How to optimize the hybrid workplace with relevant, actionable data

Strategically designing and managing a hybrid workplace requires new datasets to optimize your real estate portfolio, space design, and employee experience—and new ways to gather, govern, analyze, and create actionable insights from them. In the past, corporate real estate teams (CRE) measured performance through the lens of operational efficiency: cost savings, operating costs, and cost-per-square-foot. But in the era of hybrid work, those metrics no longer apply.

“Traditional KPIs don’t fully answer questions around how corporate real estate supports the business and portfolio strategy,” says Richa Walia, director of EMEA corporate research at JLL.

“For example, helping clients measure portfolio agility helps them think about the level of flexibility in their portfolio in relation to their business plan—and thus more effectively shift to flexible and remote working.”

In addition to the percentage of flexible or innovation space in a portfolio, clients are also measuring technology obsolescence, energy-balancing (measuring the proportion of a building’s energy needs that come from sustainable sources), and the employee experience. And they’re using sensors to enable more sophisticated performance insights such as predictive capacity, which powers data-driven occupancy planning.

Despite the pressing need for organizations to collect, analyze, and leverage their data effectively, most are falling short. Research from IBM found around 80% of data stored by companies is siloed and not business-ready.

“The lack of access to effective data and analytics is one of the top constraints in adding value,” said Walia. “This is something many companies will need to overcome if they are to make their spaces work more efficiently.”

How can your organization collect and use data?

Choose a business intelligence (BI) system that collects data, gleans insights, and helps you address these three key challenges:
  1. Data quality and governance
  2. Integrating technologies and capabilities
  3. Using user-driven design

Quality and governance

Data governance is a critical success factor. Without it, you cannot gain value from your data. According to PwC: “Data governance is all about building the capability of the organization through effective leadership, policy and culture, and behaviors to better manage, protect, and exploit your data to achieve your business objectives.”

Organizations should view their data as an asset and ensure it’s owned and managed so that it follows the four Cs: the data must be correct, complete, consistent, and current. A purpose-built CRE business intelligence (BI) platform can greatly simplify this challenge.

Technologies and capabilities

Without a purpose-built CRE BI platform, organizations are likely to struggle with complex integrations across disparate systems or be forced to rely on generic data technology that’s ill-suited to invest, model, and analyze data from sensors and internet of things devices.

Some CRE leaders rely on integrated workplace management systems. But they fall short, as many leading solutions cannot integrate thoroughly or interoperate with all CRE operations systems. When it comes to the question of “build versus buy,” most DIY solutions simply don’t address specific problems or gather all the data relevant to the CRE industry.

A BI solution built by and for CRE industry pros, in contrast, integrates with and aggregates data points from your enterprise software, business processes, infrastructure, facilities, portfolio, HR, and all other relevant areas. It ensures high data quality and generates dashboards, alerts, and CRE market-based benchmark comparisons that are clear and actionable. A CRE BI platform can even layer onto your existing tech stack, with minimal intervention from IT.

No matter the BI solution you choose, your organization needs a holistic data solution—even if you want to keep your existing service providers.

User-driven design

Many reporting and data technology projects put too much focus on technology and data connectivity and not enough on what the organization needs to achieve with that data. Not only should the insights be easily understandable, they should also facilitate informed decision-making. A user-centric, design-thinking approach shifts the focus from broad or vague metrics (e.g., the number of reports delivered) to ones that add real value to the business.

A BI platform built by experienced CRE professionals to address the very specific needs of the industry is key to your company’s long-term success.

JLL Technologies helps CRE organizations overcome the challenges of data access and how to leverage data to achieve business goals. Our newly launched JLL Azara is the first purpose-built CRE data and insights platform that delivers advanced analytics and the insights you need to optimize your portfolio, spaces, and so much more.

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