This morning Johns Hopkins University and REI Systems welcomed Norman Dong, Commissioner of GSA's Public Building Service, as the speaker for this month's Government Analytics Breakfast (GAB) Forum. Mr. Dong discussed how GSA uses data analytics to manage one of the largest asset inventories in the U.S.
Mr. Dong spoke about how the use of relatively simple analytic techniques has helped GSA dramatically reduce the federal footprint in terms of both space and energy use. By embracing a flexible benchmark of 150 square feet per employee, GSA has been able to make smarter leasing and purchasing decisions that provide workspaces to meet agency needs without wasteful spending. Further, by breaking the mentality that an agency should remain in one location for decades, GSA has been able to secure more favorable lease replacements and renewals.
In the area of energy consumption, a data analysis revealed that several systems were not being turned off when agencies were closed (such as on federal holidays). As a result of the analysis, GSA was able to remedy the problem and save a substantial amount of money.
Mr. Dong emphasized that "you can't manage what you don't measure." In recent years, GAS has increasingly relied on data analyses to guide its decision making and, through this approach, produced significant savings.
A recording of the event can be viewed here.
The next meeting of the GAB Forum will be held on November 18 (8:30-10 am).