The Key Benefits of Project Haystack


Project Haystack may not be a household name, but it’s become a big part of building management. Or, more specifically, in the design and implementation of smart building software and management systems.

So, what exactly is Project Haystack, who uses it, and what are the benefits? Let’s find out.

Project Haystack

What is Project Haystack?

Project Haystack is an open-source initiative dealing with Internet of Things (IoT) technology. The not-for-profit initiative was started in 2014 and works in conjunction with software and technology companies who develop IoT technology. The whole idea is to find ways to streamline and standardise semantic data modelling to unlock more value in the data obtained from smart devices.

While IoT is everywhere these days, particularly in our homes, Project Haystack is more focused on buildings and building managements. More specifically, it is the basis from which smart building software and management systems are built.

Who uses Project Haystack?

As an open-source initiative, basically anybody can use Project Haystack. However, it’s mainly worked on by a dedicated community to improve the way data is tagged and modelled. Software developers and technology companies dealing with IoT technology are most likely to use Project Haystack.

When developing software solutions for smart buildings, developers use Project Haystack to ensure data is tagged and labelled in a common way. It simplifies how data is handled, tagged, and analysed.

A standard for modern building management

The whole idea behind Project Haystack is to form a unified approach across all building management systems. Think of it as a platform on which software is built, while still allowing software programs to be different. In this way, it’s similar to a coding language, or even an initiative like the semantic web. The semantic web standardises the way data is tagged on websites, allowing search engines to rank and categorise all websites clearly.

So, in that sense, Project Haystack is the data-tagging equivalent of the semantic web for building management technology.

A smarter way to analyse data

The benefits of Project Haystack lie firmly in the analysis of data. With all building data tagged and arranged, reporting and analysis is much easier. Think of how common pieces of data need analysing in different situations. For example, measuring temperature in a building using sensors is fine, except the temperature in a pipe is a lot different to the temperature in a room. With standard tagging through Project Haystack, common measurements can be sorted according to their specific use and data is more reliable.

In addition, it means that data between buildings can be compared properly. With a common data language, comparisons are much more reliable and performance optimisation is more easily achieved.

Project Haystack is constantly evolving

Finally, the biggest benefit of Project Haystack is the fact it’s an open-source initiative. This means that rather than being controlled by a company who profits from its use, the users are responsible for it. Developers are constantly working on Project Haystack, making improvements and making it better. Built by the people who use it, for the people who use it, Project Haystack is the new standard in building IoT data management.