Asset Intelligence

Asset Intelligence - The Quiet Hero

Asset Management’s Opportunity

Managing asset data today can be complicated. Data sets may be stored in disparate information systems such as spreadsheets, databases and EAM or CMMS systems. The quality of the data varies and the capability to move forward may seem insurmountable. There are simple ways to unify this data and effectively leverage the business benefits of Asset Intelligence, meaning considerable gains for the Asset Management function.

A simple example of this evolution in data use and capability is weather forecasting. Previously, weather prediction relied on telegrammed observations from various points, which were interpreted to gauge how weather systems are changing. The process was slow, convoluted and the predictive power was limited. Now, by applying sensors that measure data points like humidity, air pressure and wind, and through the utilisation of sophisticated algorithms, the data can be analysed to generate predictions that have greater fidelity, far faster.

The benefits of more accurate and farther-reaching weather reports are evident in the ability to plan better, for events, logistics and building or maintenance work. The risk of damage from extreme weather events can be quantified and better planned for.

Applying the same process of intelligent data collection and prediction to asset management can have tremendous benefits locally and globally, reducing cost and risk, and improving performance.

The Impact Worldwide

McKinsey estimates that optimised asset management could save $400 billion worldwide a year. Some of the most startling examples include:

• Canada’s needs of an investment 10 times greater than the current spend to meet demand on built assets. • A global 60% increase in infrastructure productivity is possible and could save $1 trillion a year through 2030. • Globally, current infrastructure spending is estimated at $2.5 to $3 trillion a year, only half the $6 trillion needed to meet demand to 2030.

Properly maintained infrastructure using Asset Intelligence goes some way to addressing this challenge.

Asset Intelligence - The Quiet Hero

Asset Management and Asset Intelligence

The term “asset management” is used in various contexts with many different meanings. In this context, asset management is the combination of management, financial, engineering, risk, personnel and asset information applied to physical assets with the objective of providing the required level of service in the most cost-effective manner.

Asset Intelligence guides many functions of Asset Management allowing evidence based decisions and strategies, and can be defined as using the data gathered from a portfolio of assets, combined with advanced technologies to make predictive decisions about the future.

Features of an Asset Intelligence platform can include the following: • Live data feeds • Lifecycle Degradation Modelling • Digital Twin Simulation • Accurate Whole-of-Lifecycle Management • Visualisation tools and reporting dashboards • Interfacing with technology ecosystem (existing CMMS, EAM or ERP systems for example)

The Benefits of Asset Intelligence

Asset Intelligence makes asset data come to life. Understanding the power of asset data in driving a strategy that is aligned with business drivers, ensures a complete line of sight from executive management through to operational delivery.

Once the Asset Intelligence platform is up and running (with good data), the benefits of better decision making will be evident almost immediately.

Performance Management

Planned and less frequent reactive maintenance can increase the performance and raise the capacity of the infrastructure. Take the example of hospitals – large elements of scheduled maintenance mean that frequent, disruptive work impacting doctors and patients is minimised. Additionally, planned maintenance keeps assets performing at the required level. A hospital with fit for purpose, functioning rooms means that more patients are able to be treated, increasing the number of cases that can be effectively managed each year.

Understanding the optimised disposal or repurposing of an asset is imperative to larger scale decisions as well. Whether a building is renovated, re-built or disposed of, will be based from the current performance. Asset Intelligence supplies the information to understand the performance of an asset, whatever the size.

Reduced Risk Exposure

When an organisation applies a consistent approach to risk evaluation and categorisation across the entire portfolio, understanding priorities becomes more dependable. This process allows for the prioritisation of expenditure across the asset portfolio, the ability to predict asset failure and the reduction in unplanned downtime.

Risk will always be present. It is how an organisation evaluates, manages and mitigates this risk is key. Asset Intelligence provides information that allows organisations to understand how to do this.

Many organisations use a standard framework to assess risk. Here at AssetFuture, we use a proprietary methodology called ACCRI (Asset Criticality and Condition Risk Index) which provides organisations a clear understanding of their risk profile. Using this methodology, we are able to predict the risk exposure of an asset (or a portfolio) into the future enabling decision making to mitigate future risk.

Save on Cost

Efficient asset management can mean significant cost savings for organisations. Asset maintenance and replacement relies on deciding whether it’s more effective to repair something or replace something. This is enabled though deeper consideration of the asset lifecycle curve.

Each asset has a unique replacement profile. So, a generalised replacement approach is unlikely to be efficient at allocating resources to each individual asset. One asset may degrade at a faster rate than another, or suffer a more radical performance drop-off that means replacement, rather than maintenance or repair, is a better option. Applying sophisticated algorithms based on the performance data of assets produces credible, accurate Asset Intelligence enabling cost savings across the asset’s lifecycle.

Asset Intelligence - The Quiet Hero

Maturing into a Strategic Approach

Since the release of ISO 55001, organisations are increasingly recognising the need for, and benefits of a strategic approach to the use of asset information. The next step in the asset management maturity journey is utilising this information to drive improved outcomes.

