The Leader Magazine

JUN 2019

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F E A T U R E A R T I C L E 16 JUNE 2019 th E l E ad E r 1. All survey references in this article refer to the "CRE Management Practices" survey conducted by CBRE and CoreNet Global in 2018 unless otherwise specified 2. CBRE Research, Americas Occupier Survey Report 2018 stored, secured, shared, and reported. With so much incoming data, managing it becomes challenging. How is this fractured landscape overcome in order to manage and use data to create meaningful insights and decision- grade analytics? What reports and analytics are needed and by whom? Which data sets are essential? How is data quality addressed? How does an organization glean actionable insights and ultimately create enterprise value? The technology approach by CRE&F teams searching for a "single source of truth" has evolved in recent years. Some approaches advocate for technology solutions that bring all information streams into one proprietary solution, while others center on "best of breed" point solutions focused on data aggregation and warehouse strategies. The latter approach promises to simplify and speed the data access to support CRE&F organizations looking to increase organizational agility. These advances, coupled with user-friendly business-intelligence-data visualization solutions, make the tasks of aggregating, consolidating and reporting exponentially simpler and more efficient than they were just a decade ago. CRE leaders are increasingly interested in creating value for their organizations through data management and analytics. From 2017 to 2018, we saw a 26 percent increase on this topic in our annual survey of occupier practices. 2 So how are CRE&F leaders using data today? According to our survey results, 74 percent of CRE&F leaders use data to help them make decisions; 56 percent use it for analysis and reporting; 31 percent use it to identify trends and opportunities; and 25 percent use it for predictive analytics. As data management systems and processes become more sophisticated and prevalent, CRE&F leaders will increasingly use data not only for descriptive and diagnostic purposes but also for predictive analytics. Before these steps can be taken, CRE&F organizations must establish sound data-governance protocols to produce reliable and repeatable data analyses. Performance metrics While a CRE&F team's data-management approach will influence how it collects and manages information, the performance metrics it uses will inform the operational and performance-based decisions it delivers. With so many trackable and measurable metrics, the challenge is deciding which metrics to champion. The best practice is to commit to only a few meaningful metrics to manage performance. The most popular performance metrics, according to our survey respondents, involve management of occupancy costs and satisfaction of business-unit leaders. These include occupancy costs per square foot (cited by 65 percent of respondents asked to select all options that apply from a list of choices); occupancy costs per occupant or seat (61 percent); business-unit leader satisfaction (61 percent); total cost savings (58 percent); and employee engagement or satisfaction (57 percent). These findings reflect expectations that CRE&F leaders should drive year-over-year savings and be held accountable for the targets and results. As CRE&F leaders succeed in becoming more strategically aligned with the enterprise and its businesses, they might be more inclined to focus on "total outcome" metrics to more closely reflect business goals and priorities. Conclusion CRE&F executives have an opportunity to meaningfully contribute to the strategic, operational and financial wellbeing of their organizations through prudent decision- making and by aligning their departments in a manner that best supports the goals of their businesses. For some organizations, this might mean that a change in reporting structure, organization model, data management or performance tracking is necessary. For others, it might suggest that staying on the present course in one or more of these categories is the prudent option. By historical standards, we are in the later stages of our current economic and real estate cycles. One of the challenges for all CRE&F leaders is to meet the business needs of the moment with an eye toward future business needs and future economic conditions. The strategies discussed in this article can help CRE&F departments meet the needs of their businesses today while also preparing them for what might be needed tomorrow. At CBRE's Global Workplace Solutions, Karen Ellzey, left, is executive managing director of consulting; Thomas Kurtz IV, center, is senior managing director of consulting; and Peter Mikol is director of communications.

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