Eetu Kirsi,

How to simplify property management reports with automated reporting

Property management reporting is often time-consuming and costly. However, by adopting modern automation tools and dashboards, you can significantly reduce the effort it takes to create a report and eliminate any human error in the making of reports.

Overall, as less time is spent collecting data, more time can be used analysing it to increase the performance of the building.

But first, a brief background to what is included in a property management report.

What are property management reports?

A property management report is a weekly, monthly, or annual report on the cooling, heating, electricity, water, maintenance, services and other costs of a building or several buildings. Typically, it’s the job of the building manager or technical manager to assemble the reports for management.

Besides these standard reports, regulators set their own reporting demands. While the demands can vary greatly between different building types, a common example is an energy performance certificate.

Beyond energy ratings, a hospital will need dozens of reports, whereas a regular office building will get by with much fewer reports. Regulators usually do not want to see the data itself, but demand that a building owner possesses the data, in case it is needed.

What are the most typical problems with facility management reports today?

The majority of property management reports today are a collection of manually gathered data from many different data sources. Energy consumption might alert in one service, building management system in another, occupancy figures in a third.

Even having a solid template for presenting all the facility’s data is not enough: copy/pasting the data from system to system is extremely inefficient.

Why should manual reporting be a thing of the past?

  • Building managers spend countless working hours gathering data
  • Copy/pasting data from system to system can result in human errors
  • Even if errors are noticed, fixing them consumes even more time
  • Customisation of reports for different audiences is difficult
  • Comparing current and historical data to identify trends is difficult
  • Providing data in the correct standard for authorities can be tricky

The need for reporting on the performance of buildings is not diminishing. On the contrary, in the future we need even more detailed reporting on indoor conditions, energy efficiency, emissions, waste management, service order performance against SLAs etc.

That’s why we need a fresh approach to reporting.

Step by step guide to improving property management reporting with automated reports

Automated reports enable you to deliver exact, timely and customisable reports for any purpose without spending countless hours collecting the data.

To achieve this ideal state, follow these steps:

  • Integrate relevant data sources to the same platform
  • Define the reports and data you actually need
  • Formalise the process of producing reports
  • Choose a tool for presenting the data

The first step is to bring all the data – from BMS, IoT sensors, maintenance book, energy etc. – to one platform. A partner with experience in digital solutions for buildings will help you choose the right technology and complete the integrations. Integrating the data to one cloud platform enables you to process and analyse the data together and even use AI to detect issues that the human eye can’t see.

Once you have the IT infrastructure ready, it’s time to rethink the reports you need. After all, meeting the reporting requirements of regulators is just a start.

Take a hard look at what information is relevant, to whom and when? The CFO probably needs to know the costs in euros and how they are changing. The CSR team is interested in CO2 emissions. Tenants or building users will want to see the status of the indoor conditions of the building. Satisfying all these reporting needs would previously have taken a lot of your working time, but now you can easily share the exact relevant data to the right people.

Once you’ve listed the reports you want to share, it is just a matter of defining the reports in the system and choosing a smart user interface (UI) for displaying the information.

With a smart UI, you can set up dashboards for real-time monitoring or choose the contents of the weekly reports sent to your CEO’s email. The creation of recurring reports has now been automated.

Automation helps make property data actionable

Automation reduces the time required to create reports and makes it easier to create new reports. However, the biggest value ultimately comes from new, data-driven insights.

With the data in one location instead of different systems, humans and AI alike can analyse the data from new perspectives and compare it to benchmarks. You can, for example, see historically when threshold values for pressure differences are exceeded and combine that with data from ventilation cycles to determine if changes are necessary.

Connecting old data together in new ways can result in significant improvements in energy efficiency, end-user satisfaction and sustainability for your property.

Caverion SmartView is a digital platform that brings together all property data and provides real-time visibility to the operations, conditions and performance of your buildings.

This was the first chapter in our new Crash Course in Digital Building Management series. The series helps you understand new and upcoming trends and capabilities of digitalisation in buildings. We know this topic through and through as Caverion is an industry expert in providing digital services to properties along with an extensive portfolio of other services.

Don’t miss out! Sign up now to get notified as new chapters are released and find all existing chapters from the Digital Property Management Crash Course.

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