CLIENT CASE STUDY
Optimizing Cash Flow: Big V Property Group's Power BI Journey
Big V Property Group partnered with Fortimize to build Power BI dashboards for real estate cash flow management. Using Azure SQL Database and Azure Data Factory, they centralized financial data for actuals, budget, and cash flow forecasts. Scenario-based analytics streamlines their decision making while enhancing transparency into asset performance.
In 2023, Big V Property Group executed some of the largest transactions in its 80-year history. However, success for this commercial real estate firm goes beyond transactions; it’s about their relentless focus on being a best-in-class company. To prepare for continued growth, Paul Shively joined as VP of Investments, overseeing the asset management team and ensuring smart investment choices while optimizing existing asset performance.
Shively explained, “The main question my team had to answer was, ‘What are the best asset-level decisions we can make for this property?’ Although we can respond and provide short-term recommendations, I wanted us to take an even more proactive stance in evaluating long-term outcomes as well.”
Recognizing that today’s property decisions carry financial implications for many years to come, Big V Property Group harnessed years of diligent operations and meticulous data collection to advance its data strategy. In partnership with Fortimize, they built Power BI dashboards to centralize disparate data sources, enabling teams with more time and tools to analyze and model cash flow.
Big V Property Group has centralized and modeled its data using an Azure SQL database, and established a scalable data warehouse for future requirements. Azure Data Factory serves as their ETL tool, seamlessly ingesting and merging data from Yardi, Salesforce, and Loan Boss into a central repository. Power BI then generates insightful data visualizations, enabling users to quickly access integrated data and create reports. The enhanced data infrastructure–and improved access to it–empowers Big V Property Group to navigate risk management while optimizing portfolio health and cash management.
Shively shared, “With this solution, the team can conduct more comprehensive scenario modeling, spending less time working on the data and more time interpreting its insights.”
The executive team has access to integrated data from a single, trusted repository. Eliminating the need to swivel between systems allows them to dedicate more time to analyzing data and making informed decisions. This involves monitoring each asset’s status and applying predictive scenarios to gain insights into future performance based on specific variables. Additionally, team members no longer invest 20 hours per month in manually updating Excel spreadsheets for asset and portfolio-level cash flow forecasts.
The asset management team benefits from enhanced functionality in the general ledger’s line items, including details such as the budget’s purpose, designated use, and the planned expenditure timeline. Asset managers estimate saving 4-5 hours per month per asset in manual reconciliation across 40 properties, totaling 160-200 hours. According to Shively, this time can now be redirected towards more meaningful and productive work to enhance the quality and quantity of business decisions.
Shively added, “Effective cash management is critical to a real estate firm’s success. Part of this involves understanding how business decisions affect current and future cash flow, both on a property-by-property basis and across the entire portfolio. With Power BI, we’ve transformed raw data into a strategic advantage, maximizing cash flow, optimizing asset performance, and enhancing the employee experience.”