Chief data officers and analytics heads will become core functions for all REIMs

Having the right people and processes to govern data and its transformation will determine the long-term winners in a rapidly changing environment with Linda J. Isaacson, Ferguson Partners.


Key highlights and insights include:

  • As the focus shifts to building predictive and prescriptive models for data innovation, having high-performing talent to achieve competitive differentiation becomes crucial. There are already real estate investment managers using data insights to make decisions rapidly without human intervention. 

  • All organizations, regardless of size, should include a chief data officer (CDO) or head of analytics in their data transformation planning to ensure disciplined governance, a key role in driving the success of innovating with data assets. It is difficult to outsource this function entirely, although there are companies that will refine an organization’s data and analytic functions, and establish and lead their data governance programs. 

  • Data literacy, an essential component of a data-driven culture, must become a core competency of leadership within the enterprise, even if the CDO role is outsourced. 

  • Safeguarding proprietary data assets in REIMs, both large and small, is critical.


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First published in NAREIM Dialogues Spring 2021, published in association with IREI.