The old business adage that “time is money” is even more relevant in today’s digital age as technology increases the speed at which we gather, analyze and interpret data.
For many real estate intense organizations, data can be an elusive endeavor: internal teams spend more time collecting data rather than actually using it. Data becomes more about storage and categorization than it does analysis or strategy—the benefits of data, accordingly, become controlled by the “back-end” collection process and volume of information.
Here are three ways to help your company move to more thoughtful, compelling data analytics:
Leverage third party data providers: The real estate industry today is teeming with firms that gather, consolidate and export information for a variety of business functions (especially in regards to real estate market information). These firms typically specialize in primary collection, and often in niche segments such as lifecycle analysis, leasing statistics or regional economics. Leading organizations now require that all service providers deliver their data through standardized tools and data models. By standardizing the data capture process, and requiring third parties to the complete the data gathering process (or at least a component of it) for their business process needs, an organization can focus more on front-end initiatives such as client service, strategic planning or reporting.
Discover the benefits of software: Moving your internal data from static reports and spreadsheets to software that can perform powerful analytics is probably the most crucial step in developing a sound data strategy. Software significantly speeds up business processes at a variety of levels from data storage, visualization to managing complex data queries and business drivers. More importantly, when matched with rigorous data standardization, it greatly reduces the instance of human error in inputs and end-user analysis and provides insight to support strategic decisions.
Automate, Automate, Automate: Many organizations have a data strategy that is reactive, rather than proactive: information is often collected and analyzed on an ad-hoc basis when needed. One strategy is integrating data collection in small, regular intervals so it becomes more of a normal business process than something that drags productivity. The right software provides the required data capture as a derivative of the business process without the need for additional data capture efforts. A small task done weekly is more manageable than a large one completed quarterly or annually. Also critical to this strategy is being consistent (and meticulous) with a data collection schedule and adhering to the use of standard technology tools and processes.
Through effective data standardization processes, software to centralize static and disparate sources, and workflow processes that automate and provide ongoing real time data capture and delivery, your organization can create an “asset-centric” data repository to move from data gathering to knowledge creation.
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