How To Create a Data-Centric CRE Strategy

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By: JC Pelusi, Market Leader, Managing Director, JLL 

I’m sure you’ve heard the buzzword “big data” in your office, or read about it in your favorite blogs and publications. The popularity of the term “big data” continues its steep climb upward on Google Trends, even today (screenshot below).

Data has captivated the business world. The ability to track and capture data, regardless of industry, has transformed the way executives are reporting and capturing value.

JLL recently released the first white paper in a four-part series on developing Data-Centric CRE. According to JLL researchers:

“Companies that embrace internal and external data, manage its flow carefully but efficiently, and structure it to create actionable information and insight have a strong competitive advantage.”

This goes for CRE teams, too. The ability to make a smart move, determine a construction budget or advocate for more sustainability practices can all be driven by data-centric business cases. CRE teams have put new emphasis on the importance of data, but most still have a long way to go.

Your Data-Centricity: Establish A Benchmark 

The strategic use of data can accelerate real estate decision-making, boost reporting practices, improve productivity and allow for more accurate measurement of team performance. But, the ability to collect, manage and utilize data doesn’t happen overnight.

Does your team have what it takes to make your CRE strategy more data-focused? JLL identified four stages on the “data culture continuum.” Before implementing new data processes, the first step is to benchmark where your company stands along the continuum.

Where do you stand when it comes to data?

  • Data Denial: You are avoiding the collection and management of data altogether.
  • Data Indifference: You are apathetic toward data and what it could do for your company. It just doesn’t matter to you.
  • Data Informed: You only utilize data when it works to your advantage.
  • Data-Centric: Most decisions are fueled and shaped by data insights.

If you’re still in the early phases of data maturity, you’re not alone. According to JLL, “The data story in CRE is a relatively recent one.” But, despite a late start, most CRE teams are making strides. According to a recent JLL survey, nearly 80 percent of respondents said that their CRE data collection has improved since 2010.

Those that don’t make the shift will lose competitive advantage to data-driven organizations. After understanding your position in the continuum, the next step is evaluating where your current data collection or management is falling short.

How can your team become more data-centric? Below are four tips to move further along the continuum.

Moving From Data Denial to Data-Centric  

Leaders who can back up their choices with meaningful data are more likely to build a persuasive business cases, and gain organizational consensus. Below are four tips from JLL to start transforming your business model today.

  • Capture to capitalize. Identify important data sets, and find new ways to start collecting metrics. If you have existing data channels, make sure reporting is consistent, accurate and organized.
  • Don’t separate, integrate. De-silo operations, and collaborate with other business functions for data collection and analysis (i.e. IT, HR, marketing, etc.).
  • Be a change agent. Be a leader. Become a data expert and drive change throughout your company culture.
  • Embrace analytics. Don’t just report data. Once you’ve identified what you’re tracking, turn those numbers into actionable insights for your business.

Download JLL’s white paper, Data-Centric CRE: A Competitive Imperative for details. 

Data Centric CRE: A competitive imperative

Have questions on how to make your CRE strategy more data-focused? Contact me for more information at


About the Author

JC PelusiJC Pelusi is an International Director for JLL and works out of the Pittsburgh office.  As the leader for JLL’s Great Lakes region, JC has extensive experience in a variety of areas, including Corporate Account Management and Transaction Services.