4
min read

Smart Building Data traps

Data is essential to the success of any organization but there are a few pitfalls we see time and time again. Here are some.

Data is essential to the success of any organization, that much is obvious. But there are a few pitfalls we see time and time again. Let’s walk through what they are and how you can avoid them.

The most common pitfall is focusing too much on the actual data. It’s a problem if all you’re doing is pumping it into a datalake and just making dashboards. You’re missing two key elements:

  1. Context
  2. Action

These two go hand in hand. Without context you can’t draw insights from your data to provide a clear picture of what’s actually happening in a space. And we’re not talking about how many people used a meeting, but how they feel about the experience, if the meeting is efficient, and whether or not the meeting was even necessary.

So how do you draw these insights from data? You get insights from people. It’s a dialogue between people and how they’re engaging with the space. You need to understand their needs, then design workflows that cater for them.

Which is the perfect segue to talk about the next element, action. Without action, what’s the point of collecting data? If the space and technology can act and adapt to the user’s needs, then you shouldn't really need to look at it, things will simply happen automatically.

The other data trap we see is predetermined assumptions.

For example, “I can never find a meeting room, I think we need more meeting rooms.” So off they go looking for data that backs up their claim. Often at the exclusion of other possibilities. Think back to what I said before, do you need to have more meeting rooms or less meetings?

The best way to approach this is with an open mind. We recently spoke to John Corbett, Workplace & Real Estate Strategist at Cisco, where he explained how they dealt with managing their space.

When they looked into it, they found that there wasn't a need for more space but quicker access to the space when needed. There was a direct correlation between speed of access and efficiency. If people could access a room as soon as it became available, like when it’s booked for an hour but only used for 15 minutes, then you are increasing the efficiency of that space.

What they didn’t do, was just add to their real estate footprint and increase the number of meeting rooms. It’s akin to adding an extra lane of highway to solve traffic problems, all you’re doing is encouraging people to drive more. Do you want to encourage more meetings or do you want to have more efficient meetings?

To hear the full story, check out our latest podcast episode with John, you can find this segment starting from 6:50.

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