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By Niall McSweeney, Senior Director, Asia-Pacific | 28 September, 2020

By the end of 2020, our digital cosmos is expected to reach 44 zettabytes – that’s 40 times more bytes than there are stars in the sky. Is it any wonder we’re struggling to manage this data?

The commercial real estate sector is increasingly reliant on data to drive decision making, get closer to customers and enhance the value of assets.

But there is growing concern that professionals are overwhelmed by the avalanche of data they must now mine, manage and manipulate.

In our latest industry survey, 39% of respondents said that manipulating or transforming data is a hindrance because it requires significant time and effort to manage.

This is just one key finding from the annual Altus Group Global Property Development Trends Report, which surveyed more than 400 senior executives at global property development firms to dive deep into the key business challenges they are navigating in the wake of the global pandemic.

Developers are also facing significant challenges when it comes to collecting data. 65% said data subscription costs were their biggest impediment, followed by a lack of normalised data formats (54%). Significant time spent collecting and normalising, leaves little time to extract and act on insights gleaned from the data.

The challenge for commercial real estate firms remains very real, as they face fragmented data sources, data duplication and poor integration between applications.

But the activities that require the most effort illuminate the problem and provide real insight into potential solutions. Activities that required the most effort and time when it came to  managing data included:

  • 39% manipulating or transforming data
  • 30% distributing or managing data between applications or internally
  • 19% searching for relevant data
  • 12% validating or checking internal data.

The good news is that many commercial real estate firms are now taking steps to close the sinkhole and capture the competitive advantage hidden in their data.

There has been a shift in recognition among development industry leaders that the adoption of technology can help development firms stay agile and navigate what lies ahead.

  • 52% of development executives are considering or planning on using digital transformation strategies to mitigate business challenges, and 37% are already doing so.
  • 56% are considering or planning to use data analytics to mitigate business challenges, and 28% are already doing so.

Developing a data strategy – with a dedicated executive tasked to implement it – is now non-negotiable. As the number of sensors and connected devices in the property sphere hits the billions, the proliferation of data is not a problem that will go away.

Make the investment now – in your people, your data strategy and your tools – to create competitive advantage and change the game.

Because in the decade ahead, enhancing your product, service and customer relationships through data will be a prerequisite for staying in the game.

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