CRE: How to leverage IoT for workplace analytics

Corporate real estate professionals are increasingly challenged with the task of leveraging the Internet of Things (IoT) to optimize real estate portfolios. Yet the rapid advancements of IoT into a wide variety of “smart” building operations – from secured building entrances to automated restroom lights – can make harnessing the power of the IoT appear to be a daunting task.

By the end of 2020 there is expected to be tens of billions of devices connected to the Internet – all delivering a deluge of different data. Given that backdrop, we understand that managing and extracting value from IoT data is one of the biggest challenges that our companies face. Some of the common questions we hear time and time again are: What data should would collect? And how do we how to transform that data into meaningful and relevant KPIs once we have it in hand?

Oftentimes, the key to developing a successful workplace analytics strategy is simply knowing what first steps to take and what missteps to avoid. Our team has developed a simple cheat sheet of “do’s and don’ts” to help you get started on the right foot.

DO: Identify objectives BEFORE you choose a solution. The main objectives for many CRE teams these days are to make data-driven decisions about when, where and how much space is needed. How well is current space being used? Do you have too much, or too little in some cases? Other top goals include helping to configure space to reduce costs, maximize productivity and retain and attract talent.

DON’T: Focus only on the low-hanging fruit. The overarching theme is to get a “big picture” view of occupancy levels within buildings. However, you can gain greater insight by taking a detailed, comprehensive view of workplace analytics. Where are the problem spots within a building in terms of too much or too little space, and when is that occurring? How much do on-site visitors impact space utilization? What is the mobility of workers in and around facilities at parking ramps and other outdoor areas?

DO: Leverage existing infrastructure. Workplace analytics doesn’t necessarily mean reinventing the wheel or throwing more money at sensors. Your firm is likely already sitting on more valuable data than you realize. It is important to assess what existing infrastructure and data sources already exist and mine that treasure trove of data. For example, we can help you to leverage existing and historical data from a multitude of sources, such as employee access cards and lighting sensors among other resources.

DON’T: Invest in new hardware or systems that may be unnecessary or redundant.

DO: Apply analytics to data to produce greater insights into space utilization. The IoT is putting more and more data at your fingertips. The challenge is how to manage and interpret that data, and the solution is to use appropriate tools. We know that not all problems can be reduced to an Excel spreadsheet. Sensors act as data gatherers. So, it is import for your firm to also have an efficient platform for storing and analyzing the data, including a system that has the capability to quickly and accurately generate insightful reports that support decision-making throughout an enterprise.

At Rifiniti, we understand that robust workplace analytics enables smarter, better, faster real estate decisions. Getting started on that path is much easier and more cost-efficient than one might think when choosing the right partner and the right tools. If your company struggles with how to use the IoT to power more insightful workplace analytics, contact Rifiniti today.