Asset Management Trends: The Future of Data

This post was published first on ICSC’s The Centre of Shopping blog.

ICSC’s European Retail Asset Management Group recently carried out a collaborative effort to determine their top asset management trends. ICSC will share the top 8 trends on their blog up until Christmas. The Group’s Chair Robert Bonwell opens the series with a focus on the importance of data- driven decisions in asset management.

“What’s the world of “data” all about? In the past, data for shopping centres meant drive times, spending power, demographics, population growth, tenant mix, economic facts and the competition. Today, data analysis is more sophisticated and used properly, can determine the success of a centre. The key to successful asset management lies in data-driven decisions.


That “forensic” analysis of turnover rent to sales ratios has taken on a new dimension in the world of omni-channel sales, stores as showrooms, etc. The need for “big data” – from credit card data analysis to footfall and dwell time – provides context and depth to decision making.

With the clear separation in the market between winning and losing shopping centres against the pressure of “wall of money” searching for an investment return, it’s essential that quality insights and data drive the decisions regarding income and capital growth. These types of decisions are vital to achieving investors’ short and long-term ROI expectations.

Wall of money

While there is data that is more transparent and readily available, it is the select data (that is increasingly focused around the consumer and retailer) that provides the deep local intelligence needed to sway a decision. This data may include consumer trends and behaviour changes such as athleisure and food/beverage shifts in addition to retailer trends like performance, digital integration and local variances.

Furthermore, the asset manager’s client has changed – perhaps into an opportunity fund or private equity with shorter-term return requirements, or a longer term sovereign wealth investor who is seeking steady and continuous returns – and therefore a flexible, data-backed timeline is needed that allows variously timed exits.

The asset manager owns the implementation of the business plan and delivers the client’s needs. To do so, the manager needs a cohesive stream of interpreted data, not just a mass of independently sourced information that provides no pattern, depth or context.

This stream of data is available for the asset manager to make quality decisions. The “trick” is to combine the data to make informed analytical decisions over time.”

Learn more about data and the future of retail in JLL’s Redefining Retail Places research project.

Follow Robert on Twitter at @JLLRobertRetail