Several weeks ago, the world celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. Yes, on July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong uttered the most famous words of the 20th Century as he became the first human to set foot on the moon.

‘That’s one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind.’

And it was a giant leap in so many ways. Besides creating a national pride the like of which hasn’t been felt since, the advancements made as a direct result of the science, engineering, and research that went into the space program of the 1960s, are nearly incalculable.

Moreover, from the creation of lightweight breathing masks to cordless tools, modern computer microchips, smoke detectors, and even the transparent brackets for straightening teeth ‘ all stem from the moon missions.

Advances Born From Need

It all started with one small step.

The need to miniaturize computers for space exploration in the 1960s motivated the entire industry. The end result: smaller, faster, and more energy-efficient computers. This also affected practically every facet of life today, from communications to health and manufacturing to transportation.

Even the tech behind mobile phones and tablets that we take for granted also are descendant from the Apollo and Gemini space programs.

Oh, and they are so MUCH MORE POWERFUL!

Hand-held devices today routinely perform instructions 120 million times faster than the guidance system that enabled the liftoff of Apollo 11!

Think about it. In the HVAC arena, many of the digital instruments you use to measure and test the systems are born from Apollo technological advances.

So one thing is clear. The tech and its resulting data were key to keeping Astronauts Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Buzz Aldrin alive and safe on their incredible journey.

The Continuing Role of Data

Data ‘ it’s gathering, analysis, and use is the difference between good HVAC contracting firms, and Performance-Based Contracting’ firms. The fact is, whether it’s a space mission or an HVAC service call, data is vital. It enables High-Performance HVAC contractors to deliver what they promise and then prove that to customers.

Which is why David Holt’s article on Differentiating Your Business by Turning Data to Dollars (page 11 or$$) is an important read. He discusses the need for taking measurements and conducting tests. He emphasizes capturing the results to help show customers what is actually going on with their systems. That same data is also useful for providing options to make their systems perform as designed. And you can use it to sell them those repairs and upgrades.

Performing duct traverses is one key way to gather data about airflow.

In his article, Five Ways to Spot A Bad Duct Traverse (page 16 or, Scott Fielder highlights the impact of bad data based on improper traverse methods or inadequate documentation. He provides some clear examples and ways to avoid the issues in the first place.

Celebrate Your Accomplishments

These two editorials really demonstrate the importance of properly obtained and properly used data in creating excellence in comfort systems.

With that in mind, 50 years after Neil Armstrong’s small step, we celebrate our accomplishments in space. Isn’t it time to start celebrating your accomplishments along the path to High Performance as you take steps toward using data to differentiate your contracting business?

Just take just one small step today.