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SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Ian Goldsmith, Ed Featherston, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan

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GridPoint Provides Dataset for National College Tournament “DataFest”

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.

Students got energized about data at Emory University's DataFest. (Photo: Whitley Pro Media Inc.)

Students got energized about data at Emory University's DataFest. (Photo: Whitley Pro Media Inc.)

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

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 GridPoint.com, and keep up with the latest GridPoint news via LinkedIn linkedin.com/company/gridpoint and Twitter @gridpoint.

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