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Step Three: Big data and spatial analytics in property

Big data is structured and unstructured data in large volumes, so complex that it is difficult or impossible to process using traditional methods. It has been changing the way organisations do business in every industry across the world, and the property sector is no exception.


Commercial real estate firms can make more informed decisions by applying algorithms to extract insights from these data, including:

  • Acquire market intelligence and/ or capture emerging trends
  • Understand customers and their preferences to improve services
  • Uncover inefficiencies to save costs and build profit margins

At the same time, data analytics technologies are becoming increasingly user-friendly and more accessible. For example, Geographic Information System (GIS) is a spatial analytics platform which allows us to visualise and interpret data to understand the relationship between data and their spatial qualities, achieving insights that might not be observable in a non-spatial format. In real estate, GIS can be used to integrate business, market and locational data to tackle both business and property challenges and give us and our clients a competitive edge in the marketplace.

Below are just a few of real-life problems that spatial data analysis can help solving:

  • The optimal location of a new retail outlet relative to target customers and existing stores
  • Logistic planning for a truck fleet to deliver to all retail stores in the least amount of time
  • Cost-effectiveness of location relative to business and operational needs
  • Costs and benefits of centralised versus decentralised distribution networks
  • Demographic profile of consumers within a given catchment and their spending habits

The convergence of GIS with big data means that the potential applications of the two will become limitless. In our experience however, not all organisations are technologically equipped enough to harness this trend and translate it into quick, actionable insights.


With advances in big data and spatial technology expected to continue reshaping the overall business landscape and business models, it is becoming increasingly critical for organizations to understand how to leverage them for strategic advantage and begin to prepare for future changes, starting today.

To find out more about how Colliers International Strategic Advisory can maximise the potential of your property or portfolio, through our unparalleled GIS capability, please contact one of our senior property advisors today.

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5-Step Strategic Property Playbook

Colliers International Strategic Advisory is pleased to present a 5-Step Strategic Property Playbook to help owners, occupiers, investors and Government property decision makers maximise value and reduce risk.

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