How to Get Better Yardi Reporting with Dashboards, Analytics and a Data Warehouse
You are the head of IT in a midsize real estate company, and your CEO has asked you to help lay the groundwork for better Yardi reporting. Your CEO envisions a future with dashboards and custom KPIs from Yardi.
The CEO wants people spending time on high value analytical work, such as understanding collections efficiency and expense ratios, and less time on manual data prep work after exporting CSV files out of Yardi. And you’ve been asked to provide the “better Yardi reporting” game plan and budget next week.
What are you going to do? Continue reading to see what skills and infrastructure are needed to pull this off.
What does better Yardi reporting look like?
Better Yardi reporting means that data from Yardi can be used to drive your real estate business more effectively. Data from Yardi is pulled into a data lake, and then custom data models, general ledger account trees, property groupings and such can be defined with the Yardi data and external data.
While Yardi has hundreds of in-built reports, most companies continue to export data from Yardi into Excel and manually create the reports they need. Better Yardi reporting means data flows out of Yardi and into dashboards, scorecards and customized pivot tables without having to be manually exported or processed.
Yardi makes it easy for you to access your data because they will provide you a backup of your Yardi database daily. This backup contains all the data you’ve entered in Yardi and is a great source for your reporting infrastructure.
The diagram below shows the people and technology required for a Yardi data warehouse that is based on restoring the backup Yardi file.
Hundreds of companies have the above setup.
I know IT leaders who were in the same situation as you. And they now have a Yardi data warehouse.
They have teams that build dashboards in Power BI, and their asset management and operations metrics are readily visible. Best of all, from IT’s point of view, rent rolls and balance sheets containing sensitive information are no longer lying around in Excel files on unmanaged folders and in email attachments.
How can you achieve better Yardi reporting?
As with all IT initiatives, this also involves skilled people and technology components. Here’s the game plan that companies before you followed. It wasn’t a smooth ride, but the results are worth it.
First of all, you’ll need people with these skills:
- Server administration
- Power Shell
- Yardi SQL query writing
- Business intelligence development in a tool such as Power BI, Tableau or Excel
- General data warehousing and data modeling knowledge
If you don’t already have these skills in-house, you can engage contractors or outsource the entire work.
The Better Yardi Reporting Infrastructure
As the IT manager, you will build and manage an infrastructure that the asset management analysts, acquisitions analysts and dashboard developers can utilize to do their jobs.
This infrastructure doesn’t need to be complex. Here are the components you will need:
- A server that will host the Yardi backup database and the data warehouse database
- License for a database (such as MySQL or Microsoft SQL Server)
- Licenses for the business intelligence tool of your choice
- A utility to unzip and decompress the Yardi database backup file
- Power Shell scripts to automate the backup and restore process
If you have questions about any of this, please give me a call at 248-601-6400 x1 or book a meeting with me (Calendar). I enjoy talking about analytics and will be speak with you.