The world is talking about the third industrial revolution – 3D printing, drones and self-driving cars. The much loved television show of the 80’s and early 90’s, Beyond 2000, now seems conservative in its views and the improbable has already been achieved. We take a look at the sometimes intimidating world of technology.
Elon Musk is aiming to take us to Mars by 2025, and while most believed this would never happen in our lifetime, it is a fast approaching feat. However, at the centre of all this innovation and rapid advancement is the increased ability to capture data and analyse it, driving decisive strategy and uncovering problems that require solving. According to Google Chairman, Eric Schmidt, from the dawn of civilisation to 2003, humankind generated five exabytes of data. We now produce five exabytes every two days. But what does this mean for real estate, and how do we identify relevant data worth analysing?
A number of exciting technologies have been developed to generate and analyse data, giving insights specific to corporate real estate. Each system is complex and changing as new ideas are added, because this is the new world of flux that we live in. Three of these are examined in more detail.
Property inspection data all in one place
The first of these technologies is a tablet based application initially aimed at assisting quantity surveyors, engineers and project managers in the accurate data capture of building conditions and work required. But as the ideas flow, the capabilities for this tool are being extended into lease advisory, allowing an analyst to input client feedback at the viewing, which automatically feeds back into the CRM system.
So how does this translate into useful data? With a comprehensive database of property stock, and sectoral, client specific attitudes towards a building, algorithms will enable us to deliver relevant options to any requirement in a matter of minutes. Long lists of buildings, with often irrelevant or obstructive features, will be narrowed to the closest matches, saving time for capital structuring and negotiations. Add to this the simplicity of the Archilogic software which converts CAD drawings into virtual reality renderings, and the already narrowed long list is now viewable from the comfort of an armchair through an inexpensive set of Google Cardboard virtual reality goggles. This data is about time efficiency and, in turn, cost reduction.
The Internet of Things is already starting to reach a level of fatigue in talks on technology and pioneering the landscape of the future, and yet it is a significant driver in data collection and strategy delivery. The sensor system, bRIGHT, connects the work environment to the Internet, enabling a remarkable set of data to be analysed, and in conjunction with employee and leadership engagement, create tangible savings in space utilisation and improve staff retention and attraction.
The system works by placing sensors beneath each workstation in the workplace, with strategic placement of temperature, lux, noise and humidity sensors. All of this feeds into a wireless receiver allowing real time analysis. The data is relevant on two levels. The first is the irrefutable evidence of space utilisation and the basis on which executives and managers can motivate for an increase or reduction in space. Employees may complain of a short supply of boardrooms, while the data indicates that boardroom bookings are not being honoured, and perhaps the problem lies therein and not with the number of rooms. Further to this, over a six month period it becomes evident that a set of desks in a certain part of the office are radically underutilised in comparison to the average office sharing ratios. A simple glance at the environmental sensor data points to low light levels and the installation of a higher wattage bulb encourages employees back into the area. Essentially, bRIGHT enables an office to operate at maximum efficiency.
Another benefit is the increase in employee satisfaction and productivity. bRIGHT is connected to a mobile app, enabling the employee to easily find an available workstation. An alert will pop up on their phone suggesting a boardroom for an approaching meeting, and suggesting a hospitality requirement to inform the office support staff of a food and beverage request. The office becomes accessible to the employee and common frustrations are eliminated from the workplace. This, in turn, increases staff retention, employee satisfaction and ultimately, productivity.
Tracking real estate portfolios on all levels
Data allows us to see large problems, and seemingly disconnected notions, centralised and analysed in simple, bite sized visuals. JLL’s Real Estate Data (RED) suite is the ideal tool for corporate real estate managers with large portfolios extending across numerous locations. The system allows for a snapshot view of the portfolio’s status, outstanding facilities management requests and capital expenditure. When drilled down, the system has endless capabilities. Business and real estate requirements can be compared via a scoring matrix showing the correlation between good real estate decisions and business outcomes. Exact locations can be pinpointed based on travel time, fuel costs and customer catchment. The system is completely fluid and tailored to the client’s requirements. At the crux of this remarkable portfolio analysis tool is data. The first step of each process in client engagement is the identification of the relevant data for the objectives of the project. Where does the client foresee savings, or what is the current most pressing issue for the business and real estate portfolio. Only once the important data is collected can these outcomes be produced, and the data is readily available.
With the turn of the century came the ability to store more data than previously imagined and that rate of data generation is increasing exponentially. The key to successfully translating data into valuable insight and strategy is to identify your drivers and partner with advisers entrenched in this space. Combining relevant data with insightful analytics will change your bottom line.