem like a minor way in which to improve building conditions and make operations more efficient, it is vital to optimizing a smart building’s capabilities and improving its performance. A smart buildings expert can ensure you have the tech stack you need to make the most of IoT technologies and put data to work for you. With their guidance, you can create a truly intelligent building.

Buildings IOT offers the state-of-the-art services and products you need to make buildings smart. Contact our team of experts to learn more about IoT data normalization and what we can do for you.



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