SkySpark by SkyFoundry - Applicable Verticals

SkySpark can be applied to virtually all types of data across a variety of industries.

Intelligent Buildings

A truly intelligent building measures understands and responds to its own behavior. Achieving this level of intelligence requires more than just the latest, efficient HVAC and lighting systems. The building needs the ability to automatically analyze all of the data produced by its equipment systems, the resources it consumes and the external environmental conditions it is subject to. Control systems on their own simply aren’t designed to accomplish this.

SkySpark collects, manages, and automatically performs analytics on the data from building automation systems, metering systems, lighting, weather, and other smart devices to identify issues, patterns, deviations, faults and opportunities for operational improvements and cost reduction.

SkySpark informs operators of issues via a complete suite of Apps that automatically visualize operational data and highlight patterns,

correlations, and KPI’s, all without requiring custom development of graphical screens. With SkySpark once your data is connected you are ready-to-go.

For applications that do require customized reports, SkySpark combines the efficiency of its built-in, ready-to-go Apps with the ability to create customized data presentations with View Builder. View Builder provides a point-and-click tool that lets you create your own customized visualizations, displays, and Apps and turn those views into reports and for automated emailing.

SkySpark helps building owners and operators “find what matters” in the vast amount of data produced by today’s smart systems across facilities of all types. In the following sections, we will provide more detail on specific applications for SkySpark.

Industrial Facilities

Industrial facilities have their own special requirements based on their unique use and production output, but in the end, their equipment systems produce huge volumes of time series data making SkySpark an ideal solution for analyzing and optimizing processes and the environmental systems that support those processes. SkySpark’s Folio database accepts high-frequency sensor data with millisecond precision.

Perhaps most important for industrial applications is that SkySpark enables you to leverage your domain knowledge to implement rules, KPI’s, and algorithms that fit your highly specific needs.

By combining full user-programmability with a comprehensive library of analytic functions (over 500 and growing) SkySpark provides you with the tools you need to address applications of all types across virtually any type of device and equipment data.

SkySpark has been successfully applied in a variety of industrial applications. You can find a recent case study here:

Agriculture

Agricultural sites are great for SkySpark

Profitable operations of indoor cultivation facilities require efficiency at every step. From the use of energy for lighting and control of environmental conditions to the delivery of nutrients, water and use of labor. The common thread to all of these is data. Whether it be live data from sensors and control systems or batch data recorded in work management tools or financial systems, it’s essential to be able to collect, manage, visualize, analyze and report your operational data.

SkySpark® Analytics software provides the features you need to optimize your cultivation processes and profit by providing you with the ability to:

Collect Data from Your Systems via a variety of built-in data acquisition connectors including Bacnet IP, Modbus TCP, Obix, Haystack, SNMP, Sedona, OPC UA, MQTT, SQL, CSV import (manual batch or automated), and a REST API.

Security and Privacy - SkyFoundry Never Has Your Data. SkySpark can be installed on-premise on your computer hardware inside your secure networks. SkySpark is sold as licensed software – install it on a local PC or server or host it in your own cloud. SkyFoundry never has your data – you are in control.

Automatically Calculate the Key Performance Indicators you need to be able to track results against KPI’s relevant to your business. With SkySpark you can implement virtually any KPI that’s relevant to your business. Examples include:

  • Nutrients consumed per yield (lb. or kg)
  • Water consumed per yield (lb. or kg) 
  • Revenue per yield (lb. or kg)
  • Yield (lb. or kg) per kWh of energy consumed
  • Man-hours per yield (lb. or kg)
  • Watts per sq. ft. or square meter

Automatically Perform Analytics to Identify Faults, Deviations, Anomalies, Trends and Correlations. SkySpark’s real power is its ability to automatically apply analytic rules and algorithms against your data to identify patterns that represent inefficiencies, deviations, anomalies and opportunities for improved performance. Analytic rules are fully programmable meaning that you can convert your deep domain knowledge into rules for your facility, your crop and your unique operating conditions.

