Commercial real estate firms should not only depend on the common practice of managing their database, but also it’s crucial for them to adopt a data-governance program to ensure security and efficiency of information.
Every company needs enough information to operate properly. In fact, it is one of the most important aspects of a business that must be maintained and organized. Imagine a company that is bombarded with customer complaints. If the company managers are not aware of these facts, the company would surely head toward disaster.
This is how crucial information is for businesses. Many companies maintain their own system of recording using facts and data in order to address issues and make good decisions. In commercial real estate, management of information is more important since this industry entails working with exact numbers and a stream of legal documents.
What Is Data-Governance?
Data-governance is the process of organizing data and the system of maintaining such a process. Although this term may sound obscure, this is not a rare process. As a matter of fact, all companies that don’t have data-governance framework are already implementing some of its components. This is because data-governance is based on an existing information system.
When company managers perform their tasks, they deal with available information on which they base their decision. They even share copies of such information with their superiors, colleagues, and subordinates to consolidate ideas and provide useful information.
The only issue with this common practice is that data is utilized only when there is a need for it. Sometimes, companies will have to sponsor a research program to gather enough data.
What makes data-governance different is how all data sources are tied together. Its purpose is not to complicate the use of data. Rather, it is designed to expedite data gathering, recording, and interpreting. It should provide convenience, efficiency, accuracy, and security.
Basic Elements of Data-Governance
Data-governance has four elements. These are:
People play a major role in data-governance. They serve as information stewards. They are the ones that obtain information, and at the same time are the ones that need and use such information.
Process, on the other hand, is the system and the standard being followed by people to use the information accordingly. It is the manner in which data flows within the organization.
Tools are the technology being used to help improve the way information is gathered and delivered. In the past, mainframe servers were the only important tools needed to have a sound data-governance. Today, companies can use various data-management tools such as CRM platforms, POS, Cloud servers, peer-to-peer sharing networks, and the internet.
Information is the most important element of data-governance. All information must be verified for accuracy. Within data-governance, information is categorized and protected.
Data Governance in Commercial Real Estate
The commercial real estate industry handles so much information that it requires efficient management. Commercial real estate data covers various aspects such as market, geographical details, design specs, client relations, and legal documentations. All these are different groups of data that must be organized and tied together.
A well-managed information flow can turn real estate employees into experts in the information they manage. These employees and managers are the information stewards that can provide accurate information and interpretation.
Legal documents will no longer get lost under a pile of folders. Instead, they can be stored properly and can be available instantly. Meanwhile, the volatility of real estate markets can be properly analyzed with the help of various data-governance tools.
On the marketing aspect of commercial real estate, client information will no longer be sporadic. Instead, various types of sales and marketing data such as leads, feedback, and competition are synchronized and consolidated. CRM and business analytics tools can be integrated in the data-governance program.
Best Practices for Data Governance in Commercial Real Estate
Data-governance is beneficial to all companies. However, output and efficiency may vary according to company practices and implementation. There are no general rules and practices to follow, but there are good practices to observe in data-governance, especially for commercial real estate data. To know more, here are the data governance best practices to apply in commercial real estate:
- Educate Developers
Data-governance requires information technology, hardware, and software development. However, developers cannot design a better data structure without being aware of the company’s need and expectation. Instructions are not adequate. There is a need to involve developers in the program. Developers are very important in data-governance because they can make or break it depending on how well they are educated by the company in terms of goals and operations.
- Flexible Architectures
The program must be user-friendly and be applied to all situations. One may find it useful and others may not. To ensure that it serves all participants, the system can be changed or improved according to a specific situation. It should be a system that is open to all possibilities.
- Promote Self-Organizing Teams
Groups that are involved in data-governance must have a certain freedom in determining and organizing their system that is aligned to the central structure.
- Close Monitoring
Support must be there all the time, whether it is technical or financial in nature. The system will work better when there is close collaboration among different parts of the system. Support may also be in the form of tools or information. Data-governance doesn’t have to be manually monitored by people. Instead, it must provide updates and suggestions.
- Democratize Information Access
It’s just right to design a system that will protect the information, but the design should also democratize access to such information. People who are involved in data-governance should also be able to interpret the data in order to have a check and balance in the accuracy of information. One should know whether or not the information is correct.
Data-governance in commercial real estate is not actually different from other industries. However, real estate companies need this program much more. Investment in real estate is expressed in a large amount, so the information being used must be secured and accurate otherwise, massive losses are likely to occur. With a well-organized data-governance framework, commercial real estate can benefit significantly.