Data and analytics in corporate real estate: do you have the right talent?

July 16, 2015 / By  

Is the lack of suitable data and analytics talent in your corporate real estate (CRE) team preventing you from contributing to the wider business strategy?

It probably is.  A recent study, commissioned by JLL and conducted by Forrester Consulting, identifies the talent issue in data and analytics as one of the three biggest weaknesses inhibiting CRE’s ability to contribute to overall business strategy today.[1]

This is particularly relevant as it comes at a time where data and analytics is growing in importance in CRE. Indeed, the study finds that while only 28% of respondents describe their company’s current use of data and analytics in CRE as “data-centric”, a sizable 56% do so when describing their expected use of data and analytics in 3 years.

In examining talent-related issues in CRE, the study further finds that:

  • CRE teams are satisfied that they have the talent to fulfil their current data and analytics needs. 60% say that they have the necessary people and skills to execute their CRE data and analytics strategies.
  • CRE teams feel that the talent that they have can be further strengthened. Only 29% rate the current level of talent in their teams strongly in the area of data and analytics.
  • CRE teams plan to enhance the talent available in their CRE teams. 67% say that they have plans to enhance the talent available within their CRE teams, either within the next 12 months or within the next 3 years.
  • CRE teams do not feel that they perform adequately in managing talent to fulfil their data and analytics strategies. Only 29% agree that they do a good job attracting, hiring, training, growing, and retaining data and analytics talent. This situation is further aggravated by the economy-wide shortage of data and analytics talent that is expected to continue into the foreseeable future.


Therefore, it is especially important that CRE executives focus on assembling the right teams and providing sufficient training to employees to ensure that they continue to strengthen talent and skills in data and analytics. In this respect, the study finds that:

  • CRE teams prefer to assemble multi-disciplinary teams consisting of functional experts who, together, possess the skill-sets of business-savvy data scientists who are in short supply. 50% say that they have multidisciplinary CRE data and analytics teams consisting of team members with different skill-sets while only 12% say that their teams comprise of business-savvy data scientists. This hiring practice represents a sensible approach to overcoming the persistent shortage of data and analytics talent.
  • There is scope for a greater push from CRE teams to enhance the training of their users in data and analytics. Only 27% say that user training for data and analytics use and application is an enabler of their company’s CRE data and analytics strategy today.

To learn more about how talent-related issues can affect data and analytics in CRE, stay tuned for upcoming research insight from JLL.

[1] Mind the data gap: Aspiration vs. reality in corporate real estate, November 2014

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