The NSW Department of Education currently uses AssetFuture’s Asset Intelligence platform and have seen benefits in improved asset performance, cost savings and increased budget. Read more about how the NSW DoE uses Asset Intelligence here.

A Million Square Metres in Three Months: NSW Department of Justice

The NSW Department of Justice is responsible for enacting the law across the entire state to provide a safe and just NSW. Corrective services, jails, courts, emergency services, and police departments all fall under its responsibility. In addition, it feeds into public policy by advising government policy, implementing crime-reduction programs, and supporting victims and monitoring offenders.

Minimal Visibility of Transparency

However, the Department didn’t have a central management system for its floor-plans and locations, meaning that answering questions about the $4.5 billion asset portfolio was inefficient, planning was nearly impossible, and the department had no visibility over what it owned or how much it needed to spend to keep its facilities running. The assets it owned were also extremely diverse and complex, and run by different business clusters. The Department needed to dissolve the silos that blocked a holistic view of their asset situation.

Due to the sensitive nature of this work, their buildings and assets are sometimes highly secure, restricted, or dangerous, which presents a challenge when detailed information about the condition, maintenance, and repairability is needed. The Department needed a record of its asset portfolio, and the condition that it was in within three months to meet planning deadlines.

Correctional Complex

Correctional Complex

Rapid Deployment

We quickly trained and organised teams to collect the data from high-security areas, like active courts, jails, and corrective centres. All in all, we covered a million square metres of property in three months. To make data gathering easier in future, we also tagged assets using RFID tags. All that data was uploaded to our lifecycle planning platform, which listed details like capital expenditure, operational expenditure and maintenance liability.

This allowed the Department of Justice to achieve data currency by quantifying all its asset data in the state and uploading it to our lifecycle platform, meaning the Department has improved transparency across all parts of their courts, correction centres, and buildings.

Turning Data into Value

The Department has since begun incorporating cost, risk, and performance data into their operational and capital expenditure contracts, giving them greater insight into its annual capital and maintenance liability. It can now re-negotiate contracts for upkeep across their portfolio, based on an accurate model from the intelligence provided by the AssetFuture platform.

By accurately collecting data in dangerous and sensitive areas, then keeping that data secure while using it to model and guide the future, The Department of Justice is transitioning from a reactive, defective maintenance model to a proactive, strategic model of asset management, meaning better results for the Department and the taxpayers of the state.

Intelligent Education: Singapore ITE College West

Building and maintaining a living data set to inform project decisions for the next 20 years.

In 2011, Singapore’s Institute of Technical Education (ITE) partnered with the Singapore government to open a new college catering for 9,000 full-time students, 3,600 part-time students and 680 staff across a 9.54-hectare campus. ITE West is known for its “hands-on, hearts-on, minds-on” approach to learning, teaching Business, Hospitality, Engineering, and Communications to Singapore’s next generation.

The campus was built using a 25 year Public Private Partnership. To get adequate funding and manage all partners in the consortium over the life of the partnership, the site managers Cushman and Wakefield (C&W) needed a strategic way to measure, store, and analyse the data of the property to inform budgeting and maintenance over the life of the facility. Then, it needed to turn that information into insights for a long-term projection of capital and maintenance costs, activities, and potential increases in capital and operational expenditure to justify spending of consortium and public funds. So they turned to AssetFuture’s innovative technology platform for the solution.

Image by: DP Architects

Image by: DP Architects

“AssetFuture has enabled us to have a common platform for inspection standards and data collection, allowing us to benchmark analysis of buildings.” – C&W

C&W collected the data using our Field Data Units. Our team built a detailed data set including each individual asset type, location, and condition. Then, we built a digital replica of the campus, stored in a cloud environment, and accessible to all the parties that need it. Now, maintenance staff can easily update conditions using portable Field Data Units, meaning a constantly evolving data feed which enables dynamic lifecycle reporting.

C&W have also saved time in reporting. The annual lifecycle reporting needed for the project used to take three months to collate. Now, it takes one week, freeing up resources to make broader strategic decisions about capital works projects. C&W also use the platform to demonstrate the impact of doing or not doing capital works on the campus. Resources have been freed up to engage in broader strategic thinking, rather than mundane data gathering.

Image by: DP Architects

Image by: DP Architects

The result of using AssetFuture’s technology is a shift from static information to responsive, accurate data to base decisions on. By having a live, digital replica available to all parties managing the project, AssetFuture allows ITE College West to make intelligent, informed, confident decisions about capital upgrades and maintenance for the life of the partnership.

Future-Proofing Education: The Department of Education

Future-Proofing Education

The Department of Education is responsible for all aspects of public education in New South Wales. It looks after 2,210 schools statewide that house 781,430 students. These schools have an immense base of physical assets – every physical asset in the classroom and on the campus needs to be maintained to keep the students safe and the school running.

Until 2012 the Department reviewed the state of their assets bi-annually, but the predictive power of this approach only stretched to a couple of years. AssetFuture has partnered with the Department since 2012 to record, store, and analyse their asset data, then use that to predict the next 25 years of maintenance spend, based on varying funding scenarios.

