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Elevating Corporate Real Estate Through Business-Centric Analytics

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CRE leaders increasingly want to understand how data can be leveraged intelligently to strategically engage with—and enable—their core businesses, but they aren’t always sure how to translate this into reality. The data required to generate meaningful, business-centric analytics typically exists across a host of different applications and stakeholders and can be difficult to integrate and analyze.

With this in mind, CBRE and Johnson Controls jointly developed an innovative, cost-effective solution to collect, aggregate and analyze occupancy data across Johnson Controls’ global portfolio. Leveraging the number of computers connected to the router in Johnson Controls’ office locations as well as CBRE’s Vantage Analytics platform, the initiative has provided real occupancy data in contrast to available seat counts. As a result, the initiative has helped uncover needle-moving opportunities to impact Johnson Controls’ bottom line.

CBRE’s Vantage Analytics platform connects and integrates data from CBRE, client and third-party sources in a scalable technology environment supported by strong data governance and visually impactful reporting.

To determine occupancy levels across Johnson Controls’ portfolio and at individual sites, we extracted device counts every 15 minutes at each office location (making use of what is essentially, free data). Moreover, this approach to collecting utilization data did not require installing sensors or any additional infrastructure. The team sourced the device count data from on-site routers and deployed a simple algorithm to connect the data feed to CBRE’s Vantage Analytics platform. What’s more, this approach does not raise data privacy issues as we only gather a count of active IP addresses connected to the network—not names. In addition, the data provided is more accurate than typical badge data because most of the systems in Johnson Controls’ smaller offices count ins but not outs.

Within CBRE’s Vantage Analytics platform, the data is then translated into visual dashboards that summarize daily portfolio health and performance measures including square feet per headcount and occupancy percentage and will soon also feature opportunity costs for each site. CBRE and Johnson Controls business leaders also have on-demand, web-based access to global portfolio data, including occupancy, critical portfolio dates, real estate activities, project and facilities management activities and savings delivered. Additionally, metrics can be filtered around Johnson Controls’ unique business segments, making the costs, opportunities and impacts of real estate more tangible and relevant for leadership across its businesses.

Managing and visualizing data with a business-centric lens is a simple yet impactful method that supports strategic decision making. Coupled with this, having a smart, resourceful approach to solving inherent challenges can lead to innovation and efficiencies. Johnson Controls has long understood the significant impact that corporate real estate has on business performance. By utilizing CBRE’s Vantage Analytics, Johnson Controls has the ability to identify opportunities to optimize space, reduce real estate costs and facilitate discussions aligning business strategy with portfolio operations.

Learn more about CBRE's Vantage Analytics platform here.

Ward Komorowski, VP, Enterprise Property Group, Johnson Controls

This article is co-authored with Ward Komorowski, VP of Enterprise Property Group and Security, who is responsible for providing strategic direction and planning for Johnson Controls, including forecasting and budgeting, facility management, real estate, project management and operations services for the company’s global portfolio.

John Creighton, Alliance Director, CBRE
John Creighton serves as the Alliance Director for the Johnson Controls account. On behalf of Johnson Controls, CBRE delivers fully integrated real estate services comprising lease administration, rent pay, transaction management, project management and facilities management across 43 million square feet, 32 countries and 1,624 sites, including 106 manufacturing plants.

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CBRE, a Fortune 500 company headquartered in Los Angeles, is the world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment firm based on 2018 revenue. It employs 90,000+ people and serves real estate investors and occupiers through approximately 480+ offices worldwide. CBRE offers a broad range of integrated services, including facilities, transaction and project management; property management; investment management; appraisal and valuation; property leasing; strategic consulting; property sales; mortgage services and development services. Please visit our website at www.cbre.com.