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detection and create interactive diagnostic tools to help prevent or report wear and tear – to reduce inaction, repair time and early replacement costs. These preventative maintenance programmes act as a kind of insurance policy; one that extends an asset’s life and maintains optimum performance.

Using publicly available data to ensure suitable location selection

A building’s efficiency is also largely dependent on its location and the surrounding environment – factors which are key to reducing business risk. There is a great deal of data already in the public domain that can be used to make this choice wisely. BDA can be used to analyse and evaluate trends in factors such as traffic, accessibility, and crime, to compare the suitability of computing locations. An additional capability brought about

by new technologies is ‘sentiment analysis’. This involves coalescing and processing information from both traditional and social media, often through data science

techniques such as natural language processing. Sentiment analysis can help shed light on the particular requirements of local communities, and therefore how well a public building is suited to serve them.

Services better tailored to needs

New and conventional data sources can also help transform the relationship between tenants and facility managers. For example, residents’ surveys, mobile phone signal patterns, and online reviews can, when processed with the right analytical tools, shed light on granular trends – for example, creating much more accurate forward rent forecasts. Social media sentiment analysis could equip managers with the knowledge to tailor improvements and prioritise services based on interests and usage. Previously slow and static processes such as form filling could be made more dynamic, leading to decisions being implemented on a much faster timescale. The upshot is that facilities managers could cut out the most frustrating parts of administrative work, freeing up time to be used more efficiently and purposefully.

Space management and strategic use of public estates

A combination of different approaches should be used to maximise building efficiency. Technology can, for example, help deliver additional revenue for public estates by optimising the use of facilities that can be shared. Schools have some of the best sporting and studio spaces in the country – yet they are typically used for less than half the day. Research shows that schools which choose to open their facilities can generate annual revenues of £70,000, which can be reinvested in new infrastructure, maintenance, or upgrades.

The key message is that emerging

technologies – in conjunction with an explosion in the availability of data – can equip facility managers with new capabilities to substantially cut waste, provide services tailored to tenants’ needs, and reduce time spent on repetitive tasks. This could represent a fundamental change in how public estate buildings deliver efficient services.

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