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Commercial real estate big data analytics

Power and possibilities: Big data and analytics in today’s business models

By @JLLNews

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Some call it a revolution. Others, a renaissance. Call it what you will, but the fact is: big data has a massive impact on how organizations make decisions. From how hospitals care for patients to monitoring Manhattan’s electrical grid, having knowledge from big data reporting means having power.

Commercial real estate is no different. The industry has always relied on data, but the landscape has recently changed: technology has spurred the evolution of analytics into a vital part of business decision making.


David Kollmorgen, International Director and leader of JLL’s Business Intelligence (BI) group explains what we need to know about the new data frontier–and what we can learn from buildings.

Q) How has the process of “data gathering” modernized?
It’s been transformed by three things. First, we realized that we could no longer manage our business off excel spreadsheets.
Second, we realized that analytics is built on consistent, timely and accurate data; something that is easy to say but challenging to execute.
Finally, we learned how to take data out of the silos, use the right tools, and integrate property, project, market, transaction, and lease data in really neat and automated new ways.
Q) Why are companies seeing commercial real estate data and analytics (D&A) as essential parts of their business platforms?
The old saying, “you cannot improve what you cannot measure” says it all. Real estate D&A can improve how you manage operations; reduce consumption of energy, goods and services; optimize your real estate footprint; and increase the productivity of employees. It takes companies time and expertise to realize that decisions made to cut costs and maximize efficiencies often stem from real estate data!
Q) What technology tools are now available?
They’re pretty amazing.
Real estate experts can say “so long” to spreadsheets and slides. Analytics and data visualization tools of the future, like Cognos, Tableau, and Powerview, give us abilities to visualize, slice, dice and drill down data. Now, we can present data with new insights and advise clients and prospects on how to use real estate more efficiently.
The new “BI [business intelligence] self-service” tools are clearly the future; the self-service tools will allow the less technically competent to handle data, analytics and visualizations in the most user friendly ways. I could go on and on . . . text mining, machine learning, predictive modeling – wow.
Q) What do we need to do to become big data experts?
We are advising our clients that, to be big data savvy (even just data savvy), you need three things:
  1. The right stuff: the right “technology stack” (suite of technology tools)
  2. The right governance and architecture
  3. The right skills: knowing analytics (and tool) skills
The college major of the future–a BI Analyst–will be a third computer science, a third business, and third statistics major.
We have been warned that soon there will be a war on talent for this skill set.
Q) What is the future for big data and analytics in real estate–and the broader business world?
The future could not be brighter. D&A is changing the world, we see it everywhere. While CRE has been slow to adapt, it has caught up. Based on the power for D&A, there will be a step change in real estate’s ability to drive efficiency in our portfolios, a step change in how we deliver services, and a step change in how we collaborate with our own workforce.

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