Data Overload Part II: Who Suffers From Data Overload? May 29, 2018 Data overload is a growing problem for businesses, especially those striving to outpace their competition by becoming more data-driven. Companies are often overwhelmed by trying to handle too much information, and the challenge of getting the right data to the right professional at the right time has increased due to the sheer volume of data. The multifamily industry, in particular, is feeling the pressure of all this data. But while everyone in a multifamily organization suffers from data overload to some extent, the different types of data causing this overload of information, can vary greatly by role. Impact on Executives At the core of many businesses is data, but too much data results in an abundance of information that is overwhelming to review — especially for executives. In fact, 32% of C-level professionals across 16 countries said that big data has made decision-making more difficult, rather than easier. For many C-suite executives, weekly and monthly property reports are regularly dropped on their desk, resulting in thousands of pages of financial data. While executives care about their properties’ performance, they often lack the time and resources to parse through more granular data. The struggle for C-suite professionals is maintaining focus on high-level results — such as KPIs that drive NOI or rent growth — without the distraction of less critical operational information. Executives need to operate swiftly and efficiently to keep their business on track. To accomplish this, they should stay focused on top-line metrics and high-level business goals such as ensuring their properties are hitting their underwriting assumptions and raising capital. Their team should focus on the more granular data with executives only getting involved if there is a red flag or significant portfolio concern impacting high-level results. Data vs. the Asset Manager Key components of an asset manager’s role consist of market research, analysis, and revenue forecasting. Asset managers spend a significant amount of time aggregating and organizing data to help determine everything from occupancy issues to troubled properties. They need access to operational and financial data — such as occupancy rates and NOI budget variance — but too much information can make it difficult to pinpoint property issues. Therefore, it is important for them to determine which metrics matter the most so they can navigate and focus on data that will drive success. Additionally, easy navigation and centralized data can streamline an asset manager’s processes. By implementing a Business Intelligence solution which provides immediate access to portfolio data, asset managers are able to spend more time analyzing data rather than compiling it. A Property Manager’s Data Problems For property managers, the issue is less about data overload and more about the disorganization of information. They spend time compiling weekly reports to review performance and highlight anything that requires follow up from the asset manager, such as rent collections or units being renovated. However, with advanced technology, data can flood property managers and result in an abundance of information that makes it difficult for them to identify red flags. This issue is further compounded when property managers attempt to track additional metrics such as utility recovery and ways to reduce expenses. The primary struggle for property managers is being able to pinpoint which data is important and finding actionable insights while sorting through the unnecessary information. Marketing in the World of Analytics For the marketing department, the ongoing goal of boosting ROI has led to a surge of analytics solutions. In fact, the number of marketing solutions increased from 5,381 to 6,829 this year. Marketing teams require information surrounding the entire conversion funnel including marketing spend and conversion rates. While the team should be focused on optimizing this information to drive traffic to the property, they also monitor outside factors that influence these metrics. The challenge is focusing on these factors while simultaneously not getting distracted by unrelated items. Many marketers risk falling into a cycle of “more data, less knowledge, and steadily growing fatigue.” Finding a Balance All roles within the multifamily industry suffer from data overload. The key for each professional is to find the right balance of relevant data while weeding out excess information that can be distracting. While waiting for the next blog in our four-part mini-series, download our latest webinar to learn how to avoid data overload with Rentlytics BI 2.0. 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