Multifamily real estate is an incredibly metrics-driven industry with data affecting everyone from C-level executives to onsite staff. And like those in other industries, multifamily professionals are reaching a breaking point with how much information they can analyze and act upon.

For many multifamily professionals, “data overload” is more like “data disorganization” as they are tasked with tracking and analyzing metrics across multiple spreadsheets and reports. The amount of data produced today is causing organizations to become overwhelmed and work harder rather than smarter to determine which data to analyze. This disorganization is causing major delays in decision-making. In fact, 70% of C-level professionals said at least one strategic initiative failed over the last three years amid delays in decision-making.

Consequences of Data Overload

Several consequences result from an oversaturation of data, including time wasted digging through reports without taking action, and getting distracted by metrics that take focus away from key issues.

If professionals do not attack an issue when it first arises, they are more likely to become bogged down by compounding problems. This creates a domino effect as the full weight of those unaddressed problems quickly stacks up. Many businesses have even stopped collecting or reviewing data because the sheer amount of it is intimidating.

In fact, 83 interviewed executives reported spending a whopping $7,731 per day (more than $2.8 million per year) on never-ending analytics. The issue here is that this expense is wasted because executives struggle to convert data into effective solutions.

Stale Data

Multifamily is a very report-intensive industry, where a weekly report for one property that has 200 units might be upwards of 12 pages. Whether there are 20 or 200 properties in a portfolio, it is difficult to analyze all of that information in a timely manner while making key business decisions.

In fact, 38.7% of data professionals spend half their time on tasks unrelated to actual analysis. Additionally, 43.8% of managers reported that most of their team’s work week is spent compiling and monitoring data rather than analyzing it.

Between the time it takes for multifamily professionals to compile and organize data, and the time their reports are completed, the data is outdated and stale. In today’s fast-paced environment, multifamily professionals need access to real-time data in order to drive results.

Data Distractions & Analysis Paralysis

Most businesses believe that the more data they have, the more they learn. However, this puts companies at risk of becoming “data rich but insight poor” in the rush to accumulate data that is not driving key business decisions. The same holds true in the multifamily industry. From lease expiration percent to occupancy, multifamily professionals must track various KPIs — but too much information can make it difficult to pinpoint issues and can derail the focus from areas where it is actually needed.

As such, multifamily professionals often fall prey to what is known as “garbage can decision-making,” in which problems and potential solutions are simply tossed one on top of another; like items in a trash can. Decision-makers find that they end up agreeing on whichever solution happens to be at the top. Across all roles within multifamily, the issue is not a lack of data inside the so-called garbage can; the challenge is that the sheer amount of data makes it difficult to prioritize what is important.

Regional managers, as one example, have a targeted focus on the performance of their own portfolio. However, it can be helpful for them to see comparisons in real time so they can create benchmarks and incentivize performance. But in an effort to analyze this data, regional managers are inundated with an overwhelming amount of information. This causes them to be unsure about which data to prioritize or how to sort through everything and find actionable insights.

Avoiding Data Overload

Everyone suffers from data overload to some extent; the key to any role in the multifamily industry is to determine essential key metrics to monitor that will drive success. Implementing a Business Intelligence solution like Rentlytics gives multifamily professionals immediate access to portfolio data. To learn more about how Rentlytics BI 2.0 can help multifamily professionals avoid data overload, download our latest webinar and stay tuned for the final blog in our four-part mini-series for additional tips.