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Big Data and Real Estate: BNPPRE’s new Chief Data and Analytics officer weighs in


BNP Paribas Real Estate collects data. But what is the data is being used for? The company’s new Chief Data Officer talks about the value of data.

BNP Paribas Real Estate Tackles Data in Real Estate

Christophe Pineau

In today’s increasingly digital landscape, it’s no longer a question whether data should play a role in business strategy and decision making. And real estate is no different. Whatever the project, data can shape client strategy by adapting to changing markets and guiding service offerings. BNP Paribas Real Estate’s Data and Analytics department aims to gather the data related to real estate missions in Europe to propose new, innovative services based on valuable insights. Christophe Pineau, the department’s new Chief Data Officer explains. 

Q: When we talk about Data in real estate, what kind of data are we referring to?

A: When we think of Data in real estate, we automatically think of market and business related figures, but there is so much more: whether it’s big data or small data, we’re talking about data that interacts with its surroundings, collecting information from connected objects to connected buildings and so on. In the real estate sector, we can use this data to analyse client portfolios more in depth. For example, specific data such as sunshine rate, pollution rates and number of businesses nearby can give us a 360 degree view of a building, neighbourhood, district or city. We can then use this information to develop a corresponding client strategy.

Q: Why is data collection important for real estate?

A: Data collection represents a strategic point to better answer clients’ real estate needs. For example: with the help of algorithms, you can perform a proper benchmark study of comparable buildings to find out if a client is paying too many charges. We can now find answers to questions like these and develop solutions faster than ever before thanks to data.

Furthermore, data in real estate enriches analyses of client strategy and project goals. With the data collecting methods and tools available to us now, we can dedicate more of our time to answering client needs. We will be able to conduct real time research and expert analyses more thoroughly and more efficiently. Data collection can also add a new perspective to data we already have. Lastly, the more data we analyse, the more our teams can understand client needs and thus develop new service offerings.

In short, the Data and Analytics department at BNP Paribas Real Estate aims to use quality data to develop quality services.

Q: Why create a department dedicated to Data and Analytics?

A: In the past, basic data was seen as something simple, for use in presentations via bar graphs, pie charts, diagrams etc. Today, data is more complete and all-encompassing. We are witnessing a data revolution and this department is here to monitor the changes affecting our clients every day. They need data that is evolutive, reliable and flexible. With this department, we aim to promote more productivity and efficiency, reinforce our services with new data, and offer new services to answer needs that weren’t being answered before. In order to do so, our dedicated analytics teams monitor data quality to insure that it can: be linked to other data, visualised, and analysed with the help of new data analytics technology such as Artificial Intelligence.

In summary, we created this department to thoroughly and efficiently collect data and develop new services for every department at BNP Paribas Real Estate.

Q: How does BNPPRE plan to organise and analyse the data?

 A: We understand the value that data has for our clients and our business. In order to properly build our data strategy, we conducted workshops with each of our business lines to get insights on their data needs across the company. Essentially, we asked managers what data could do for their clients. This gave us a catalogue of client needs as defined by business lines and helped us shape part of our strategy.

Q: What about data security?

A: At BNP Paribas Real Estate, when it comes to data, two things are paramount: Innovation and Security. Our main ambition is to use new technology to respond to client needs while remaining transparent about the use of data across our departments in Europe. In addition, I am personally leading GDPR projects across all BNPPRE departments concerning the new European regulation on personal data protection.

Q: What is BNPPRE’s vision for the future of data in real estate?

A: With Research and Analytics, BNP Paribas Real Estate will continue to answer our ever-evolving client needs in more and more efficient ways by using real time data collection, data analytics and by insuring proper Data Governance.