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Why Data-Backed Decisions Matter in Corporate Real Estate

Data and analytics aren't just useful – they're a 'core business function' that will give you a competitive edge when effectively leveraged

Why Data-Backed Decisions Matter in Corporate Real Estate

In a recent TechRound interview, Ikenna Nweke, Office App’s Head of Sales UK & Ireland & R.O.W, spoke about the key role of data and analytics for corporate office planning. Large organizations are increasingly seeking access to insights into building usage that will enable them to make informed decisions that result in better, more efficient uses of office space.

“It’s about the importance of data to help operators of buildings effectively understand employee behaviors, wants, and needs,” Ikenna said. “Through our platform, building operators can see how individual users are interacting with their building, meaning that they can make better, more informed management decisions that really cater to employees’ needs.”

Data’s importance in decision-making isn’t necessarily a new trend; an article in a 2012 issue of the Harvard Business Review, for example, named the data scientist “the sexiest job of the 21st century.” By merging the roles of the statistician and the developer, the article claimed, organizations are able to better position themselves to make data-backed decisions that hold the potential for tremendous business value and remove uncertainty from difficult strategic challenges.

Data as a ‘Core Business Function’

The workplace is no exception to this data-fueled rule. Any building or space that has undergone a “smart” program to tackle digital transformation by nature produces countless data points that can be tracked and leveraged.

“Whether it’s how densely populated a building is, the usage of parking facilities, the performance of on-site retail, or numerous other touchpoints, [workplace experience platforms] gather detailed and timely intelligence,” Ikenna said.

“With employees demanding flexibility that caters to hybrid working, data is invaluable in helping corporates navigate evolving employee needs.”

In identifying top technology trends for 2021, Gartner referred to data and analytics as a “core business function.” It also stressed the importance of gathering “small and wide data.” Wide data provides organizations with the ability to analyze and synergize data sets of various sizes, with small data referring to “the application of analytical techniques that require less data but still offer useful insights.” The result? A full view of organizational data relating to office usage – and decision-making that is both more efficient and effective.

Data Adoption in Proptech

Gartner, however, also predicts that machine learning and insights engines are predicted to reach the “plateau of productivity” – a period during which mainstream adoption takes off – in less than five years. This means that organizations need to be prepared and ready to adopt these technologies, or risk being left behind. With this in mind, an ever-growing number of companies are focusing their efforts on overcoming real estate and workplace-related issues through data-driven software – offered by workplace experience platforms – that can be analyzed and leveraged by anyone, at any time.

Under these setups, it is not necessary to hire experts or specialists, as data is automatically collected and provided to building operators in such a way that is comprehensive, easy to understand, and actionable.

Data can fuel sustainability initiatives, for instance, by analyzing the combined and complex data points collected by occupancy sensors, or CO2 and temperature meters to better predict usage needs, giving organizations fuller insights into how to optimize space and energy. It can also help attract and retain talent, increase efficiency, and improve employee engagement by offering tailored organizational solutions – avoiding the pitfalls of “one-size-fits-all” approaches that often fail to fully resolve unique or specific challenges.

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