Business Analytics Serve Real Estate and Facilities Management

Business Analytics Serve Real Estate and Facilities Management

This piece was originally published in the July/August 2019 issue of electroindustry.

Brian Letendre, Director of Engineering, CBRE

Analytics serve as a business tool in the management of real estate facilities by taking large amounts of data inputs and transferring this data into useful information that is used to drive business decisions and operational improvements.

The raw data is automatically processed and organized using predetermined algorithms that prepare mass amounts of data for human consumption. We gain knowledge and insight on historical trends, abnormalities, and excursions from normal operating parameters to drive improved work processes and data-driven decisions and outcomes.

Real estate and building operations use analytics largely to improve the operations, efficiency, and reliability of building assets and infrastructure. This benefits the owner and end users of the facility by providing a more comfortable and productive work environment. This results in improvements to reliability and uptime of production, operations, safety performance, and energy efficiency while preserving and extending the lifecycle of the assets and infrastructure.

Although some analytical processes can be technology agnostic, there are core technology platforms that are commonly used in the built environment that are routinely used to automate the transformation of this data into compelling information that drives positive outcomes.

A few examples of analytical tools used in the industry include:

  • Asset condition monitoring

This technology samples and trends the condition and internal health of assets and equipment and is designed to identify early degradation in asset health and performance. This allows for planned intervention and corrective action before experiencing a catastrophic failure. It also helps to avoid a negative impact on the business, from production losses or damage to a company’s brand or reputation.

  • Building Automation Systems (BAS)

A BAS monitors and controls building assets and infrastructure such as HVAC systems, fire life safety, lighting, security systems, etc. A BAS can trend and automate the operation of building assets and infrastructure to provide occupant comfort, energy-efficient building operations, and support for other work processes, including production.

  • Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS)

A CMMS serves as a platform and technology engine used for work execution management, which oversees all labor and daily work activities associated with operating and maintaining building infrastructure, assets, and equipment. The output transforms historical work and cost data into information that is analyzed and compared against known industry best practices to drive business process improvements.

This results in cost savings, efficiencies, and improvements to workforce productivity, work quality, safety, and asset reliability.


The productivity of maintenance technicians in a typical reactive or unscheduled work environment is generally in the 20 to 25 percent range. In a best-practice climate, the productivity is in the 50 to 60 percent range. While the percentages may not excite senior managers, this changes when they are converted to financial terms.

Applying this increase to a 20-person workforce using a rate of pay for maintenance technicians of $30 per hour, the potential savings would be $374,400.

Business analytics provide a powerful means to compartmentalize and understand what massive amounts of data are telling us about building operations. The logical use is to transfer this knowledge into actions that improve the workplace experience while providing safe, comfortable, and reliable facility operations. ei

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