The Result – Know How Your Cultivation Processes are Really Performing. SkySpark’s built-in visualization Apps automatically show data, patterns, correlations, KPI’s without requiring custom development. With SkySpark once your data is connected you are ready-to-go. For applications that require customized reports, SkySpark combines the efficiency of built-in ready-to-go Apps with the ability to create your own data presentations with our View Builder point and click tool. View Builder lets you create your own customized visualizations and turn those views into reports and for automated emailing.

Completely Customizable for Your Unique Application Needs. SkySpark’s high-performance database and infinitely flexible analytics language provide results not possible with other tools. SkySpark can be used in a wide variety of applications with systems and crops of all types. It’s not tied to any one manufacturer's sensors, controls or equipment systems. It can be easily applied to your unique facility and requirements.

With SkySpark you know how your processes, equipment systems, and devices are really operating and where and how you can improve performance. Find out more at this link:


Energy Analysis and Reporting

SkySpark provides a complete suite of tools for energy analysis and reporting applications and is often used as a stand-alone Energy Analysis application. Its supports applications involving the full range of energy resources including electricity, alternative energy generation including solar and storage, natural gas, oil, and water – basically any resource that is metered. Some of the major features of the SkySpark Energy tools include:

Connectors to access energy data from metering systems. SkySpark supports a variety of data acquisition connectors: Bacnet IP, Modbus TCP, Obix, Haystack, SNMP, Sedona, OPC UA, MQTT, SQL, CSV import (manual batch or automated), and a REST API.

Integration with Energy Star Portfolio Manager. SkySpark’s Energy Star extension supports a wide range of services. From generating “Property” Accounts in Energy Star directly from SkySpark, to automatically pushing energy consumption data to Portfolio Manager on a continuous basis, or as a onetime batch upload. You can also pull energy consumption data already in Energy Star into SkySpark to populate historic energy data for use in the SkySpark Energy App, Historian, and KPI App.

The SkySpark Energy App. The Energy App provides a comprehensive suite of tools to view and analyze energy and other metered data.

Analyze consumption and demand data, normalize data based on standard factors like degree days, or building size or create custom normalization factors. 

Compare energy use to Baselines. SkySpark provides standard baseline comparisons such as last month, last year and specific date ranges, and allows you to create custom baselines based on math formulas or imported data sets collected from actual meters, or from energy modeling applications.

Generate Reports Quickly and Easily. With SkySpark, anything you see on the screen can be a report with just a couple of clicks. You can directly export any view as a PDF or SVG image, and your energy data can be exported in Excel®, CSV, XML, ZINC, and JSON formats via a simple dialog.

Rate Modeler & Tariff Engine Calculates True Energy Costs. In order to address the need to calculate energy costs based on Rate Modeler and Tariff Engine allows rates to be defined based on a wide range of billing “charges” including: 

  • Consumption 
  • Demand 
  • Minimum contract charges 
  • Distribution and Generation charges 
  • Service and equipment charges (both fixed-rate and percentage-based) 
  • Ratchets 
  • Time of Use including both time of day and monthly use factors
  • Ranges (or blocks)
  • Currency
  • Custom charges which can be expressed as math functions
  • Definition of billing periods (including support for variable billing periods)
  • Variable fees based on data retrieved from external systems

    Once your rate model is defined, the Tariff Engine turns your energy consumption data into highly accurate costs. The Energy App then allows you to quickly overlay energy use and cost data to provide clear insight into the correlation between usage and cost. And, in case you are wondering, SkySpark supports a wide range of currencies.

Government - State, Municipal and Federal

SkySpark is deployed in Government facilities of all types from office buildings to military facilities. One of the most notable being the GSA Link project, launched in 2013. GSA Link generates over 27 million data samples each day from more than 13,000 sensors embedded throughout 81 GSA properties encompassing more than 44 million square feet of space. Using SkySpark analytics, the system has resulted in significant savings in energy and operational costs as well as automating certain environmental outcomes based on given inputs.

For many Government applications security is the key requirement.

Because SkySpark can be deployed locally, on-premise, it meets the needs of highly secure facilities where cloud-based systems cannot. SkyFoundry never has your data and no external connections are required for SkySpark to provide its full feature set of analytics and the complete suite of data and analytic visualization including password strength indicator, automatic password reset, expiration, integration with centralized credential systems via LDAP and integration with Single Sign-On technology. It also includes certificate-based authentication between multiple servers when deployed in a distributed architecture.

