Before you click out of this article, we’re not here to drone on and on about how the future is data-driven. You already knew that, because no one will stop talking about it.
We’re taking a different approach, because you know you have access to a million data points- all commercial real estate companies do. In fact, data has become such a run-of-the mill buzzword that it’s almost lost its meaning. So how can you make it meaningful again?
Here’s the thing- big data isn’t inherently valuable. In fact, it’s worthless without two things: integrity and context.
You’ve probably heard the age-old saying “garbage in, garbage out.” Unfortunately, taking out the garbage is easier said than done. Valuable real estate data is spread across so many departments that even the thought of going through the cleaning and validation process is exhausting, especially in the commercial real estate industry. The million-dollar question is: how can the CRE function translate Human Resources, accounting, Financial Planning & Analysis, and facilities data so that the resulting analytics all speak to each other?
There is no short cut. It’s the so-called dirty work. Data cleaning and validation can be a tedious part of the data analytics process, but it’s necessary in order to gain any sort of understanding of where you stand. While you can’t wave a magic wand and have it done in a day, this is something you can outsource.
This tiresome process is worth it. Clean and consolidated property data is a must-have for developing your corporate real estate acquisition and disposition strategy, especially in the post-pandemic environment. When you’re working from garbage information, how can you achieve the desired results?
The first type of context commercial real estate data needs is the historical type. Imagine you finally start using your portfolio data analytics to pull together some reports and gauge where you stand. You do this every year for 5 years. The longer you track those internal metrics and KPIs that matter to the commercial real estate function at your organization, the more valuable the analytics become.
Knowing where you are right now is great; knowing how you got there is even better. Now you’re able to track not only short-term results, but long-term ones as well.
The second type of context data needs is the kind that arrives in the presence of other datasets. The value of data exponentially increases when it is connected to other datasets. When you enrich your real estate portfolio data with information from other organizations and combine with commercial real estate market data, you’ll achieve an optimal mix of external context.
When you hoard your own company’s real estate datasets, you’re shooting yourself in the foot. Why? Because comparing your real estate investment with your peers provides for actionable insights that will help guide strategy and planning.
Now you not only know what your department, your organization is doing- you know what’s happening in the market, among your peers, and in the world, helping you make data-driven decisions That’s where you want to be. Full awareness.
Once you’ve ensured integrity and added context, your data and analytics are ready to be put into action. It’s time to present your information in a way that’s actionable so it can provide the foundation for the KPIs and metrics that are important to your team. Simply having the data isn’t what drives results; it’s what you do with it that matters.
Get assistance with the data wrangling process from our Data Foundations Team – a concierge service that helps you clean, aggregate, and process your data while maximizing system utilization.