I think the real question might be, what can big data DO for commercial property operations?
Most would start at the beginning with a definition of big data and follow into a lengthy explanation of the how and where this “big data” can be found and collected. But anybody can do that, and it really doesn’t help anyone. I’d rather start with the answer: more profitable properties, more satisfied tenants, and more predictable lease renewals.
In other words, big data can help you improve your commercial property operations.
Conceptualizing Big Data in America’s Pastime
You may be familiar with the concept of Sabermetrics, first introduced to us by Bill James (an American baseball writer, historian, and statistician) in the 1970s. It takes all (and I mean ALL) of the statistics measurable within the game of baseball and makes it possible to draw powerful conclusions around predictable incomes.
They made a movie about it, starring that Brad Pitt guy.
What things were like before Sabermetrics (or Big Data)
In one example, baseball teams may want to know about things like a players batting percentage, calculated after a 162 game season so that they can try to place a measure on how he’ll perform in the upcoming season.
Sabermetrics made it possible to calculate a players batting percentage; but against the pitcher he’s facing right now, at this at-bat, with this pitch count, in this inning, at this point in the season, with runners in scoring position and the lead. This is accomplished by collecting ALL of the available data, not just a short list of “important” data sets that you might use most often.
It uses the total catalog of historical evidence to predict with a degree of certainty what’s going to happen. All of the information is important. All of it.
Big Data in Property Operations and Management
So to circle back, how does this make my commercial property more profitable?
Technology these days can give us the ability to look at a near infinite amount of information and to compile that information into one place. We can collect everything; from the time it takes to change a light bulb, to the speed in which we can get our vendors to site to remove a carpet stain before the big meeting, to the satisfaction of the tenants in our property.
Taking this information and translating it into actionable items for our Property Operations Team is what can take our management of the property to the next level and set our properties out ahead of the competition, making our properties a place people WANT to go to on a daily basis.
The ability to react quickly in-the-moment is great, but the ability to be proactive based on actionable intelligence collected in a minute-by-minute capacity is way better.
Smooth operations equal happy tenants, happy tenants equal lease renewals, long term stays equal predictable and profitable returns on investment.
Kind of like winning the World Series.