For REITs, as perpetual life vehicles, the benefit of owning and operating assets for long periods provides ample opportunity to invest in business intelligence tools, test them and reap the rewards of developing stronger data analysis. By doing so, there is a clear opportunity to differentiate from the competition.
REIT portfolios generate thousands, if not millions, of data points. The challenge is what, and how, to collect and manage that data. For REITs, getting to a more comprehensive solution involving advanced business analytics is a big investment; the question is where to focus attention.
Organizations need to develop an analytics platform which, among other things, will require:
- Detailed understanding of existing systems and data
- Assessment of technology and data needs
- Definition of data dimensions and metrics
- Infrastructure design and build, including the required data repositories, feeds, reports and analytical capabilities
- Deployment and ongoing support
For many REITs, the value lies in using automation and analytics to solve some day-to-day business challenges, such as gathering accurate data for investor reporting which is often done manually.
Management teams need to start by identifying business problems, considering how processes are interconnected and getting to the root cause of the issues. Ultimately, many pain points can be traced back to data, lack of standardization, and the absence of an effective central data repository and the tools needed to effectively identify the trends and facilitate advanced analytics.
Whether building custom analytics solutions to solve each business challenge or developing a more robust solution built around a central hub, if you haven’t started to invest in a digital agenda, now is the time to consider it. Prepare and invest now so you’re ahead of the curve when it comes to the next cycle.