Quality and timely data are essential to intelligent decision-making, change management, and to formulating research-based solutions. The MIT Office of Sustainability (MITOS) recognizes that many of the current data processes for accessing, updating, reporting and sharing institutional data are manually intensive and reactive. Our solution is the Sustainability DataHub.
The Sustainability DataHub is a modern, cloud-based, big-data pipeline. The DataHub infrastructure can collect and store data from disparate sources, enable automation through computer programming, and enhance the analytic capabilities of MIT’s operational units. The MITOS is working with our many Institutional partners to use the DataHub as a central repository for all campus sustainability data. This “data lake” will support decision-making, campus research, and sustainability performance evaluation.
A diverse group of thought leaders, including faculty and staff, were involved in the ideation of the Sustainability DataHub. To realize the concept, the Office partnered with the IS&T Data Science team, who developed the infrastructure using Amazon Web Service technologies. MITOS works closely with many MIT operational units, including the Department of Facilities and the Environment, Health and Safety Office, to process data from rows and columns into actionable information.
Progress and major accomplishments
Throughout calendar year 2016, the Office of Sustainability collaborated closely with the IS&T DataHub development team. Now that the infrastructure is complete, the team is working to ingest and process sustainability data from across MIT departments, labs, and centers.
The first deliverable serviced by the DataHub is MIT’s open energy data platform, which we’re calling Energize_MIT. This platform fulfills the commitment MIT made in the 2015 Plan for Action on Climate Change to, “provide faculty, staff and students with a useful [energy] resource for research and intelligent decision-making”. Energize_MIT is an evolving and iterative one-stop-shop for information on campus energy usage, greenhouse gas emissions, buildings, and weather.