According to Zaloni, the volume of data created by U.S. companies alone each year is enough to fill ten thousand Libraries of Congress. Digital technology is changing the world around us as we know it, and the self storage industry is no exception. In today’s world, business is no longer happening in one place or during traditional business hours. Tenant expectations are changing at a rapid pace, the growth of technology in the past two years has demanded self storage facility owners to have an online presence and 24/7 communication.
Fifteen years ago, the self storage industry was behind the times, and today facility owners can almost predict the future with big data — which has affected everything, and it is not going away anytime soon. If you’re wondering how this data can help you manage your daily operations and grow your revenue, read on to find out.
Self Storage and Big Data
According to Internet Live Stats, Google processes over 40,000 search queries every second, that translates to over 3.5 billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches worldwide per year. In short, big data entails collecting and analyzing an enormous amount of data. Typically, companies use this data to reveal buying patterns of customers, run daily operations and generate revenue and manage their marketing campaigns more efficiently.
Prior to the implementation of big data, facility owners had little to no information on the tenants that were renting from them. Today, the industry is so well versed in different software systems and analytics they can learn not only to track how their tenants are finding them, but why.
Big data is the deep dive the self storage industry has been seeking for years. To date, facility owners are tracking data such as rentals, income, sign up, reservations and more. Many facility owners are even tracking mobile rental sign-ups. The information available to facility owners is helping them minimize vacancies and maximize profits.
The Three V’s
Ultimately, big data is broken down and defined by the 3 V’s: Volume, Variety and Velocity. Volume referring to how much data you’re collecting in terms of size; variety refers to different databases you’re collecting from as well as what type of information you’re collecting (such as pure text, photo, audio, video, web, GPS and relational databases); and velocity refers to how you analyze and utilize the data you are collecting in real-time. Data is only as helpful as your ability to execute on it quickly, and when it comes to velocity in terms of big data, this is king. While high-velocity decisions are important, fast execution is equally critical.
The Generation of Genius
With big data software, companies can now take heaping servings of data and turn them into actionable insights. We now live in a world where a self storage facility owner can quantify how much they can raise the rent on a tenant before they vacate a unit. Before big data you had to guess at this number, but now you can look online and see that the average cost of a unit is just over $88 a month and then adjust your facility prices accordingly. The moral of the story here is that when you make more information available from a variety of different data sources, new ideas emerge and revenue skyrockets.
With over 53% of companies using big data and 45% of companies running at least some big data workload in the cloud, big data decisions are fueling industries across the board. According to Forbes, data warehouse optimization is considered the most important big data analytics use case in 2017, followed by customer/social analysis and predictive maintenance. Big data is often overlooked, but the truth is there are many big data customer-focused big data applications that can have a positive effect on your facility.
All great innovation happens when you provide the right people with the right information at the right time. When it comes to using big data, start by finding systems that help you track and analyze your number of rentals, how tenants are finding your facility, and your tenant's length of stay. These items will not only help you understand your current tenants but prepare for future ones.
Facility owners can collect data from their email activity, social media, e-commerce sites or website tracking. Big data is often overlooked, but the truth is there are many big data customer-focused big data applications that can have a positive effect on your facility. The collection of data is the first step. Just remember information is only valuable when you use it.