Healthcare

Healthcare facilities have unique needs including stringent regulatory requirements and mission-critical systems that are literally responsible for life and death. Performance of those systems matters - not only for efficient use of energy resources and cost control - but also to insure occupant safety and comfort and manage risk. Again, the common theme is sensor and equipment data – lots of it. Hospital staffs need to be able to quickly and efficiently work with data from diverse systems produced by different suppliers and quickly find issues, patterns, deviations and faults in represented in that data.

SkySpark has been deployed across millions of square feet of healthcare facilities with great results. Here are a few of our Healthcare Case Studies at these links:

Multi-Site Retail and Quick Serve Restaurants

Multi-site retail portfolios have unique needs related to their equipment systems and the responsibilities of the teams that manage them. First, there is the sheer number of sites and equipment systems and data samples generated. Think of a portfolio with 1000 sites, each with 10 HVAC units, each with 25 data points (sensors and control points), with each point-producing 1 data sample every minute. That’s 360 million data samples per day! In the course of a year that’s 131 Billion data samples. Talk about BIG DATA. SkySpark unique database, historian and analytics technology handles projects of that size with ease.

But an effective solution for multi-site retail operators requires more than the ability to collect, manage, analyze that data. An effective analytics solution needs to provide the tools to help organize data and results for the various constituents involved in managing facilities.

Operations teams need to see equipment and performance data and have analytic results clearly organized by region, site, type of facility and other attributes.

And portfolio managers need to look at performance from a higher level with

presentations that show answer questions like what types of issues am I having in my facilities? Where do they occur? How long do they last? How often do they occur? AND What are they costing me?

SkySpark’s built-in Apps provide the visualizations and reports needed to serve the needs of the different teams involved in facility and energy management across widely dispersed portfolios.

And today, SkySpark is deployed across thousands of sites for many of the most well-known names in multi-site retail and quick-serve restaurants.

Consultants and M&V

SkySpark provides a business-transforming solution for consultants involved in energy analysis, commissioning, Monitoring & Verification and similar services. SkySpark enables these companies to automate significant portions of the work they have historically done with extensive manual effort.

No more manually managing data and clicking through excel sheets. Any KPI, analysis, data transformation, normalization calculation or rollup can become automatic in SkySpark. Are energy analysis reports due tomorrow? No problem – once the data is loaded and the functions defined, they are continuously calculated and ready in SkySpark. And reports can be generated in Excel®, PDF, PNG, Google Sheets® and other formats.

We offer an application note entitled Applying SkySpark to Meet IPMVP Generally Accepted M&V Principles to help M&V professionals interpret IPMVP requirements and align them with SkySpark capabilities and feature sets.

SkySpark acts as a force multiplier allowing your engineering teams to do more projects and deliver more complete and comprehensive analysis and reports to your clients with less time and effort. With every project you do, and every rule or report you define your library builds. And that library is your Intellectual Property. It never comes back to SkyFoundry. These are just some of the reasons that in-house use by energy consulting firms is one of our fastest-growing markets.

Learn more about the use of SkySpark in M&V from the wide range of case studies by shown below.

IoT Platform OEMs & SaaS Providers

A Comprehensive IoT Software Platform for OEMs and SaaS Providers Shortens Time to Market and Reduces Software Development and Support Costs

SkySpark® is an extensible, end-to-end software platform for smart device data that can be applied from the edge to the cloud. SkySpark provides data collection, data storage, data management, automated analytics, and data visualization for the Internet of Things applications in the built environment and is designed to be used as a platform for OEMs to build their additional value on.