With the student population predicted to increase 21% over the next 15 years, the Department needed to not only maintain the current school portfolio, but also make sure that it could support the influx of new learners. The two asset audits conducted by AssetFuture provided key data published within the Schools Asset Strategic Plan 2031. Over 4.0 million data points were gathered, uploaded and analysed.


"The LCC assessments provided evidence based data that the condition of our schools was deteriorating and as a result record funding of $747 million over four years was allocated in the 2017/18 budget"

- Brian Frankham, Director of Asset Performance and Facilities Management, School Infrastructure NSW


Analysis of the data through the AssetFuture Platform showed there was a significant backlog of maintenance, needing substantial funding to fill the gap. If funding levels remained the same, the maintenance backlog would increase to unacceptable levels in future years.

The Results

The Department of Education used these projections to build a case to Treasury, and gain the significant funding increase to keep maintenance liability stable over the next four years. In addition, deploying AssetFuture’s platform that listed condition, risk, and urgency of repairs, the Department was able to evaluate and quantify their maintenance backlog with accuracy. The additional funding provided as a result of this enabled them to reduce their maintenance backlog by 27% in turn improving their Facility Condition Index.

A Fairer Means of Distribution

The aggregation of all state data had further benefits for simplifying funding allocation. Previously, maintenance funding was calculated from a number of variables. The new data system reduced that to just one - the maintenance liability as projected by the Platform. The data also helps the Department’s strategic planning unit to prioritise and plan capital works.

The data we gathered is available to all schools via online dashboards, and this transparency has had a number of benefits for schools and the department. The new system helps principals understand funding decisions. Principals can now see, via an interactive dashboard, the asset key performance indicators associated with their school which leads to a better understanding of allocation decisions.

The Next Step

The Department of Education plans to update the entire asset data set every five years, while using AssetFuture’s portable technology to keep the asset database as live as possible by updating it whenever maintenance and capital works are conducted. It will also continue to refine the data to make predictions. The Department of Education now has two data sets to build predictions from – 2012-13 and 2016-17. By comparing the data sets, we were able to calibrate the useful lives in our modelling more accurately. With the next round of data-gathering, the algorithm will refine predictions to be even more accurate.

The lifecycle costing data is also being incorporated into the model developed to provide a more accurate calculation of the written down value and annual depreciation of the DoE school asset portfolio.

AssetFuture’s work has supported The Department of Education in building the data foundation for the next 25 years of public school work and maintenance, ensuring that the state’s next group of students have adequate facilities that are safe and functional.

Ushering In The Future of QLD Asset Intelligence

Developing a future vision for the intelligent use of asset data for the Queensland Government.

Advance Queensland’s goal is to realise the state’s vision for the future. The government has allocated $512 million to fund innovative programs, build natural advantages, and discover new solutions to old problems.

AssetFuture entered a competitive pitch with multiple government agencies and was selected to receive the Small Business Innovation Research grant to find innovative ways that the Queensland Government could manage its $270 million portfolio into the future, and utilise the data to create value. The solution had to catalogue and analyse millions of assets, clearly format the information, and provide transparency across the entire government asset portfolio to plan work, combine resources, and simplify the management process.

Innovating State Asset Solutions

We combined our discovery work with our experience with other government agencies like TAFE, Premier and Cabinet, Health, and DET and used a design thinking methodology to list and meet the needs of users across government. In workshops with the Departments of Justice, Education, and Housing and Public Works, we understood, defined, and documented user needs, challenges and requirements.

We found differences in data storage, like naming convention and inputs and different methods of managing asset information. Departments lacked a consistent forecast of capital expenditure and operational expenditure, and so struggled to accurately allocate funding to each business department. Finally, the Departments needed transparency on their asset portfolios to plan major works, avoid clashes in resources, and save money by combining work on similar projects.

Steps to Asset Intelligence

We then assembled a roadmap of actions, enhancements, new tools, and future goals for a solution that will serve the entire government. The first steps are:

  • Standardised data entry with clear labels

  • An HTML reporting engine built to process data for all Queensland Government users

  • An automated scripting solution to find existing data gaps

  • A dashboard to access and interpret data

  • Mapping of the assets and their location

  • Data mapping to systems, including Ellipse and SAP

  • Development of a mobile app to gather data from all employee devices

Once the Queensland Government has built a usable database of asset data, it can find insights and make strategic decisions with new technologies like:

  • Usable Intelligence models

  • Application of Artificial Intelligence to asset degradation

  • Integration with Business Impact Modelling, which allows planning during new property construction

  • Connection to other tools like Power BI and Tableau

Future State

By following this roadmap, Queensland State Government will benefit from increased transparency across departments, which leads to savings in purchasing and procuring of work. It will also improve how the work happens by improving the planning and management of workflow. And most importantly, agencies can now combine maintenance and repair jobs, and plan and distribute them to smaller contractors in region, supporting job creation throughout regional Queensland.