The use and value of commercial property data

Published April 2019

As the property industry adapts to the realities of a digital world dominated by cloud computing and artificial intelligence (AI), the amount of available data concerning real estate is increasing exponentially. Data concerns almost every aspect of the built environment: from how we use and interact with properties as individuals and businesses, through to how a building's energy consumption and construction details are being recorded and analysed to help surveyors, asset managers, building managers, developers and investors make informed decisions about real estate processes.

The industry appears to be at a tipping point, with chartered surveyors and other property professionals having to use skills beyond the traditional surveying competencies. Data analysis is one such area that is growing in importance. It is no longer enough simply to possess data; the value lies in being able to use it.

This paper aims to discuss the benefits of and challenges to an increasing use of data in the commercial property market. It considers not only its availability and quality but also the skills needed by surveyors to recognise its uses and maximise the value in analysing it. The paper deals with the ownership of data, its security and regulation and also makes predictions and recommendations for the future of a property world full of accurate, easily available data.