On-Demand Analytics; A Conversation With Simon Trude

Blog | On-Demand Analytics; A Conversation With Simon Trude

In working to drive strategic change within the current CRE climate, CoWorkr finds its customers moving beyond the traditional data collection methodologies of the past and adopting new expectations of on-going access to data. We call this "on-demand analytics," which includes workplace data collection on a continual basis.

“CRE is now experiencing an influx of ubiquitous IoT technologies that consumers have seen for the past few years. Today we see hardware costs reduced and barriers to software implementation lowering, creating opportunity within the marketplace. Advancements in sensor technology and energy efficiencies are making agile yet permanent sensing methods available to workplaces. What this translates to is the ability for an environments team to have constant insight into their workplace and a direct path to building better workplaces. Today, we can offer simple on-going sensor solutions, working entirely autonomously —without any internal network integration— at a fraction of the cost we saw just two years ago.” Keenan May, CPO & cofounder at CoWorkr.

The ability to design on-the-fly or to establish a feed-back loop for your CRE performance will not only open doors for controlling quality control of dynamic workplaces but create new challenges and opportunities to the design community. We sat down with Simon Trude, a workplace design influencer, managing director and principal at Gensler, to discuss the topic of on-demand analytics in CRE.

CoWorkr: Corporate Real Estate as a whole is rarely affiliated with technology, yet we're seeing major movement across sectors in the adoption of bleeding edge solutions for the workplace. From the perspective of a designer, why do you think organizations are requesting on-demand analytics?

Trude: We actually talk about this a lot at Gensler. We’re always helping clients assess their real estate decisions, and we’ve had tools in place for years that collect workplace data both pre- and post-occupancy for clients, but it’s starting to get really interesting now that it’s possible to collect data basically continuously. I think smart organisations are capturing feedback at a more accelerated rate today because technology is changing more rapidly and, as a result, the ways we work, both individually and collaboratively, are changing more rapidly, so you have to monitor things and test and refine assumptions constantly to make sure both your physical workplace and your organisation are evolving together.

CoWorkr: We have a core belief that worker productivity is directly related to the workplace performance. How do you think workplace analytics lead to building more innovative and productive environments?"

Trude: As the saying goes, you can’t improve what you don’t measure, and nowhere is this truer than in the workplace, where a company’s performance and competitive advantage can really depend on understanding the way the workplace works. But beyond just how it works, it’s also about how it feels. I think that is and will continue to be a real differentiator for Gensler. That is, our approach to collecting data on the workplace has always been about more than just capturing metrics around space utilisation or functionality; we also measure aspects of the employee experience and quantify the links between workplace design and innovation. Collecting data on the workplace gives organisations and designers the critical insight needed to make advancements both functionally and the experientially.

CoWorkr:  One of our platform's greatest value propositions is to provide tools in aiding the adoption and maintenance of agile environments. What are organizations, like Gensler, doing in design to support a more dynamic workplace?"

Trude: It’s probably an oversimplification, but I think to create a more dynamic workplace one of the most important things an organisation can do is just empower its people, give them the freedom to personalize the way they work, give them a highly adaptable workplace that responds to their needs and preferences. Individuals and teams shouldn’t feel limited by their work environment; the work environment should unleash creativity and productivity. We often talk about designing work environments that tell a story about an organisation, and that may sound like a really qualitative thing, but on some level it’s also really about collecting data. We want the story that we tell to be true to the way the company works and to their culture, and the more reliable the data is that we collect about them, the more authentic that story will be.

Simon Trude is a Principal & Managing Director at  Gensler

Simon Trude is a Principal & Managing Director at Gensler


"Simon is Principal and Managing Director in our Sydney office. After serving as Brand Design Director in the New York office, Simon returned home to Australia to open the firm’s first Australian office in his home town of Sydney. With more than 17 years of worldwide strategy and design experience, Simon balances his global vision and expertise with a deep understanding of local context and culture. Simon believes that design should not only be functional, but experiential. He is known for his creative, “storytelling” approach to design that helps create experiences and environments that engage and inspire its users on an emotional level. Simon’s work has been recognized globally and locally through publications, including Interior Design, Indesign and Artichoke. He has been a featured speaker at CoreNet Global, WorkTech and Work 2.0 conferences, sharing his insights into the future of design and trends across a variety of markets."  - Gensler