“To create a transport cost heat map, we mapped all the customer locations and then the client told us how many trips were made to each location over the course of a year. We then mapped what the transport costs would be to each actual customer location from each theoretical potential new depot location.
“This is where computations get large – it’s in the tens of millions of separate calculations to optimise the answer,” he says.
Living in a data world
Data-driven intelligence is enabling JLL to have a completely different discussion with its clients, one that is based on absolute fact.
“We can now go to market, go to a developer, create a design and say, ‘this is the location where we think you should build’, rather than what would have happened in the past where we select [a location] because it looks good,” says Clowes.
The ‘Golden Triangle’ leases in Brisbane’s commercial district. Images are built with data rather than raster pictures. All leases are ‘clickable’ and drill back to source data held in Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
"Real estate agents don’t typically live in the data world. My line to people is that if you don’t get comfortable with data, you’re not going to have a job. This is a brave new world, you don’t need to understand how we manipulate data and how we build algorithms, but you need to understand that is what is going to answer questions for the real estate [industry].
“This is why we are building a whole data science capability across the organisation … this will help them [agents] make a really good real estate decision based on that data.”
Currently, three IT staff at JLL are working on data analysis and around 60 people across the organisation use the ESRI online mapping tool.
“We will always have highly skilled technical data analysts and data scientists but what we want to do is enable the business to go to ESRI online, pump in their data and produce a data map. We are doing this now.
"The message I am giving at director level is you guys have got to learn to get comfortable with this. It’s no longer acceptable [for our leadership] to say, ‘I am not a technology person,” Clowes says.
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