FM industry concern – data integration and customer engagement

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TIBCO Software’s Regional Vice President – Australia and New Zealand, STUART REES, writes about the current cause of concern for Australian facility managers when it comes to data integration, analysing data and communicating issues and performance with property owners.

The facility management sector is constantly being challenged by the explosion of data and the task of using this information to inform customers about their properties.

There is currently some cause of concern for Australian facility managers when it comes to data integration, analysing data and communicating issues and performance with property owners.

The increasing volume, variety and velocity of information about facilities that needs to be captured, stored and analysed can be overwhelming. Data plays a key role in guiding facility managers’ decisions around the provision of space, services, costs and business risks.

Today, it is vital that facility managers collect data around all property aspects including energy efficiency and sustainability, legislative compliance, maintenance management, risk management, and tenant satisfaction.

Information and communications technology is the backbone of facilities management and as such it is vital organisations learn to harness data to make decisions quickly and improve communications with their customers.

Integrate your data
The most important first step to achieving improved data for customer communication is data integration. Data integration provides facility managers with a holistic view of their facility to help them see potential risks and actions that need to be taken.

Most facility managers use a number of different systems to collect data, including CRM, invoicing, supply chain management and others. Without the integration element, however, the information in these separate systems becomes siloed. This makes it impossible to effectively analyse the information and opens up opportunities for information to quickly become out of date or incorrect.

The 2014 TIBCO data integration index revealed 85 per cent of organisations surveyed use multiple systems internally to capture data. Only 35 per cent of these systems are fully integrated and 48 per cent are partially integrated. 17 per cent are not integrated at all. Further, 62.5 per cent of companies say they have duplicate or disparate customer information in their systems

Data integration can help address this issue by consolidating the wealth of information facility managers have access to. By extracting, transforming and loading data into a single view, data integration ensures separate sets of information work together to deliver a more comprehensive and useful view of the business.

For example, combining operations data with risk information can ensure managers can clearly see how these two areas work together and identify potential issues.

Data integration assists facility managers in delivering updates to customers including potential risks to the property, concerns and asset performance information.

Analyse your data
Analysing data is just as important as integrating data. Analysing provides the ability to identify, understand and respond to real-time events. This includes comprehensive visibility into facility management trends and opportunities as well as the intelligence and agility to recognise and react instantly to facility problems even before they have happened.

For example, issues could include health and safety, fire safety, security, maintenance or operational problems. Analysing data can ensure these problems are addressed and quickly communicated to the customer (facility owners). Having the knowledge to predict and rectify problems is a powerful advantage for facility managers.

Data analysis can also help facility managers optimise space allocation and changes. In many offices, for example, layouts are subject to frequent changes. Data analysis can monitor how often office layouts are changing and if the changes are compliant with property legislation.

Analytics makes sense of data to provide facility managers with an overall view of the property to ensure they are able to identify problems quickly.

Facility managers need to better understand the significant improvements that analysis and data integration can bring to their organisation and start using it to their advantage.

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