It’s no secret that real estate companies have tended to lag behind those in other sectors in terms of the adoption of new technologies.
Yet, one area in which we’re seeing a rapid uptake is in business intelligence and data analysis solutions.
It shouldn’t really be a surprise; businesses are collecting more data than ever before and, with a range of increasingly powerful tools available, it’s never been easier to get the valuable insight you need to drive your business forward.
In your day-to-day role, you will already use a variety of software solutions from email platforms to property management systems and each of these will have their own reporting features and functionality.
You can often immediately access useful information and insight that will help you make decisions directly from you chosen platform – as per the video from MRI Software below.
Although native analytics are becoming increasingly powerful, the use can be limited to a specific task or function, a basic interrogation of data and, more often than not, to data entered directly into that platform.
So, if you want to combine multiple datasets and interrogate your data in greater depth, you’ll want to explore a range of third party specialist business intelligence platforms.
Until recently, complicated data analyses had been the domain of the IT department. If you wanted some complicated analyses, you’d submit your data to IT and then wait weeks for a report to come back.
Nowadays, you can simply upload your data to an easy-to-use self-service business intelligence / data analyses platforms and get an immediate return. In fact, you can even get started with best-of-breed technology for free by downloading software, such as Qlik or Power BI.
Even at their most basic, self-service BI software allows you to import multiple data sources and turn the collective into something easily digestible in an instant. You don’t need to be a stats guru or spreadsheet wizard to understand the following chart, created in Power BI:
The free and low-cost plans are well-worth exploring if you’re just getting started. However, yet again, you should be aware of the potential limitations in terms of functionality, such as the inability to share reports with colleagues. That may not be a problem if you’re only interested in accessing insight for your specific role, but you’ll see a much larger return when you look at things from an organisational perspective.
There is a general acceptance that a team is much more effective when it’s pulling in the same direction. Although getting everyone in a global business on the same page is easier said than done, there has been a firm move away from silo culture and it is easier than ever to access important datasets from other departments.
More importantly, powerful tools now exist that can help you pull all that data together and turn it into something incredibly valuable for your entire organisation.
If you run a retail business, you can now see what stock you have on the shelf in real time, add third party datasets to build up a picture of trends and opportunities, project store P&L and even analyze, forecast and simulate the effect of promotions on sales and margins. Think what you can achieve by pooling your entire real estate business information!
Implementing an effective all-encompassing decision making system will require a great deal of foresight and planning, but once you have everything in place, you’ll be able to let the technology do most of the work for you.
If your business is still dragging its feet with the adoption of business intelligence related technology, there’s no reason why you can’t get started with your business case right now. After all, it’s never been easier to get the insight you need to make a solid case.
Richard is a Chartered Marketer who is helping TopUp to continue its year-on-year growth. He's very excited about Hydra—your next favourite real estate product!
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