Introduction to Business Intelligence for Multifamily

Having access to data is a blessing and a curse for many multifamily businesses. The amount of data the average business accumulates each year continues to grow exponentially and it can be difficult to know how to find the proverbial needle in a haystack that’s going to help inform future business decisions, especially if that data is housed in a spreadsheet

Fortunately, technology has advanced in such a way to make it simple for anyone to filter and make sense of large data sets. This technology is known as business intelligence and it enables you to leverage all of the data your business has access to and condense it into reports and dashboards that are easy to consume and make it much easier for you to make data-driven decisions.

Why business intelligence?

For the uninitiated, business intelligence is the process of taking your business’ raw data and transforming it into something that is easily consumed, actionable, and can be used to improve decision making. This is referred to as data visualization, which enables you to make the most out of all of your data because you can see trends, notice how often specific events are occurring, and identify connections between what your teams are doing and the end result.

What separates business intelligence from data analytics is that it is focused on taking raw, historical data and putting it into a form that is easy to comprehend. Additionally, it typically isn’t used to forecast the future, but rather identify trends and give you a view of the overall health of your business and the key metrics you choose to track. That being said, when paired with predictive analytics, business intelligence can be used as a forecasting tool

Benefits of business intelligence

Confidence in your decision making The biggest benefit of incorporating BI tools into your data analytics strategy is increased confidence in your decision making process because you know those decisions are based on all of the data you have available to you and not just a subset of that data.

More efficient data analysis You will also see an increase in efficiency because once your dashboards are set up in your BI tool, reports will run automatically instead of having to manually run them, which ensures you have a near real-time view of your performance.

Democratization of data Every decision maker in the organization will now have access to all of the data, breaking down data silos that may have existed previously

Increased competitive advantage Anticipate potential shifts in the market and adjust on the fly rather than reacting to change as it comes.

Better resident experience Identify trends and potential problems early and fix them before they become bigger

Best practices for implementing BI at your organization

One of the hidden benefits of BI is that it brings all of your teams together and improves collaboration, helping you have a more unified strategy across your entire organization. This is because there is a single source of truth. No longer are they looking at disparate reports and trying to reach a consensus on which data source to utilize. With BI, everyone is using the same data to make decisions on.

Depending on the data literacy of your teams, it’s important to focus on ease of use when it comes to selecting a BI tool. If they can’t pick it up quickly, there’s a high likelihood that they will go back to data analysis methods that worked for them previously.

Finally, have a thoughtful change management process in place. Having data to make the decisions and actually implementing them are two different things. Make sure your team has the context for why decisions are being made and how it will benefit them individually. Which should be easy because you’ll have the data to back up your thought process.

Learn more

To learn more about how Entrata can help your business make data driven decisions with our Business Intelligence tool, download our latest ebook, It’s time to ditch the spreadsheets.