Taking Your Data from Transparency to Action

Learn how your team can use your workplace data to take action to improve your workplaces.

Taking Your Data from Transparency to Action
Photo by Bethany Legg / Unsplash


Today, buildings are no longer just steel, concrete, and stone structures. They are intricate ecosystems brimming with communities, technology, and data. The introduction of technological systems, from sensors to video conferencing systems, has added a new layer of complexity but also the potential for an enhanced understanding of our workplaces. However, a significant challenge remains:  the systems of our workplaces do not communicate in a unified way.   To enable teams to interact with and use all of the information running through and across our spaces, some effort is required.  Today, we’re going to outline those steps at a high level to help you begin to move forward.


The first step in using all of this information is at the transparency stage. Collecting and integrating all of the information coming from different building and workplace systems is currently the most difficult part of the process. That’s the first challenge that Trebellar is working to solve: creating a unified system that brings together all of your information into one discreet system.

Once the information flows into the system, the critical next steps are cleaning, normalizing, and aggregating it. Through this process, you can finally start to see all of the beautiful information that has always existed—but now it can be interpreted, and we can move on to the next important part of this process. For some common pitfalls to avoid, see our previous blog.


Connecting the dots might be an overused turn of phrase, but that’s what insights really are.  Once your data has been set out in a clear way, you can begin to see how different variables of your spaces, places, and programs interact or affect each other.  This is the insights stage of moving towards action.  How has that new food program affected the duration (amount of time per visit) that employees spend in the cafeteria socializing?  Well, by creating transparency around utilization and duration, you can begin to understand how these variables might interact.  There are thousands of possible combinations of information that teams might find useful depending on their use case.  Once you’ve decided what to measure and connected the dots, the next step is taking action.


Now that you understand how your data interacts and have found interesting insights, you can begin to take action in response to some of these insights.  In the example above, if we understand that introducing a food program on Wednesdays has increased the duration of time that employees are spending in the cafe, we might try adding lunch service on another day (Thursday) to increase the duration of that day, but also to show the effect is repeatable.  Then, you can watch the utilization of that space over a designated time period (4 weeks) to see if there is a change in behavior.  Of course, you’ll need to compare that information to the previous month's data (before you introduced the food program).  That will also allow you to see if the change was driven by this new variable you introduced.  Now you’ve got a proof of concept that you can try again or change variables to try something new as well.


Understanding, interpreting, and taking action on the information in your company's systems is no small task,  but it’s a strategic requirement in this new era of the workplace. By leveraging data, teams can optimize operations and craft better experiences for their teams. The key lies in getting transparent (clean) data and insights and taking action through experimentation.  In our next article we'll be outlining why these efforts are no longer optional but a strategic requirement for teams in the world of workplace and real estate.  Stay tuned!