GridPoint Provides Dataset for National College Tournament DataFest

GridPoint Provides Dataset for National College Tournament “DataFest”

Students from Princeton, UCLA, Duke, Emory and the Five Colleges Analyzed Data in Competitive Setting

Arlington, VA – May 15, 2014 – GridPoint, an innovator in comprehensive, data-driven energy management systems (EMS) that enable customers to optimize energy savings, facility efficiency and sustainability agendas, partnered with colleges and universities throughout the United States to provide a common dataset for the fourth annual DataFest, which began at Duke University on March 21 and ended at the University of California, Los Angeles on May 4.A total of fifteen schools participated in five separate DataFest events hosted by Duke; Princeton University; Emory University; Five Colleges, a consortium composed of Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, Smith College and the University of Massachusetts Amherst; and UCLA. Approximately 450 students gathered throughout the course of the event to review, analyze and develop visualizations of three million rows and 80 columns of data provided by GridPoint. The data points were generated from three years of hourly readings at 110 buildings and ranged from energy-consuming assets such as lighting panels and kitchen appliances to weather data points such as precipitation and temperature. The dataset provided exposure to the challenges of real world analysis projects—including the difficulties presented by missing data, inverted readings and other realities a professional analyst deals with on a daily basis.

Working in teams, the students analyzed the large, complex dataset to understand total building energy use, spot assets that consumed a large amount of energy and analyze patterns and trends in energy consumption that could be reduced, saving energy and money. At the end of each competition, the teams presented their findings to a panel of judges who selected top performers based on the level of sophistication, information and usefulness in their reports.

“The DataFest is a great way for students interested in the fast-growing field of Big Data to get firsthand experience into what is possible to learn when given an extensive dataset,” said Mine Çetinkaya-Rundel, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of the Practice at Duke University’s Department of Statistical Science. “This year was especially challenging for students because they had a short time to learn as much as they could about energy management and the many external facets that affect the data surrounding effective energy management, but they surprised the visitors, the judges and themselves with the variety and the quality of their analyses.”

Students’ insight into the data produced many interesting results. Some teams chose to focus on savings analysis; some showcased the market potential of an energy management system, while others looked at the way weather events like Hurricane Irene impacted buildings and disrupted businesses.

“GridPoint was honored to participate in the DataFest this year. Big Data is a major component of our success as an energy management solutions provider and it will continue to be an important field as the technology supporting the Internet of Things grows and matures,” said Mark Straton, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at GridPoint. “We were glad to enrich students’ education in Big Data and have them reimagine energy management with us.”

GridPoint would like to thank all those who participated in the event and congratulate the following winning teams:

Duke University:
Best in Show: “Wolfram Alphas”: Mao Hu, Avinash Moondra, Sankash Shankar, Daniel Zhang, Zenia Zheng, Josh Latner, Meghan Scanlon; “D 4 C”: Alvin Kang, Paul Kim, Lilly Park, Kevin Wu, Eric Wu
Best Use of External Data: “Team Clairvoyant”: Ashish Agarwal, Yu Fan, Fangjian Guo, Yizhe Zhang, Weiqiang Zhu; “The Fantastic 5+1”: Xirui Diao, Mingqiang Fu, Xiangcheng Gao, Yi Rong Hoo, Ruisi Zhan, Brianna Bai; “Data Cruncherz”: Travis Britain, Brittany Cohen, Varun Himamshu, Gabrielle Levac, Heather Shapiro, Philip Srevrev
Best Visualization: “Cougar Bait”: Lorin Crawford, Nghi Nguyen, Derek Owens-Oas, Shinichiro Shirota, Xi Chen, Joseph Futoma, Christoph Hellmayr, Matt Johnson, Victor Pena; “Spectral”: Bryan Davis, Fuhui Fang, Yinan Fang, Jie Gao

Princeton University:
Best in Show: “DJ Hydrazine”: Harold Li, Nathaniel May, David Zhao
Best Visualization: “The Outliers”: Ujjwal Dahuja, Mihaela Curmei, Arunraj Balaji, Mark Aksen, Lydia Liu, Kevin Lin
Best Use of External Data: “WuTang Financial”: Farhan Abrol, John Anderson, David Jensen, Leor Klainerman, Robert Sami

Five Colleges: Smith College’s “The P-Valuables”: Deidre Fitzpatrick Michele Handy, Maja Milosavljevic , Sara Stoudt, Dana Udwin

Emory University: Best Insight and Best Visualization: “Data Miners”: Kirk Hadley, Aiming Nie, Michael Zhai, Tony Wang, Fei Gao; “ANOVA One Bites the Dust”: Kyle Niezgoda

UCLA: Best Insight: “Oops I Dataed Again”: Siena Duplan, Kayla Frisoli, Kimberly Mauleon, Greta Olesen, Daniel Smith; “SC Statistics”: Chris Funaki, Sri Ramesh, Bradley Rava, Tsz Chan, Matthew Norris
Best Visualization: “Jack n Coke”: Lev Golod, Johghyun Lee
Best Use of External Data: “JSS”: Shahid Cohan, James Lepore, Sean Grant

Photo Credit: Whitley Pro Media Inc.

