It’s time to embrace data and insights

For too long in the insular commercial real estate industry, companies have made excuses to avoid off-the-shelf technologies, because they believed that their circumstances were unique — so specific that ordinary solutions couldn’t possibly work for them. In reality, businesses have more things in common than they realize. Data standards, such as the ones set by OSCRE, demonstrably prove that this is true.

Now is the time to invest in data. Demand will rise, and changes will come faster, and data is what will empower you to fine-tune everything about your buildings. Choose technologies that will kickstart your data transformation and help you make needed improvements, even while you think about how you can be more agile today and in the future. With change becoming an even more prominent variable in your portfolios, don’t panic. Be proactive.

The time is ripe for issues of performance measurement in corporate real estate to be the subject of a broad and comprehensive review. We must begin to redefine the metrics that matter most, to find those that are core to corporate goals and will drive new value creation initiatives.

Dr Marie Puybaraud

Global Head of Corporate Research at JLL

Dive into your data

Business intelligence boils down to one thing: squeezing your data for actionable insights. Enterprises have more data at their fingertips than ever before, yet many have not yet found a formula for unlocking its potential.

Deciding what track and how to use it can be daunting. Without a good plan you can end up spinning your wheels and wasting a lot of time. Here are a few tips:

  1. Define your business and portfolio strategy and goals. Realize that your decisions don’t live in a vacuum. What are your objectives for the next few years? Think about what you ultimately want to achieve, but don’t forget that all your decisions are connected. For example, if you dive into the data and find an option that saves your organization money but hurts employee retention (and the business overall), don’t proceed with it. Find balance in your approach, and then lean in.
  2. Identify the data required to drive better decision making. Consider things such as connected sensors, which generate mountains of data that will help you make better, faster decisions — decisions that will help you deliver better experiences for your people. In addition, these metrics will save the organization money and improve utilization, both of which are critical right now.
  3. Define the metrics that matter. With the movement toward the hybrid workplace well underway, many JLL clients realize that the future is going to be radically different. They have not only moved past the space-per-person metric, they also recognize that those traditional types of metrics don’t mean much anymore. In fact, about 70% of metrics that companies adopt in the next three years will be new or non-traditional ones, according to JLL research.

JLL recently published a report identifying the top 20 metrics for CRE leaders to help you get started.

Understand how data impacts your people

How will you calibrate this increased focus on data, technology, and people without infringing on privacy? By asking people for their information — especially if it’s about their experiences outside your buildings — you’re obligated to make sure you’re following the right protocols and are using that information properly. Before you collect their data, communicate to them how you’re using it in general and specifically how you’re using it to create better experiences for them. Ultimately, people will give up their data if they receive (and understand) benefits in return.

You can create major benefits, drive up utilization, reduce costs, and create employee experiences that attract and retain top-tier talent when you leverage technology that generates data and insights. And when you use those insights appropriately to benefit your people, it’s a win-win for everyone.