How to Use Data to Improve a Built Environment

Aerial view of town with river and highway

Data changes the way our world works. It improves customer service and streamlines business processes to increase profitability. A great example is the “built environment” of a real estate portfolio. Without data, there’s no way to optimize your portfolio. Data helps improve its performance.

Agile AEC firms use data to make actionable decisions and build a better portfolio. Here are a few ways you can use data to improve your built environment and increase the return on your investment.

Streamline Your Data Collection Process

In the past, building assessments were often completed with little standardization and quality assurance. But times have changed. Today, AEC firms can use cutting edge software to gather data on their built environment.

These software packages allow you to standardize your assessment form. As a result, you have consistent data across assessments. They include built in QA/QC processes to ensure you don’t miss any steps and all information is accurate.

Centralize Your Data Storage

Another common flaw of legacy systems is a siloed data structure. They may divide information on a property by system, function or maintenance type. Consider an air conditioning unit, for example. It may relate to three systems: energy, hot water and gas line. That means three different technicians might have serviced it. If they don’t communicate with each other, maintenance will be costly and inefficient.

4tell™’s facility condition assessment software centralizes the data in your built environment. This gives you a holistic look at each of your properties. With the data consolidated in one easily accessible location, you can gain a full understanding of how a building’s systems work together. You’ll also see what you need to do to keep them in optimal condition. Our software can pull in data from multiple sources, such as spreadsheets or other databases, to keep your data in one location.

Plan for the Long Term

You may not feel that a specific piece of information is important now. But as the years pass, you’ll find that the more information you have, the better you can predict a property’s profitability. From maintenance plans to life cycle costs and real estate value, a lot can change the longer your firm has a property. A long term process for collecting data will help you can build a repository of actionable information. Over time, it will help your firm make decisions and maximize profits.

Get a Complete Picture of Your Built Environment

Data informs the way you approach your built environment in many ways. These can range from retrofitting the property with LEED certified equipment to maintaining compliance across your portfolio. You can improve your data collection process as well as your data storage with a simple upgrade to 4tell™’s Facility Condition Assessment Software. You won’t need to change the way you do business. The software can fully integrate with your existing standards.

Switching to facility condition assessment software is hugely beneficial for AEC firms. This change can allow you to make the most of your data and maintain its integrity for years to come.

Photo: Aleksandr Markin /