By Stephanie O'Neill

Success without guesswork: bringing CRE data together in one place

Is your data working for you? Or are you working for your data?

Think of all the corporate real estate (CRE) data that exists for a single building. Information is captured about everything from space planning and facilities management to project management and energy management—and it changes almost every day.

This data holds the key to solving big business problems with confidence. It provides a full understanding of what’s happening with your assets and facilities—and the people inside—so you can respond appropriately.

In fact, data is so important in the digital age that some experts compare it to water: an essential resource that everyone needs. But for data to fulfill this promise, it must be usable and accessible.

Working for your data

When someone asks you a pointed question that needs to be answered with data, where do you go to find the answer? How long does it take to find it?

For example, with recent talent shortages, your boss may ask, “How can our facilities improve employee performance, satisfaction, and retention?”

This complex question is one that no single data point can answer. When your CRE information is spread across various platforms that manage only one type of data, you have to check many sources and applications to find everything you need. If you don’t have access to some of these platforms, then you also need to wait for someone else to gather information for you.

From there, you have to manually combine and analyze the data you find to see what kind of story it reveals. Before you present the information, you also need to run quality checks to validate it.

It takes lots of manual work—and possibly several days—to answer a question like this when your data is siloed. And the next time someone asks another complex question, this cumbersome cycle starts all over again.

Breaking down data silos

The more applications and platforms your organization uses, the harder it becomes to make data-driven decisions. Standalone data provides a small glimpse into an isolated area of your organization. So how can you break down these walls and bring data together in one place for a holistic view?

The first option is to build a data warehouse, a data management system that stores and reports on data from different sources. From the extract, transform, load process to ongoing maintenance, this is a lengthy, expensive, and labor-intensive process that requires your IT team.

Once you’ve got a data warehouse to store information, then you need to be able to analyze it. To do this, you need a data analytics/business intelligence tool. Because many organizations start down this path without a clear vision, Dataversity reports that failure rates for data warehouses can be as high as 75%.

The second option is to buy an off-the-shelf application, such as an integrated workplace management system. While these platforms optimize the use of workplace resources by bringing together information about operational processes, they don’t capture critical data points like ERP and financial data. Instead, this information must be manually integrated, which increases the possibility of errors. They also focus on tactical operational data, not the bigger strategic questions that can make larger positive impacts on the organization.

There’s a third option to consider as well: a purpose-built application designed specifically for CRE business intelligence (BI). These platforms bring siloed sets of information together—from internet of things data to leasing and work-order management platforms—to give context to data and create a single source of truth.

This paints a big-picture, real-time view of all your CRE assets.

Putting your data to work

When information is presented through dashboards and visualizations, you can quickly see and understand performance and implications. It helps you use your wealth of data to drive positive, impactful outcomes, such as streamlining operations, reducing unnecessary spending, and maximizing use of space.

Download this product brief to see how a purpose-built application for CRE BI can help you solve data challenges in a different way. Then schedule a demo to see what a purpose-built CRE BI platform looks like in action.