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Visualizing Your Revenue At Risk With Power BI

Posted by Michelle Millar in: industry news, business intelligence, Real Estate, data visualization, Integration, Data, Custom Software, Power BI, COVID-19

Many of our clients are currently facing an increased and urgent need to have all the data on revenue, risk and cashflow at their fingertips – quite literally in the case of those limited to mobile devices while working from home.

COVID Risk Dashboard Mockup

Click image to enlarge

The rapidly changing nature of the situation calls for more than simply running a report from an existing system or passing around spreadsheets that may already be out of date before they are received. Thanks to our wealth of experience with business intelligence, data and integration, we’ve been able to answer the call in record time by combining the rapidly deployed Power BI suite with existing tools and systems to turn raw data into actionable information.

What does the Real Estate industry need to know right now?

The ability to quickly assess and regularly monitor the risk status of tenants is currently the top priority for much of the Real Estate industry, regardless of asset class. This requires the collation of multiple data points, including:

  • Fixed cost and turnover rent projections
  • Lease breaks, renewals and expirations
  • Industry type
  • Payment history
  • Solvency risk
  • Credit ratings
  • Insurance

Companies are also quickly developing strategies to leverage the knowledge and expertise of their property and asset managers to apply their own proprietary COVID Risk Ratings to their tenants. However, capturing and reporting on this metric alongside data from other internal and cloud-based, third-party systems can present a challenge.

How has Open Box been able to respond so quickly?

Power BI has proven to be the tool of the moment, allowing for rapid connection of multiple data sources, including existing system databases, APIs and flat files. Our experience in working with these kinds of integrations has allowed us to successfully connect data sources to Power BI dashboards in a matter of days, even for never-before-seen endpoints.

Power BI has proven to be the tool of the moment, allowing for rapid connection of multiple data sources

Best of all, clients who are on Microsoft 365 Enterprise E5 edition have discovered that Power BI Pro is already included in their license, and they can get started at no additional cost. For those on the core E3 license, Power BI can be added for as little as $9.99 per user, with free trials available.

We’ve also applied our usual pragmatism to finding in-house solutions for storing subjective metrics like COVID Risk Ratings. Salesforce and SharePoint have both proven to be useful tools in this regard, allowing for quick customization and straightforward integration to the reporting dashboard.

Our confidence with remote collaboration has allowed us to workshop data visualisations and representations with clients in real time, cycling through several iterations in a matter of hours, and resulting in meaningful dashboards that deliver value from the word go.

Why not just use spreadsheets?

In this rapidly changing situation, a responsive and flexible approach is what makes the difference between reporting and analysis. Power BI dashboards provide an overview of key metrics at a glance, but also cater for the ability to dynamically home in on areas of interest. Splitting revenue by risk category, filtering by region or asset class, or drilling down into specific tenants can all be done on the fly, with a few clicks of the mouse.

Companies getting ahead of the analysis curve today are going to be best positioned to answer these questions tomorrow

Dashboards provide management and executives with the up-to-date reporting on risk exposure they need to support qualified, proactive decision making. A platform like Power BI ensures that this information is available no matter where they may be working, or on what kind of device – reports are even available through a secure mobile app.

The insights gained from these visualisations assist the business in adjusting planning and operations to ensure that revenue risk is mitigated, by identifying and working with riskier tenants, being first in line to negotiate alternative revenue arrangements if needed, and identifying expenses that may be reduced or deferred.

What comes next?

As the situation continues, we foresee data being used to answer even more complex questions. How will clients forecast the impact of rent holidays or rent reductions? How are expenses changing within this period and what does this mean for cashflow? Will some tenants choose to continue working from home in the future and how does this affect future income and overheads?

Whatever happens next, there’s no question in our minds that companies getting ahead of the analysis curve today are going to be best positioned to answer these questions tomorrow.

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