Initiated in 2018 as a joint endeavour between INREV and ANREV, the members of both associations are now starting to see big improvements to the back and front ends of their database operations. These benefits are most apparent when members come to enter data for the INREV/ANREV indices or extract statistics and analyses for their own use.
To reach this point, INREV and ANREV have been working to put in place a new Data Platform and the Data Warehouse that sits behind it. This infrastructure was developed to support an intuitive, simple-to-use one stop shop through which investors and managers can input performance data and then gain access to bespoke insights and analytics on their portfolios and overall non-listed real estate industry performance – at both an asset and a vehicle level.
Members have already seen benefits from the Roadmap with the release of the first version of the Data Platform in 2020, but the process has been incrementally improved since then in response to members’ feedback. Data input has become much more efficient, since all data can be delivered in one place. For one thing, this means there is no longer the need to make duplicate entries for vehicle and asset data in different systems.
The way in which the data is treated once uploaded has also been overhauled. So, on one hand, the governance of the INREV and ANREV indices has been strengthened with enhanced data checks and validations, and on the other, data security has been bolstered to ensure that in Europe all systems and processes meet the ISO 27001 cyber security standard. At the same time, the underlying datasets have been enhanced, for example by including all historical data and adding survey data from the Fund Manager and Capital Raising Survey. This harmonisation of data ensures a seamless and more efficient experience for members and contributes to the automisation of the publication and indices production process by gathering all data into one data platform.
This means there is no longer the need to make duplicate entries for vehicle and asset data in different systems.
Clearly though, improving data and the input processes is not an end in itself – the proof of the pudding is in the eating. Part of the IT Roadmap’s objectives have been to develop updated and enriched fund analysis tools for the INREV and ANREV indices. The first of these to appear – in November 2021 – were for the INREV and ANREV Fund Level indices, as well as for the INREV German Vehicles Index.
First released to a small group of users for feedback, the new analysis tools give members greater scope and interactivity in specifying the datasets they want to interrogate. This ability to slice and dice across many sector and country dimensions is set to be particularly useful for making tailored comparisons with a vehicle’s own results. These innovations have learnt from the introduction of similar tools for the INREV Asset Level Index.
They also provide for a seamless integration of the fund analysis and vehicle universe tools, with users now able to visualise all their data requirements on a single platform. Members can rapidly investigate specific questions about the data and spot the trends that are most relevant to their needs, moving through return series (e.g. from quarterly to one year rolling), altering the charts on which the data is displayed (e.g. line vs stacked bar) and comparing results for different time periods (eg, one, three or ten years-worth’s of data).
This ability to slice and dice across many sector and country dimensions is set to be particularly useful for making tailored comparisons with a vehicle’s own results.
Initial feedback confirms that the changes are making members’ experience of using the databases much more efficient. One of the first users commented that ‘what I used to have to do in five steps, I can now do in one or two.’ Another noted that ‘It's easier to make comparisons and to make customised indices.’
One point to emphasise is that although the IT Roadmap has been a joint project between INREV and ANREV, the platform only allowing the members of each association to access data for their own indices. But those who are members of both organisations will appreciate the consistent approach that has been taken across regions.
Members can rapidly investigate specific questions about the data and spot the trends that are most relevant to their needs.
So, what’s next? Well, a similar style of index analysis tool is set to appear for the INREV and ANREV ODCE indices in May. This is timely, as the INREV ODCE index will have just completed its consultation phase and transitioned to a fully-fledged index. The tools will add yet another layer of transparency and detail to the ODCE Index and its contributing funds.
Feedback from INREV and ANREV members on the latest milestones in the Roadmap journey has been very positive. But it is still early days for these developments, and continuing comments and suggestions from members are still welcome. These tools can only be tested fully as they are put to work.