Blog 8.: The power of data
„Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”
/George Bernard Shaw/
The balance of world economy today is more fragile than ever. Century old organizations vanish and innovative start-ups develop on the ruins. New tehcnologies appear and fade into the gloom of the past at unbelievable speeds. Only the resilient ones survive in such an environment.
We mentioned in our earlier blog post that one of the cornerstones of resilient operation is having the right feedback loop. Just think about driving a car: in order to avoid accidents and drive safely we constantly have to keep our eyes on the road, it’s not enough to just remember how to operate the controls. Yet we still meet quite a few chief executives who solely rely on their experience and own knowledge while navigating this volatile environment.
This is exactly what happened to the management of a renown communication agency network, who decided to look for a building to be purchased in order to place 400 workstations to seat the 400 new employees hired due to increased demand on their market. Space demand was especially great as agile working means more mobile workers and changed workmodes become standard so they need more collaborative and breakout areas.
Chief executives wanted to utilize occupancy sensor measurement to help define the types of spaces that are to be created within the new facility. The sensors were placed at 7 sites on 5400 seats that discreetly measured utilization, totally independent of their IT network. Based on the clearly understandable graphs of the cloud based reporting, they were able to define workspace strategy based on 100% accurate measurement.
This measurement however provided them with some unexpected information as well: it became clear, that they don’t need a new building, the 400 seats could be placed within their existing locations by reorganizing spaces to make them more efficient. It also became evident that the number of employees actually working in the building is much less than they’ve assumed meaning that instead of fixed workstations they can support work with other space applications. As a result their colleagues beacome more productive, space becomes more liveable and better utilized.
Deeper analysis of the data showed that on the 6 London locations a total of 1200 workplaces (14.000 m2) can be freed, so chief executives steered the project in a new direction. Based on the measurement data the process is still in progress, moving the organization from 6 separate locations to a single building, resulting in real estate cost savings worth £8 Million annually.
So as this case clearly shows the leadership started the project based on false assumptions and were lucky to have chosen to aid the architects’ work with accurate measurement. The data gathered highlighted correlations that fundamentally changed their workspace strategy, resulting in a major increase in efficiency and reduction of cost. Tehrefore we’re safe to say that in the age of big data the feedback based on reliable and continuous measurement is the foundation of staying competitive. By using the right solution the workspace is more accurately plannable and results in making available real estate an efficient and resilient asset.
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