About GridPoint
GridPoint is an innovator in comprehensive, data-driven energy management solutions (EMS) that leverage the power of real-time data collection, big data analytics and cloud computing to maximize energy savings, operational efficiency, capital utilization and sustainability benefits. GridPoint’s integrated energy management portfolio of asset-level submetering and monitoring, intelligent control, energy management software and professional services can generate energy savings up to 30% and an 18-36 month payback.
GridPoint solutions are deployed at over 12,000 sites with over 64 billion customer data points collected to date, and 100 million added daily. Customers include 6 of the top 10 retailers by total sales, 4 of the top 10 casual dining restaurants, 7 of the top 20 quick serve restaurants, leading commercial and industrial enterprises and major government and educational institutions. To learn more, visit, and keep up with the latest GridPoint news via LinkedIn and Twitter @gridpoint.

Media Contact:
Sarah Trainor
(703) 667-7173

GridPoint Featured in Verdantix Green Quadrant Energy Management Software Report

 As an independent analyst firm, Verdantix provides valuable information for stakeholders looking to invest in energy management software (EMS). Every year, Verdantix publishes its Green Quadrant Energy Management Software report, which uses the proprietary Verdantix Green Quadrant methodology to assess current offerings on the marketplace and help corporate buyers determine which system best suits the needs of their business. Verdantix reviewed more than 80 energy management suppliers using a 130-point questionnaire, interviews with a customer panel and live product demonstrations.

After narrowing the results down to the strongest companies, the report compares 14 building EMS applications in detail and places them in one of four quadrants: the Leaders, Specialist, Entrepreneurs  and Challengers. This year, GridPoint is proud to have a promising review within the Entrepreneurs Quadrant.

The 2014 report included the following findings:

· Portfolio-scale apps are taking energy management to an enterprise-wide level
· Building EMS is continuing to be integrated into a wider array of energy services
· Market consolidation increases as traditional building asset management meets portfolio-wide energy management

Verdantix also found that buyers are making EMS more of a priority and are looking for strategic approaches to optimize energy consumption and reporting. Many firms expect spending on EMS to rise in the next year, highlighting the increased importance of investing in more energy conscious solutions.

GridPoint scored highly in its ability to help enterprises manage demand response events through asset-level submetering. Our software platform, GridPoint Energy Manager, was also strongly rated for its ability to deliver project and portfolio tracking functionality.

We are grateful to be included in the top 14 EMS companies with the likes of IBM and Siemens and excited to share further products that enhance our comprehensive suite further down the line.

5 Best Practices to Minimize Data Breaches

Recent security breaches in the news remind us that data itself is a vulnerable target that requires protection and oversight.

Why is application data targeted so heavily? Often times, the data exchange between systems and components holds information to reverse engineer processes and services and is a common way to gain additional access throughout a system. If the data stream is deciphered at any point during collection, transmission or even at rest, system confidentiality can be impaired, system integrity can be compromised and system availability can be degraded. 

The following security best practices for IT infrastructure and business solutions can help avoid data breaches:

1.       Hold regular reviews of security goals and policies within your organization
2.       Establish controls following the principles of least privilege and in-depth defense
3.       Adopt regular security awareness and training programs to educate all personnel about how they can maintain security guidelines as dictated by your organization
4.       Maintain clear guidelines and business metrics that must be met regarding security
5.       Employ a security firm to assess your organization’s infrastructure and policies

When implementing an energy management system into an existing network, IT managers should also consider the following measures:  

·         Segregate network communications and ports
·         Install physical and environmental controls for installed equipment
·         Implement escalation and incident management procedures
·         Authorize contact points within the company
·         Review internal and external service level agreements
·         Monitor and change management practices
·         Establish risk mitigation policies
·         Patch management and service maintenance processes

While data breaches may never be eradicated, taking these measures can minimize risk and help protect valuable information.