— By Rick Sung —
Leveraging the power of predictive analysis in facilities management.
Renowned management consultant Peter Drucker once mused, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.” For leaders seeking ways to advance their facilities management (FM), measuring progress is a complex and nuanced process requiring a sophisticated, data-driven approach. In this quest for improvement, however, gathering data is only half the battle. To make truly informed decisions, business leaders and facilities managers alike need analytics to better understand the staggering volume of data flowing through their organization on any given day.
Data vs. Analytics: What’s the Difference?
Data is information in its rawest form. It can be quantitative (numerical) or qualitative (non-numerical), but regardless of where it falls on the spectrum, it is collected primarily to answer specific questions or to understand a situation.
Analytics is the mechanism for deriving meaning from and identifying patterns within raw data. Once trends, patterns and anomalies are uncovered, the decision-making process becomes much easier. Predictive analytics is the use of historical data to forecast the future, and it is one of the most effective tools fueling business decisions today.
Using Analytics to Transform Your Environment
The overarching benefit of integrating analytics and FM is the potential for improved efficiency and overall quality. This is especially true for organizations operating multiple sites, as they are invariably dealing with multiple sources of data.
A national chain, for example, may have stores located in every corner of the country, each with its own unique needs and priorities. Drilling down into real-time data feeds and looking not only at each region, but at each location, asset and work order, will help leaders understand where resources have been allocated in the past and where they should go in the future.
Making a Financial Impact
Proper data utilization paired with progressive analytics has the power to transform a business’s bottom line. By aligning analytics with business objectives, organizations are better able to assess costs and put proactive measures in place that prevent expensive repairs and emergencies.
Perhaps the most valuable aspect of an analytics tool is its ability to offer transparency. With visibility into what’s been spent in the past, companies can more accurately project future budgets. Reports that reveal spend by project category — from plumbing to lighting to janitorial services — provide insight into where budgeted and unbudgeted dollars are going. These details help organizations gain clarity and control over what’s working, what’s not working and how to fix it.
Knowing where to distribute capital and expense funds is huge, and it stands to make a sizable impact on a business’s fiscal goals for the year. For example, do you want to focus on improving service-related ambitions, or are your goals more closely tied to financial objectives? Every business has different priorities; it’s important to be selective and drill deeper into data sets that apply specifically to your company’s FM program, industry sector and organization-wide goals.
Possibilities abound when analytics and FM collide — forward-thinking business owners and their facilities teams who seize the limitless potential of analytics in an increasingly data-driven world are poised for success. Backed by a powerful analytics platform, leaders everywhere can leverage their data to enhance project management practices, increase productivity, reduce spend and grow their business in meaningful ways.
— Rick Sung is vice president of sales for NEST Multi-Facility Management. For over 20 years, NEST has been transforming the way modern, multi-site businesses manage their facilities and construction programs by pairing financial acumen and business analytics with a strategic consultative approach. Learn more at www.enternest.com. Email NEST at firstname.lastname@example.org.