The One Tool That Can Help Workplace Managers Be Predictive

by James McDonald on April 21, 2016

For many organizations, the concept of utilizing data to guide the decision-making process is hardly a new one. Whether you’re in the midst of building a start-up business or manage a global corporation, the value is the same. The ability to tap into the wealth of data available today is one of our most valued business tools. But what executives and software developers alike have now realized, is that we have an opportunity to tap into this information on an entirely different level, moving from making reactive decisions to predictive actions. Instead of reacting to a circumstance, organizations can stay ahead of them, utilizing analytics to forecast what is to come. 

As a result, more enterprises are tapping into previously uncharted territory; and reaping the benefits along the way. But, to really be effective, you must have the ability to gather and utilize ALL of your business’ data, not just one facet of the organization. Your Integrated Workplace Management System (IWMS) should offer exactly what the name implies – one platform in which all information is gathered, stored, and reported on. Not only does this ensure your workforce has access to real-time information on the fly, it also ensures you’re really seeing the full picture when making business decisions. Keep in mind that you want everyone to use and benefit from this system, not just the tech savvy or those with prior experience. This means choosing a system with enough power and versatility for any job yet user-friendly for any workforce.

Your Reporting Tool Should be Intuitive and User-Friendly

Whether you’re a novice or an expert in the field of computer software, your expectations regarding IWMS reporting capabilities should be the same. You need a system that is, in a sense, predictive in nature. It should understand and meet your needs naturally; and ease-of-use should be an essential consideration.

But, how do you sift through all the options and identify the solution that satisfies those requirements? Let’s first take a look at it from the end-user’s perspective and show you what our tool can do for you. For the purpose of this article, we will use space reporting as an example; but these capabilities are consistent regardless of which module(s) you’re using.

Generating Your Reports

For most workplace managers, space represents a huge challenge. It’s important to understand how it is being used and by whom, allowing for more informed decisions to be made, regarding space optimization, moving forward. These reports are often made on-the-fly, with little to no time for preparation, so it’s critical that our clients have everything they need right at their fingertips.

Running a report with the iOFFICE IWMS is effortless. You simply log-on to the reporting module with your assigned password and select “Space.” We want our clients to have options, so we have also made your reports available directly from the preferred module. Prior to software implementation, you will have had a meeting with your Implementation Specialist, who will help you identify any reports you might need. Those pre-installed reports will be displayed on this next screen. Just select the item you need and your report will open.

Custom Reporting One_Tool_Be_Predictive.jpg

As your business evolves, so too, will your reporting needs. With most systems, this means putting a call in to the vendor, whose specialists will create a new report for you, for the right price. iOFFICE does not believe in charging you for something you have already paid for; and we know how valuable your time is. So, in an effort to streamline the process, we’ve put the capability back into your hands. From the “Report” screen, simply click on the “Create a Report” tab, select the fields you need included in your report, and drag them into the graphics field. After that, all you have to do is set any pre-filters you want to include and save or share your report. Have a manager that works best with pie charts? No problem; you can generate your report in whatever chart form best suits your needs.

Imagine the time and money wasted on generating reports with many of the tools available today. By the time your new report is generated by the vendor’s IT support, you may have missed out on a golden opportunity! With our solution, you even have the ability to schedule reports, automated to your specific needs, removing another step from the busy life of a workplace manager.

Dashboard Analytics

Depending upon the amount of data you’re analyzing or what decisions you’re preparing for, it’s sometimes necessary to view multiple reports at once. This is where the dashboard comes in.

Your dashboard affords you the ability to display several reports, other dashboards, and custom frames that direct to URLs for other content, all on a single, integrated view. This is the most effective way to combine disparate types of content for quickly identifying and conveying trends.  

When you generate a report from your iOFFICE IWMS, you immediately have the ability to turn your tabular report into a dashboard. Using the drag capability you employed during your report building, you can include as much or as little data in your dashboard as you would like.

Many of the other IWMS vendors do not offer dashboard-building capabilities to their clients, but they will build one for you for additional fees. Those that do afford you this option require extensive knowledge of SQL. Recognizing that a majority of our customers are busy running a business, our software developers removed that step from the equation, saving you in time, money, and resources.


Disparate Data

Oftentimes, workplace management teams require a report that utilizes data from multiple software modules. If you are running a report on space utilization, but want to include information on its occupants, as well, this comes from two different tables within the database. With many of the IWMS tools, the system isn’t intuitive enough to determine where to pull the employee information from; you have to link from space to the employee table yourself. That can be time-consuming and frustrating, particularly for a busy manager or someone with rudimentary knowledge of databases and reporting structures.

The iOFFICE modules are designed with ease of use in mind, so we have removed that option from the equation. Just like with any other report, you simply drag the links you need into the graphics field and the information is populated for you. This saves you in both time and money, as many managers find themselves going back to the vendor or their own IT department for help in building the report.One_Tool_Be_Predictive_Cover.jpg

The Value in Terms of Savings 

Ultimately, every good businessperson is seeking out ways to reduce budget spending and increase profits. If you are constantly spending money putting out fires, the enterprise will never get ahead. With robust reporting capabilities, you can identify trends and predict speed bumps before they become a major issue. The cost of maintaining your A/C unit is minimal compared to unexpected downtime, which includes loss in production, employee overtime, and replacement equipment.

From an analytics standpoint, what good is a system if you can’t pull the data you need, when you need it? And how many of your team members will reject the system altogether if becomes to arduous of a task?

As the workplace manager, you will likely spend countless hours researching your IWMS options and working at achieving buy-in from C-suite. On top of the initial investment, many are finding themselves loaded with unexpected expenses for items they were led to believe were included. Surely a frustrating realization after having spent so much time promoting and touting their new tool. And, when the contract is up, they don’t renew, finding themselves right back where they started.

Whether you align yourself with iOFFICE or choose another vendor, take the time to understand and convey your organizational needs to the software team you’re working with. Make sure the bulk of your workforce’s time is focused towards achieving company goals and not bogged down with incomplete or unhelpful software modules. Plan carefully and proceed confidently.


James McDonald

James McDonald is a sports enthusiast, brother in Christ and once swam in a tank with the infamous TV sharks.

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