Competing to Win with Great Data

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For decades, the formula for success in real estate boiled down to three simple words: “Location, location, location.” But as the Internet transforms the global economy, successful real estate companies are retooling their tradition-bound businesses to leverage data in an increasingly digital world.

Indeed, a more fitting industry mantra nowadays might be “data, data, data.” Data has never been a more valued asset in the real estate industry.

“Clients are demanding that we think better, think faster, and use data to make better decisions,” says Eddy Wagoner, Global CIO of the Corporate Solutions division at JLL, one of the world's largest commercial real estate companies. “If you don’t learn how to use data, you’re not going to survive in the new world.”

In a connected world with information flowing through thousands of endpoints, the challenge for savvy real estate organizations is to make sense of this massive volume of raw data.

“Data is not just a part of the product and service,” says Wagoner. “We would say it is a product and service. It is what we must have in place to be able to monetize to take us into the future for our company and think beyond the way we have traditionally delivered real estate.”

The Innovation Edge

To achieve this vision, JLL embarked on a data-driven metamorphosis to glean relevant insights from its vast portfolio of properties, which span some 3.4 billion square feet.

“If you look at any city skyline, we have either bought the building, sold the building, built the building, or moved people into the building,” says Wagoner.

The company makes use of an intelligent data-management platform and tools to collect and interpret data, which provides insights both to itself and its clients. Consider the following:

  • JLL can collect and share information about everything from average commute times to an office and local labor trends to how much energy a particular office uses.
  • Using algorithms that dynamically adapt and learn to control operations for maximum efficiency, JLL cut energy consumption in its smart building network of facilities by about 15%.
  • The company uses predictive analytics to identify leasing and purchase options that better match customer needs. This allows JLL’s sales team to get a jump on lease event management by identifying opportunities even before clients articulate them.

Wagoner admits there’s a lot of change management required to support data-driven digital transformation.

“You’re asking people to start doing things in a different way,” he explains. “You want them to start using data to think about decisions or to look into the future. That can be a little scary. That’s a big part of the change-management process.”

The CIO plays a critical role in this transformation.

“My sales team takes me out to talk to our big prospects, and our CEO has said our digital transformation is one of our biggest initiatives,” Wagoner says. “[The CIO] role has dramatically changed. We do have a seat at the table. It’s critical that we step up every day and earn that place at the table.”

For more insights about JLL’s transformation, watch the interview with Eddy Wagoner:

To learn how pivotal CIOs are leading data-driven digital transformation, visit https://www.informatica.com/CIO.