By Reagan Nickl
Enterprise Customer Success Senior Manager
SpaceIQ

Data. It’s critical for understanding where your facilities management processes and procedures stand, plus how to set improvement goals and measure them. Good news is there’s an abundance of facilities management data out there.

Why collect facility management data?

Facility management data quantifies your workplace. Since benchmarking is the first step to improvement, reviewing viable data about your workplace and everything in it is important before making any changes. Data might confirm known inefficiencies, shed light on new ones, or prove your hypothesis wrong. Regardless, data and analytics set the stage to better track facilities management.

Data-driven facilities management starts by using platforms that make sense of all that information. For that, you’ll need a Computer-Aided Facilities Management (CAFM) platform or an Integrated Workplace Management System (IWMS). Each can work independently or collaboratively to shed light on facilities management tasks and help create forward-thinking plans to improve real estate decision-making, operational excellence, and employee experience.

Facilities managers should see data as more than numbers. Targeted analytics and the information gleaned from them drive better understanding of needed workplace improvements.

Understand the different types of facilities management analytics

All facilities management data is valuable, but is only useful when it impacts change. Data available to facilities managers isn’t uniform. There are four facilities management analytics subsets to consider:

  1. Descriptive: Highlights a particular trend
  2. Diagnostic: Sheds light on the drivers of a trend
  3. Predictive: Forecasts new trends
  4. Prescriptive: Influences new trends

Each subset provides insight into a different area of facilities management. For example, descriptive analytics can tell you that eight of your 16 hot desks are currently occupied, while predictive analytics tell you this number will be 14 of 16 tomorrow based on past trends. How you use this data depends on your goals.

Key facilities data every facility manager should track

What types of data should facilities managers track? While there are a nearly infinite number of workplace data points to consider, some metrics will provide more insight than others. Here are five of the best metrics to track:

  1. Work order response times: Show how long it takes to fulfill repair requests. This is both a diagnostic data point and a prescriptive one. If it takes four days to replace a lightbulb, facilities managers can investigate repair delays (diagnose) and create process improvements (prescribe) to reduce response time.
  2. Planned vs. reactive maintenance: Data lends itself to descriptive analysis. If your office’s Wi-Fi was down over the last month, how much was due to a planned firmware update and how much was caused by an unplanned networking issue? Diagnosing the cause of problems leads to proactive facilities management.
  3. Cost per repair: Say your average workplace repair cost is $500 and there are an average of 100 annual repairs. That’s $50,000 annually—a great figure to know when planning yearly budgets.
  4. Energy use and audits: Energy is a big cost for most companies. What’s optimal energy expenditures for your facilities? Diagnostic analytics can outline where inefficiencies exist and where streamlined solutions, such as motion-sensitive lights, can cut costs.
  5. Space occupancy levels: Do you know the actual capacity of your available real estate? Using descriptive analytics, facilities managers can understand existing space utilization and how to better manage office footprints. This same data can help show when it’s time to move to a larger workplace.

Track your connected tech

It’s crucial to aggregate data from any connected tech in the workplace. These integrated technologies allow facilities managers to put their fingers on the pulse of the office and understand how it functions on a day-to-day level. For example, analyzing data from room reservation screens shows how frequently a particular room is being used and what its cost or value is within the larger scope of your facilities.

Facilities data allows managers to understand the needs of the physical workplace; collecting and analyzing data from Internet of Things (IoT) devices informs the needs of people within that same space.

Put your data to work

Putting together facilities data and IoT devices means painting a robust picture of your office ecosystem. The more data being collected means the more workplace areas that are being quantified. And if you can quantify something, you can improve upon it. Data is the path to a better workplace.

Keep reading: How to select the best facility management software