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Portfolio Data Management: How Does Your Strategy Stack Up?

For owners and operators, portfolio data (i.e. data about how individual portfolio assets are operating and consuming energy) is the foundation for taking advantage of competitive insights and improving performance. As Boston Properties Chief Information and Technology Officer James Whalen notes, data enables continuous improvement. But what steps should you be taking to ensure you’re really getting the most from your portfolio’s data?

Owners seeking to execute on a performance optimization program first need to determine whether they have good data management practices in place. We’ve broken data management down into three core elements: data centralization, data accessibility, and data integrity. Keep reading to find out how your operations stack up in these areas.

Data Centralization

Simply put, centralizing your portfolio data in one location will make overall operations run more smoothly. In practical terms, this usually means selecting a cloud-based solution to collect, store, and maintain data about all of your portfolio’s assets. There are many factors to consider when selecting a solution to house your portfolio’s data (and some organizations will even choose to develop homegrown solutions), but any solution should at a minimum meet the following criteria:

  • The solution should make the data available to all members of an organization who need to use it. This could mean stakeholders across asset management, property management, and engineering
  • The solution should be able to store a large amount of data
  • The solution should allow for the use of advanced technologies (like machine learning) to aid in the analysis and operationalization of the data.

How does your solution rate (if you’re even using a solution at all)? If you’re in doubt about any of the above bullet points, data centralization might be an area where you and your team can improve.

Data Accessibility

In addition to centralizing portfolio data, an effective data management program will also make it easy for all members of an organization to access the data they need, without sacrificing quality or depth, and with an eye toward the different uses cases for the data.

For example, the granular building-level information required by engineering might not square with asset management’s need for quick insights about potential problem spots in a portfolio. By the same token, executive-level reports lack the detail that property and engineering teams rely on to perform effective operational reviews. The right solution should accommodate both needs; good data management means that all stakeholders are able to work within the system to use the data, without impacting other roles or functions.

When it comes to your own operations, are you able to report to other stakeholders out of one system, or do you find that you’re constantly passing around spreadsheets or paper reports? If you fall into the latter category, it might be time to take a look at your solution and evaluate if it really meets the needs of your team.

Data Integrity

The final pillar of data management gets to the heart of the data itself: is the data accurate, and can it be trusted? If teams lack confidence in the data being presented, then all other efforts around data management will be for naught.

Selecting a real-estate specific platform to manage your portfolio data can go a long way towards ensuring your data can be trusted. Real estate technology solutions are designed to work within the framework of buildings; some are even built to identify issues with building equipment and systems configurations that could lead to faulty data.

Do you and your colleagues all possess a high level of confidence in the portfolio data being reported by your solution? If not, further action must be taken to ensure that your building systems are properly configured and that your solution is accurately reading data from your buildings.


Taking steps to ensure data is centralized, accessible and trustworthy across your portfolio will pay dividends in the long run, allowing you and your onsite teams to make meaningful improvements to the way your buildings operate.

Learn more about the importance of data management, as well as the other pillars of a good performance optimization program, in Aquicore's Definitive Guide to Performance Optimization.