Business intelligence for real estate in the real world: Why it’s better than Excel

December 9, 2010   //   Business Intelligence, , , , , , , , , ,

We’ve all done it: dump the data from the financial system to Excel, run the macros, copy, paste, fix and fudge.  We spend a week preparing the analysis for the big executive meeting, the presentation to investors, the SEC filing.

And then it happens.

Someone wants to see occupancy by geography rather than by property type. Someone else doesn’t believe that negative budget variance could possibly be right, as in, “Where did you get those numbers?”  Worse yet, they believe the budget variance, but they want to analyze the details to figure out what to do about it.

So it’s back to Excel for you. Time to pore through the details.  Find the errors.  Slice it another way.  And another.  And another…

Don’t get me wrong, Excel is great. It lets you perform the quick and dirty analysis. It’s also a great user interface tool to allow you to analyze your data mart. But when Excel is your data mart, something’s wrong. Duck when the auditors come. Cut your hair short, you’re going to pull it out anyway. Call your spouse now, you’ll be home late. Again.

What’s missing? Business intelligence that reveals the true, accurate story behind the numbers without the manual Excel disaster. That’s important in any business, but especially for real estate investment firms that must be able to:

Perform robust analysis
Prepare information for investors and other external stakeholders
Monitor and identify trends across time
Make informed decisions quickly

We all know how manual Excel machinations can lead to inaccurate information and make it difficult to see trends and patterns over time. A strong business intelligence solution can enable a real estate investment firm to build a robust portfolio analysis as well as dashboards that show the true story behind the numbers quickly and easily.

A strong business intelligence solution will help you:

  • Extract and correlate data from multiple systems
  • Centralize the calculation of key metrics so that your organization has one source of the truth
  • Present the data to end-users in a way that allows them analyze the data like never before

In short, a great BI solution does the number crunching for you so that you can do what you were hired to do: manage the assets, the tenants, the funding, the investors…the business. So you can smile when you see the auditor. Grow your hair out.  And go home on time for a change.

If you’d like to discuss SWC Business Intelligence solutions in more detail or to see a demo of RealAnalytics,  SWC’s pragmatic yet customizable and affordable solution, call Jeff at 630-286-8155 or contact jeff.hoffmann@swc.com today.