By moving to a business intelligence system that quickly collects and centralizes the data dashboard, the information becomes more reliable and timelier.
Data is a valuable tool for making business decisions, but without business intelligence (BI) to provide reliable, timely data, it’s impossible for an organization to nail down the best direction to move. It’s that lack of trust in the data that is driving the need for more advanced BI tools.
“Data integrity is probably one of the most motivating factors,” said Erik Rogers, Senior Vice President of Information Technology for Carmel Partners at the 2022 Apartmentalize session, “What You Don’t Know About Data Can Hurt You.”
“There’s so much data that has to be compiled from so many sources,” Rogers said.
Without an automated system, collecting, compiling and designing a presentation for the massive data takes a lot of time. It’s also a system with a significant risk for errors or conflicts in the numbers. In addition to the data being old, concern over accuracy shifts the focus of the conversation from business decisions to data integrity.
“What you don’t know is going to be the thing that financially hurts you,” Rogers added.
By moving to a business intelligence system that quickly collects and centralizes the data dashboard, the information becomes more reliable and timelier. The information is built once and is available to anyone who needs access. The organization's teams can then devote less time to compiling and presentation, and move that to more financially beneficial tasks, such as analysis and prediction.
“It’s been very exciting for us from an efficiency and consistency standpoint instead of eight different reports from eight different groups done manually,” said Daniel Raphael, Vice President of Data Science at Brookfield Properties.
A dashboard can also slice the data, present it at numerous angles and track items in ways that best suit an organization’s informational needs. Trends are as critical as timeliness and manual reports are limited to a single window. Analysis of changes over time and the ability to instantly adjust that window is one of the many pluses of a BI dashboard. Reports can be tailored to focus on the job roles within the company.
“Business intelligence is in the eye of the beholder,” said session moderator Chris Brust, Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer of Real Estate Business Analytics, explaining how BI will mean different things based on a person’s position in the company. BI is a very different thing to executives, accountants, IT pros and others. Dashboards keep the information central, while still meeting the unique needs of the organization.
Another angle that dashboards offer is data visualization, which can also be done in a manual report but only at the expense of more time. A great example of this is a floor-by-floor building graphic that shows rental rates of individual units relative to their surroundings, as well as the performance of a property’s amenities. Dashboards can also offer a time-lapse of the graphic that shows changes over time.
Moving to BI can be a daunting venture and is not something that can be jumped into and knocked out quickly. It requires investment, resources and dedication, so executive buy-in is important if success is to be achieved.
The system also needs to be designed to focus on key business drivers and with the audience in mind, adapting to the needs of the person using it. This can be achieved by retention and hiring of employees who are committed to making BI work, and then layering in information and access to build trust.
As the multifamily business environment changes, data becomes more valuable as a tool to guide a company’s decisions. Implementation of the best-constructed tools to build on that data is going to help companies adjust and thrive throughout those shifts.
Kevin Juhasz is a Content Manager with LinnellTaylor Marketing.
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