Why data holds the key to improved operations and a better workplace. 

We’re in the age of data and technology. We’ve come to use data and predefined metrics as the baseline of decision making for maximum accuracy and effectiveness. Now this isn’t a bad thing, you don’t go to the store with a list that says “food”, you go with a list of exactly what you need and how much.  

Same thing for portfolio optimization and workplace decisions. This is where data analytics comes into play and can be incredibly useful, especially in the realm of portfolio management. Areas like sustainability, ROI, workplace & office space, and maintenance can all benefit from data-driven decisions. 

This article is going to take you through our thoughts on data and portfolio management and some things that may be important to remember. Portfolio optimization is something we work on a lot with clients with Archibus, as it is outfitted to address this in a myriad of ways. 

The W’s of data  

Having a plan for the data and information that’s going to be collected should be the first step in your data journey. Build out a plan and identify operations and objectives that can benefit from data analytics. Data just for the sake of data isn’t going to do much.  

So, here are 2 steps of data collection and why they’re important when making a strategy for decision making.  


Knowing where in your portfolio you want to measure data is the first step to successfully integrating data practices. Sustainability and energy use are on everyones radar right now, and data collection with things like digital twins or BIM to measure energy use is a no brainer. Knowing how much energy is used and where gives the opportunity to improve those areas specifically and meet climate change objectives. 

Other areas? Workplace and office settings can benefit from data collection now that the return to office is in full swing. Data collection with the intention of space management is going to mean better use of your office space based on how it is being used now. Better decisions with data mean an improved workplace for your people, and a more enjoyable office experience. 


Before you start making decisions with the data, the intention behind the decisions must be made. Do you want to lower costs? Improve ROI? Lower energy use? Make better use of space?  

Setting goals for the areas of your portfolio you want to improve on and having a why that aligns with practices will mean there is consistent improvement. Once one objective is met, the intention and the why will drive future decisions with the data.  

Is your why/goal to be more environmentally sustainable? Or lower portfolio costs due to less people being in the office? (Which has been found to be top of mind for real estate managers in 2023) Organizations like the Government of Canada have their why for the coming years down – portfolio optimization, green government, and improved data reporting in their real property portfolio. All of these intend to improve use and experience in the workplace for all those in the government. 

Optimizing a portfolio as large as that, however, needs to be supported with the right technology and digital solutions. 

Digital Twin Technology  

Digital twins offer cutting edge capabilities in digital modelling, data collection and blueprints for areas like construction, facilities and real property. With digital twin solutions such as Autodesk, we see the opportunity for organizations to elevate their insights in areas of their portfolio like energy and asset management. 

Asset management and energy are two areas that benefit greatly from digital twins. Both are also key points of mandates for government departments in the future. Enabling real property optimization and greener operations with digital twins means a complete, real-time picture of data from facilities and systems.  

Data Reporting & Digital Twins 

Capturing this information means comparing use of things like space or energy emissions over time can be done to improve operations over time. Space and occupancy data captured can be leveraged to overhaul areas of an office or workspace that are underutilized.  

Data collection on a point-by-point basis across a portfolio in real-time has to be reported in a digestible format to make the right decisions. Real-time data reporting is going to result in better decisions for the organization and for operations.  

These decisions are exactly the kind that are going to result in the long-term elevation of the workplace alongside portfolio operations. 

Space Management 

Making the most out of real property means making the most out of the space. Maximizing space use in places like offices and making the space relevant and useful is a direction many are taking right now. 

Notably the Candian Federal government making a push to renovate their office spaces to be better suited to the modern workplace. Collaborative as well as individual workspaces are being included in areas to give more variety outside of cubicles. This was cited by Stephan Dery, Director General of real property as making sure that these spaces remain flexible and optimize their entire portfolio, minimizing wasted space. 

With remote work, space management needs data analysis and technology support to monitor trends and patterns in how the space is being used. With this, space can be adjusted over time to suit the needs of employees. Employee feedback and data driven decisions are the future of space management and the workplace. Supported by digital solutions like Archibus and space management becomes accessible and easy to implement with reports and dashboards.  

Portfolio Management 

Maximizing investment across a portfolio requires the right practices and attention to detail in areas like building operations, facilities, and maintenance. Aligning all of these with business objectives and long-term goals is exactly how managers get the most out of their investment.  

Effective portfolio management takes data analysis and uses it in decision making and long-term goal setting. Areas like maintenance schedules and preventative maintenance to lower costs or sustainability initiatives that include system upgrades for better energy use.  

This can all be done with a centralized portfolio management solution. With better data and accessibility, maintenance logs and work orders are mobile friendly. There, updates are housed on the application for facilities managers to stay up to date on maintenance and work orders. 


Portfolio solutions make managing real property and space a more accessible and efficient process. With a range of modules and capabilities that offer centralized reporting, half empty office spaces or unused buildings have the chance to be repurposed or leased out.  

Horizant has helped managers from the public and private sectors track everything from space use to building operations. With this data, organizations have been able to make informed decisions about their portfolio space, lower costs, and create workplaces that are more conducive to the modern employee.  

With a team that puts people first, integrating a solution that supports the future of work and the people who make it is straightforward. A free consultation is the best way to get started on optimizing your portfolio and getting the most out of your biggest investment.