Let’s Start at the Beginning
It is, perhaps, a good idea to begin the discussion with an explanation of what Big Data is. Big Data is a process that gets used when traditional data mining techniques are unable to define the insights and meaning of the data. Big Data has greater variety and arrives with increasing velocity. You could say that it consists of larger, more complex data sets.
Where Does it Come From?
Big data is derived from a plethora of sources, such as smartphones and social media posts, traffic signals and utility meters, law enforcement agency community data, point of sale terminals, and those step counters you wear on your person. The three V’s of Big Data are volume, velocity, and variety.
How Is It Used in Real Estate?
In the real estate field, if you thought there were technicalities to acquiring the funding for an investment property, wait until you see how Big Data is used in real estate.
Big Data is beginning to be widely used in the area of commercial real estate. It is now being implemented to assist with decisions such as acquisition, management, and disposal of properties. Utilizing Big Data can make a company more productive and profitable than its competitors.
Using Big Data can help a company in making more strategic decisions instead of falling back on hunches or best practices. A company can learn how much foot traffic a building is getting, how much electricity is being used throughout the building, and whether space is being utilized effectively.
What Tools Are Used To Help Manage Big Data?
There are quite a few different tools you can use to assist you in analyzing the data that you’re receiving. The analysis of data consists of validating, cleaning, transforming, and modeling the data coming in to allow for quick and efficient analysis. The data gathered is then used to assist with the making of financial models and budgets, analyzing sales leads, collecting information about the market, and even tracking tasks on a project.
Tools such as Apache Hadoop are used to analyze your Big Data. You use one called Avro to serialize and encode your Hadoop files. Flume is a popular tool that helps populate your Hadoop data from web servers and mobile devices.
Visio is a widely used tool that is included in Microsoft Office. It helps you with your diagrams, charts, and process descriptions. A tool called Kafka is used for social media because it gathers data on numbers of queries and views.
Storm is a free open-source real-time distributed computing system. It is resistant to crashing and can be used across almost all programming languages. It is now owned by Twitter.
Utilizing the Data
To succeed in today’s market, a company must not only be able to track data, but know how to manage it, also. A good example of the utilization of Big Data in real estate is its use by online real estate websites. To remain competitive, these companies run Big Data overnight, so customers are seeing the newest listings, and updated information on the status and value of a listed property.
For smaller real estate companies, trying to manage an in-house Big Data system would probably prove too costly and unmanageable. Online companies like Trulia are able to employ teams of people who work overnight just to manage the many data streams coming in through their Hadoop system.
If your smaller local company is part of a larger, national company, then your Big Data likely first goes through the parent company, where the data is sorted by geographic area and farmed out to the smaller offices.
Thus, if you’re looking to invest in commercial real estate, you could use Big Data to gather information on what are the most current listings, and what areas are drawing the most foot traffic. It can also advise as to when the best time is to sell a property. By collecting data in terabytes and petabytes, Big Data also allows for the data to be more personalized for your company’s unique needs.