Who is the nation’s largest property owner? According to the latest data from the Federal Real Property Council, it’s Uncle Sam.
Here are three staggering numbers relating to the federal government’s real estate inventory:
- 3 billion square feet: combined area of the federal real estate property portfolio.
- 80,000: number of federal properties that are either completely unused or sorely under-utilized.
- $1.7 billion: dollar value paid by taxpayers for upkeep of unused federal properties.
At NASA alone, a 2012 inspector general assessment found that the real property inventory consists of more than 100,000 acres, including more than 44 million square feet within approximately 5,000 buildings and other structures. Over 80 percent of these facilities are 40 or more years old, and NASA faces a backlog of deferred maintenance, totaling $2.5 billion. These statistics demonstrate the enormous breadth of responsibilities the federal government faces in managing its real estate footprint. Luckily, the opportunity exists to adopt leading-edge technologies to help agencies be good stewards of that footprint.
The Promise of Data AnalyticsPoor utilization of federal real estate and facilities is a pernicious budget problem. Not surprisingly, GAO’s 2013 High Risk List includes management of federal real property as a notable issue. However, federal property managers have a golden opportunity to turn this worrisome situation around. With improved analytics, organizations can better predict their future portfolio utilization, moderate operating costs and potentially defer or eliminate costly capital projects. To do so, agencies first need to understand how data analytics related to financial performance of the federal real estate portfolio can help with:
- Ascertaining key performance measures.
- Accounting for all of an agency’s assets.
- Forecasting future facility demands.
- Determining space requirements that align with agency missions.
- Notifying owners about potential financial risk.
- Identify data sources to define what information is needed to serve as the input for subsequent stages.
- Collect and integrate data to extract and collate it in preparation for analysis and reporting.
- Prepare data to cleanse and transform it into meaningful information that the end-user can trust.
- Analyze and validate data to detect patterns and trends to make informed decisions.
- Report and visualize data that quickly displays relevant information in tabular/text format as well as graphical output (dashboards, scorecards and maps) and helps users consume information.
- Create predictive models to forecast scenarios around space utilization, capital risk, spending cycles and sustainability.
- Evaluate and improve the methods, from data identification through information delivery.
This article was published on Federal Computer Week.
About the Authors
Real Estate Practice Director
Mr. Lahiri pioneers innovative solutions for the corporate real estate and asset management, utilizing his 15+ years of industry experience. He advises Fortune 2000 clients on deploying enterprise-level transformation initiatives that integrate real estate analytics, cost reduction, portfolio optimization, and next-generation technologies.
Emergency Management Practice Director
Mark is an Army veteran with almost 30 years of experience architecting and building enterprise systems in the federal government and commercial sector. As a seasoned analytics professional, he has a wealth of software development, consulting, and leadership experience helping clients extract value from data, with special emphasis on emergency management.