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18 Jul 2019

How Big Data is Disrupting the Self Storage Industry


Lauren Mannarelli

Marketing Manager

Let’s face it, “Big Data” has taken the self storage industry by storm, and it is changing everything. Whether you use it in everyday decisions or don’t use it at all, big data is everywhere, affecting everything and it is not going away anything soon. The self storage industry has come a long way in the past ten years and big data is that “thing” taking the industry entirely to the next level. As Kurt Rampton said, “Gone are the days when you can go with your gut.” Google uses big data to try and predict everything from flu outbreaks to retails sales growth, but how can it help the self storage industry? We all know new technology is all the rage in self storage, but why big data and why now?

What is “Big Data"

According to sas.com, big data is a term that describes the large volume of data – both structured and unstructured – that inundates a business on a day-to-day basis. But it's not the amount of data that's important. Big data can be analyzed for insights that lead to better decisions and strategic business moves. Big data is often broken down into the three V’s - volume, velocity, and veracity, every aspect of which can help improve your company. Big data is helping facility owners understand their tenants and day-to-day operations more than ever!

How to Use Big Data

Big data provides self storage facilities owners with the authority to make data-driven decisions in turn giving them more power over results. Big data has vastly impacted marketing within the self storage industry especially. Big data is now being used to better understand a company's target audience, give insight on marketing, boost customer acquisition and retention, help with risk management and even assist in the development and innovation of new products. There are many different systems facility owners can pull big data from, such as social media platforms, email tracking, Google analytics and more.

How the Self Storage Industry is Breaking Barriers

Prior to the implementation of big data, facility owners had little to no information on the tenants that were renting from them. Today, the industry is so well versed in different software systems and analytics they can learn not only how their tenants are finding them, but why. Big data is the deep dive the self storage industry has been seeking for years. To date, facility owners are tracking data such as rentals, income, sign up, reservations, occupancy, mobile use and more. The information available to facility owners is helping them to minimize vacancies and maximize profits, putting many facility owners at the forefront of their competition.

Making Big Data Decisions

Big data also allows facility owners to track profits of their facilities as well, helping them plan both the long- and short-term future of their business. With big data facility owners can compare unit pricing to the local market and stay more competitive, which in turn drives more business the facility. Leveraging data to make profitable decisions is the new marketing. Understanding your market is key, whether you are using big data to track day-to-day operations or to market units more effectively, bottom line - data decisions are the road to success.

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