Real Estate: the compelling case for automatic data collection

Agathe Monteil
DateAugust 2, 2021

Automatic data collection involves retrieving data directly at the source. It allows for information to be centralized, and avoids the clumsy chore of manual data entry. Data collected in this way is more accessible and easier to use, but exactly what are the benefits for your property portfolio management? Let’s examine the four key advantages…

Advantage #1: Saving time

Property data is often scattered across multiple departments. By centralizing data from different sources, you make it more accessible to all parties concerned, enabling them to find the information they need as quickly as possible.

30% of time is spent searching for data

To carry out CSR reporting or compile an environmental certification document, teams spend a lot of time centralizing information from numerous sources: 

  • HR data stored in human resources or accounting departments (number of employees, contract types, parity indicators, etc.) 
  • equipment data from the facilities department 
  • consumption data from supplier invoices, etc.

Advantage #2: Limiting data entry errors

When data is collected automatically and integrated directly where it belongs, mistakes like typing errors, duplicates, etc. are limited.

3% of mistakes are due to human error

Think of an energy manager, in charge of monitoring monthly consumption for each of his buildings. He has to regularly extract consumption data from invoices and enter it into an Excel spreadsheet. For a portfolio of 100 buildings, this represents a large volume of data entry – with a higher margin of error that undermines the energy report’s reliability.

Advantage #3: Making your data reliable

Automatic data collection ensures data reliability in three important ways: 

  • identifying the best or most reliable source: an energy bill from a supplier’s customer space is better than an Excel spreadsheet filled out by hand
  • checking data completeness to identify missing or duplicate invoices
  • cross-checking data to find possible anomalies, like excessive consumption per square meter

Advantage #4: Freeing up focus for more valuable work

An automated data collection system means you can finally concentrate on tasks with higher added value. No more searching for information to calculate ratios, which makes your data analysis much easier!

In practice

To monitor the energy consumption of her building portfolio, a service manager enters the same data and calculates the same ratios every year. Automating these procedures can save her precious time on reporting!

At a time when more and more information is available, automatic data collection is a crucial opportunity for property managers looking to optimize their tasks. But exactly what kind of property data can be gathered this way? Use our checklist to identify the data you already have and how to automate its collection, then sit back and enjoy the benefits.