Do you need to collect and input data?
The system selected will dictate your data entry requirements. Some benchmarking tools give you an option to use them without your having to input data (usually with those systems, if you decide to input data, you would pay less for the tool or not at all). Other tools provide fewer features unless you input data. Others require you to input data.
Therefore, your first priority is to determine your goals, and let them dictate what system you use. All systems today are quite different, and you likely will find one system that is a better match for you than the others. You then can determine whether that system requires that you input data. All benchmarking systems require data in order to provide value to their users; for facility professionals to take advantage of the tool, they should be willing to input data. No benchmarking system ever can have enough data, so all who benchmark are encouraged to share their data with a benchmarking system where feasible.
There will be times when one is not able to input data. If that becomes the determining factor for you, your choices of systems will be limited and you likely will need to sacrifice some functionality – you either may use a system that doesn’t have all the features you want or not enough data (buildings), or you may end up with a system that doesn’t include best practices analysis, which will prevent you from using benchmarking to identify ways to improve your building performance. Extracted from the whitepaper of IFMA .
Peter S. Kimmel
AIA, IFMA Fellow Principal