If you are planning to offer your customers solutions to collect, manage and create value from the data produced by smart, connected devices you will invariably encounter the need to buy or build software to address the following needs:

  • Connectors and APIs to access data from external devices, systems, and applications
  • Examples: Bacnet IP, Modbus TCP, Obix, Haystack, SNMP, Sedona, OPC UA, MQTT, SQL, CSV import (manual & automated), and REST API
  • A Database optimized for efficiently managing huge volumes of “machine data” – time-series, multi-structured data with semantic modeling functionality
  • Historian functions and services optimized to query and process large volumes of timestamp value pairs
  • Analytics engine – to automatically process rules and algorithms against the data to detect issues, patterns, correlations, anomalies and trends in the data
  • Visualization – Ready-to-go Apps that automatically generate rich displays of data and analytic results, and tools that allow you to create customized user Apps and reports
  • A Distributed Computing architecture to enable deployment from the Edge to the Cloud
  • Multi-tenancy support – a single server can host multiple customers, each with their own secure data realm
  • Security: Certificate-based authentication, TPM integration, HTTPS in the browser, LDAP support for centralized credential management
  • Automatic notification of detected issues via email with links and report attachments

SkySpark provides all of these functions in a ready-to-go platform that has been proven across thousands of applications.

SkySpark - A True Data-Focused Platform: Key Differentiators

If you are working with IoT devices and their data, you likely know that machine data is different than conventional IT data. SkySpark has been designed from the ground up for the unique needs of sensors, machine, and device data.

Device data is by nature “time-series” data – a sensor value with a corresponding timestamp. High-resolution device data can yield an immense volume of timestamp/value pairs. For example, if we store minutely data for a single sensor (we call a sensor a “point”) we end up with 525,600 samples per year. 100,000 points with two years of minute data result in 105 billion samples! Although that isn't actually an extremely large system for SkySpark, a traditional database with 100 billion rows would be considered a really big database. In order to provide high-speed processing of data and a responsive user interface for viewing and analyzing data, efficient storage, and processing of these volumes of data is a top priority for any IoT software platform and an area where SkySpark excels:

  • SkySpark’s “Folio” database provides highly efficient data storage (>10 times more efficient than relational database technologies). A time-stamp value pair averages 12 bits of storage space in SkySpark. Most relational databases require 30-40 bytes to store the same data – some require much more. Beyond highly efficient storage of time series data, Folio adds the ability to model the meaning of data and define relationships between data items with semantic tagging. SkySpark uses the Project-Haystack.org metadata tagging methodology to represent the semantic meaning of data items.
  • SkySpark integrates a high-speed analytics processing engine with the Folio database. With SkySpark, analytic rules “run in the data” eliminating the delays and complexity found in software architectures where large data sets have to be pulled from the database and passed to a separate analytics process.
  • Analytic rules and algorithms are fully programmable to meet the unique needs of

almost any data type, equipment system, and applications – just add your domain knowledge to SkySpark’s library of over 500 analytic and data transformation functions.

  • The system architecture is important too. SkySpark is scalable and distributable – it can run in everything from small “edge” devices to virtual servers in the cloud – on your favorite operating system
  • SkySpark supports both cloud or on-premise deployment for server level applications to address the needs of applications that simply can’t allow huge volumes of data to be transmitted to the cloud
  • This comprehensive platform provides lower Total Cost of Ownership than data technologies designed for business IT applications
  • SkySpark is proven and ready to deploy – today SkySpark is used across of 13,000 facilities consisting of over 1 Billion square feet of space (>90M square meters)

A Wide Range of Deployment Options to Fit Your Business Needs

SkySpark gives you the flexibility to deploy solutions that fit your customer’s needs and your business model – whether that is Software as a Service, on-premise deployment, or embedded products.

  • Install SkySpark as an end-user application for facility managers, energy managers. Install on a laptop of desktop or server, or offer as a cloud service (SaaS)
  • Use SkySpark as an in-house, tool for data acquisition and analytics - example for

consultants involved in commissioning, energy analysis, monitoring, and verification.

  • “White box” model – Use SkySpark as a backend database and analytics engine and integrate with other data visualization applications for a final presentation of data and results to users
  • Embed SkySpark in small, low-cost hardware devices (i.e., gateways, controllers) – collect data locally, process
  • analytics at the edge, and serve rich visualizations directly from the edge device and/or replicate data to the cloud and serve visualizations from the cloud
  • SkySpark ‘s fully distributed architecture supports deployment across large numbers of nodes that work together in “clusters” providing a near-seamless user environment that enables users to navigate their applications from the Edge to the Cloud

    Learn more about our OEM Programs >