Real estate professionals face the challenge of making sense of property data in today’s fast-paced, data-driven business world. They must be able to easily interpret data and make decisions based on it.
For understanding data, spotting deviations and seeing trends, data has to be in a form that is something else than black-and-white, dull numbers. It must be something simple, easy to look at, and comprehendible. To put it another way, it must be visualized.
Is it true that there is no such thing as “visualized property data”?
Let’s first take a look at how data visualization is explained.
What data visualization means?
The term “data visualization” refers to the method of presenting information in a visual format. It helps people understand better the significance of their data (Source: TechTarget).
Before visualizing any sort of data, you should first define your own business needs and goals:
- What do you want to know from your data?
- What do you want to achieve with it?
- What KPIs you should follow to make better business decisions?
For example, if you’re a property manager, one of your goals may be to maximize your property’s yield. So, among other things, you have to minimize your portfolio’s expenses. You will need to know your portfolio’s expenses per week, month, and so on. So, you decide to track the OPEX every other week.
When you decide to follow OPEX regularly, visualizing this metric will increase your understanding and the speed at which you can react to the data. Why? Let’s take a look at that.
What is the value of data visualization?
According to some sources, it is claimed that brain processes visual information 60 000 times faster than text. Most of the information transmitted to the brain is – you guessed – in visual form.
The brain also works fast with images. MIT neuroscientists have found in their studies that the brain can identify images seen for as little as 13 milliseconds. Also – and sadly – with the news flood we expose ourselves to every day our attention span is constantly decreasing (we are almost at the level of goldfish according to Venturebeat).
For the reasons mentioned above, it is important for efficient working that we are able to present information in a way that matches our need to understand.
Data visualization turns numbers, calculations, and letters into aesthetic visuals. They can be dashboards, infographics, interactive images or even funny gifs! Visual representations help you to recognize patterns and, for example, deviations from those patterns.
As you can see, there are many options to choose from. This gives you the freedom to decide what kind of data visualization makes the most sense to you and serves you the best way. But remember: even though visualized data might look esthetically pretty and nice, you always have to understand what it’s telling you about your business.
The benefits of data visualization
Here are listed the most important benefits data visualization can give you:
1. Absorb more information easily
With visualized data, you can view and understand vast amounts of information at a glance. When you need to make business decisions, essential patterns and important insights may not be noticed in a spreadsheet or other such files. The same information, for example, on a pie chart brings insights visual and more obvious.
2. Discover relations between business and operational activities
You can easily see the patterns that occur between operations and business performance, and thus see how your daily tasks impact your overall business performance.
Instead of having to use the time to compare numeric figures from rows and columns, the differences between chosen datasets can be seen at a glance – and different scenarios modeled based on visual perception.
3. Interact with data directly
By visualizing your data you can take actions faster. By seeing your data not only in numbers in a spreadsheet but also seeing the visualized figures, you can identify also the “why’s” and take actions based on what you see.
Property data can be appealing to the eye
Visualizing property related data can give better knowledge e.g. for asset managers and investors by helping to compare different datasets easily. It helps in picking up differences and seeing different patterns quickly. It reveals trends, sets data into context, saves time, gives perspective and last but not least – stimulates the imagination of the viewer.
It’s time for us to understand that data can also be beautiful. Data doesn’t always have to mean dull, black and white numbers in a spreadsheet jungle. These numbers are not easy to understand and it’s harder to make actions based on them.
The best part is that a great variety of software has already been designed to bring essential data to a visual form, in a certain context, and to certain user profiles. Assetti, of course, is one.