Corporate real estate (CRE) executives striving for insights to enable them to optimize their office portfolios often look to “Internet of Things” (IoT) sensors for more data. According to some estimates, there will be tens of billions of smart devices online by 2020, and they will be tasked with everything from securing doors to automating lights. Many of them will deliver vast amounts of data, which have to be extracted, compiled and analyzed. Each of these steps can present significant challenges to CRE executives. Even determining what sort of data should be collected and subsequently transformed into KPIs can be a daunting task.
Here are three tips for better corporate real estate data analytics:
Identify Objectives First
Before making any decisions, make sure you have at least one objective, but not more than three, while keeping in mind the big picture of department goals. For many CRE teams, that objective is to optimize spend by increasing the effective use of space. Overall cost reduction is, of course, also a common objective. Decide whether you want to know how much space is really needed today. Or whether you want to know how much space you will need in the future. Do you want to determine what sort of workspace or design will attract talent? Or do you want to learn more about employee mobility? More than ever before, these types of decisions can be informed by data.
Review Data Available from Existing Infrastructure
Even though technology is advancing at light-speed, there’s no need to assume that prior methods and data are irrelevant. There is already an infrastructure in place generating data, and it’s quite prolific. It’s possible to get information from everything from access control to lighting systems. These historical records can be just as useful as new data from sensors that you don’t yet have. Then Delve into the available data and pull information from card access, IWMS/CAFM, HRIS, ERP, lease databases, and networks. This exercise will help you get a clear grasp of what’ potentially already available to you.
Data is only as good as the process used to analyze it. The IoT has almost put a world of information at your fingertips. This is a trend that is going to continue, making for a lot of information to sift through. Knowing how to glean the information you need is absolutely crucial. This isn’t necessarily an easy task. Interpreting and managing data properly requires a solid knowledge of the correct tools. Choosing the right products and process for data analysis is key. Before you analyze one or other data set, look at your initiative as whole and identify all the key performance indicators (KPIs) that are important, and how these could be based on existing data through analytics. With more devices and advances coming out every day, it can be easy to fall under the spell of IoT and overspend into the latest gadgets without much to show for it. What you’re looking for may be right under your nose.