How to unlock your Estate Management data to drive meaningful change

| minute read

The data landscape

In our recent series of whitepapers, we surveyed over 100 decision makers involved in their organisation’s estate and facilities management to discover the reason why many healthcare organisations are struggling to meet their objectives. The reports address topics such as leveraging data to improve patient outcomes, enhancing operational efficiency, and driving strategic decision-making.

We unearthed some invaluable insights and actionable recommendations which organisations can use to unlock data utilisation and transform their data from a liability to an asset. The results revealed some interesting insights on the overall data landscape. The most prominent one being that many healthcare organisations are collecting and storing vast troves of data about their estates and facilities. Almost half (47%) of respondents say that when creating reports within their role, the majority of their time is spent manually gathering and analysing the data. 

Small infographic showing 47% say that the majority of their time is spent manually gathering and analysing data.

Additionally, all respondents list at least one benefit of utilising this data, such as improved maintenance of estates and facilities (59%), improved sustainability (54%) and reduced costs (52%), but deriving value from this data often requires considerable manual effort.

While this can present considerable opportunity by enabling more data-driven and smarter decision-making, organisations must first be able to work with that data effectively. This starts with gaining clarity about how the estate is being used, understanding the needs of those using the estate to identify where improvements are needed to optimise usage which then provides insight into how to  prioritise funding in the most effective way.

The key therefore for decision makers is in understanding what data they hold, and more importantly, how to extract meaningful and actionable insights from that data. 

Barriers to harnessing the value of data

There are five key challenges faced by estate management organisations, with regards to harnessing their data;

  1. People,
  2. Environment,
  3. Assets,
  4. Compliance, and
  5. Data.

Graphic with estate management challenges in the middle and five points coming off it.

Point one is data. No single holistic view of an organisation's estate, little analytics or insights.

Point two is people. New service models and ways of working are emerging.

Point three is environment. Net Zero, sustainability, digital ethics and social value.

Point four is compliance. Regulatory and sustainable development goals are becoming more challenging.

Point five is assets eg buildings are often old and non-digital. Planned/ reactive maintenance is challenging and supply chains are reliant on legacy systems.


The people challenge
Estates and facilities are provided fundamentally for people, and in this digital age, user-experiences for people working in these estates have evolved. New ways of working are emerging and the demand for flexibility in the services provided is higher.

The environment challenge
Sustainability is high on the agenda to moving towards and achieving net zero carbon emissions. Data plays a significant role in this by allowing us to measure how well are we doing in terms of achieving our goal and what more we can do to further improve our environmental impact and agenda.

The assets challenge
Our buildings are often old and non-digital, which makes planned maintenance challenging especially as supply chains are reliant on legacy systems. Without effective data to inform where we need to place our efforts to improve our assets, the management and maintenance of our physical assets is becoming increasingly costly.

The compliance challenge
There is a significant drive from a government and regulatory perspective to create more sustainable buildings. Additionally, the requirement to have an evidence base and data to support our compliance against these regulations is also growing. Flexible estates and data will help us underpin, meet, and become more responsive to these requirements that are becoming more stringent by the day.

The data challenge
The data challenge underpins all these challenges. The lack of management and organisation of data provides a fragmented view of the challenges surrounding estates and facilities and without a single, holistic view of data, many of these challenges cannot be appropriately addressed.

These challenges highlight the need for organisation to revisit their estate management strategy and leverage digital opportunities to better manage their data. 

Data holds the key to an organisation being able to make smart, data-driven decisions about how to make the most effective and efficient use of its estate. But that’s only when data is used correctly. It needs to be accurate; it needs to be available in real-time, and organisations’ strategic plans need to be designed to allow this to happen.  

The data maturity journey

The data maturity journey encompasses several key steps that facilitate the transformation of raw data into valuable insights. 
  • Sorted: information is organised systematically, enabling efficient analysis. 
  • Arranged: structuring it in a logical manner to enhance comprehensibility and accessibility. 
  • Visually presented: employing charts, graphs, and other visual aids to observe patterns, trends, and relationships within the data, making it easier to interpret and understand. 
  • Explained with a story: explaining the data with a compelling narrative, weaving together the underlying story behind the numbers, uncovering meaningful insights, and providing context. 
  • Actionable (useful): the insights gained are translated into practical strategies and decisions that drive positive outcomes and improve overall business performance. 

This progression from sorted data to actionable insights signifies the evolution of an organisation's data maturity, empowering them to make informed decisions and leverage data effectively.

Graphic showing the data maturity journey depicted by Lego.

Data is a jumble of different coloured and sized pieces of Lego.

Sorted the colours are split up.

Arranged is when the coloured pieces fit together.

Presented visually is when pieces of Lego are fit together to build a shape.

Explained with a story is when those pieces are used to build something bigger like a house.

Actionable or useful is when those pieces are built into pieces of Lego that are really useful.

Developing a data driven strategy for Estates Management

We have already established that organisations own an enormous amount of data. What they require is a way to integrate and organise it in such a way that it delivers clear, actionable insights. This will enable them to address these challenges and deliver an overall better experience to those that matter most – the users of their services.
Developing a data-driven strategy for estate management involves three key steps. 

  • Firstly, creating structured collation and storage of data aligned with strategic goals. This requires updating legacy IT systems, shifting to digital data sources, and automating reporting processes. 
  • Secondly, translating data into insights by employing the right tools and platforms, and developing a clear data strategy. 
  • Finally, implementing the insights through a structured approach that optimises technology, people, and resources. 
By incorporating strategic, customer, and dynamic insights into their estate management strategy, organisations can make their data work for them. Strategic insights align real estate portfolios with business goals, customer insights improve user experiences and well-being, and dynamic insights enable swift action based on real-time data.
Organisations must recognise the potential of their data and take proactive steps to leverage it effectively. By overcoming data challenges, following a data maturity journey, and implementing a data-driven strategy, organisations can transform their data into an asset; enabling data-driven decision-making, improved efficiency, and better user experiences in estate management.

How Sopra Steria can help

With a focus on data and delivering strategic, dynamic and meaningful customer insight, we help organisations to realise benefits which will lead to efficiency savings, better optimisation of an estate and a more sustainable and greener estate portfolio. Our Data Vision & Strategy go hand-in-hand. The Data Vision articulates the goal of what we’re trying to achieve in the future. It acts as a “north star” to inform decision making and rally our people. The Data Strategy is the plan that takes us from where we are today (the as-is) to the goal (the to-be), considering people, process and technology.

Find out more

To explore your organisation's unique requirements and challenges related to your estates’ data strategy we are offering a free discovery session to estate management teams. During this session, our experts will discuss how our solutions can align with your strategic goals, streamline data processes, and unlock the full potential of your data assets. 

Some potential topics we can cover in the discovery session include:

  • Assessing your current data landscape and identifying areas for improvement.
  • Developing a future-proof and scalable data strategy to support your organisation’s growth. 
  • How to engage your wider organisation in the development of your data strategy roadmap.

Schedule a discovery session

The data landscape: Part 1

Barriers to harnessing data: Part 2

3 steps to developing a data-led strategy: Part 3



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