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The discipline of space analytics is precisely what it sounds like: a study and quantification of existing space and a projection of current and future needs. This analysis serves as the foundation for our iterative process to identify challenges and opportunities, develop strategies, and build consensus and buy-in. Without rigorous analysis, use of capital resources is just guesswork – and guesswork can be costly. The Ayers Saint Gross team uses a range of tools, including space needs assessment, space utilization, facilities audit, programming, and comparative analysis to help institutions gain a better understanding of space allocations and needs, and to effectively communicate their findings to a variety of stakeholders.

It has been an been an eventful time for Ayers Saint Gross’ Space Analytics group, and there is much more to be excited about moving forward. On April 23 and 24, we are leading a space management workshop at The Catholic University of America, hosted by the Society for College and University Planning (SCUP). This deep-dive, hands-on workshop will walk through the steps to create a robust data space management system, looking at the various inputs from other data sources needed for decision-making, space metrics to consider for implementation within internal space planning processes, and space management policies and procedures to consider. Attendees will walk away with tools, confidence, and real-life examples of how to communicate the value of space planning, identify and prioritize needs, and connect space planning into your institution’s integrated plan.

Ayers Saint Gross works with many higher education clients of varying sizes, locations, and missions, and our firm was recently featured in Business Officer magazine, the publication of the National Association of College and University Business Officers. The article, titled “The Politics of Space” explores the nuances of space needs (more isn’t always better) and features three key tips from Lisa Keith, the leader of the Space Analytics group.

Lisa was also featured in The Chronicle of Higher Education article “How to Use Data, Not Emotion, To Apportion Precious Space on Campus.” In it, she notes that higher education is shifting away from qualitative-only measures of competing wants and needs of multiple campus constituencies. In its place, a data-driven approach to space allocation and capital investment has taken its place. The Chronicle story quotes Mark Reed, the VP for Finance and Administration at Moravian College, noting the resonance of our firm’s proprietary cloud-based software (and end result of the rigorous and multi-faceted analysis our team performs) SAMiTM when it comes to visualizing and understanding complex space needs. To share more about what SAMi™ does, we created a video available here.

We’ve also created a discipline book with institutional case studies and a technology toolbox, which is available online and in print upon request.

We’re excited to see our work highlighted in these industry-leading publications, and look forward to working with more colleges, universities, and institutions to guide decisions about the highest and best use of their physical resources. If you’re interested in these projects and the rest of our services offered, I hope you’ll reach out to learn more.

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