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How data management accuracy increased by 99% for JLL

19 Aug 2020

The Challenge

JLL is a Fortune 500 company and a leading professional services firm that specialises in real estate and investment management.

The company was awarded a contract by a large organisation in Australia’s housing market to appraise a portfolio of properties that they own or manage on behalf of investors. 

Access to clean, structured data on all real estate assets was a critical component of this project, as JLL’s team of expert valuers needed to simultaneously leverage quality research data and analytics during their inspections and valuations. 

As a condition of the new contract, JLL was responsible for collecting all information relating to the properties from an online resource. However, this had no application programming interface (API) for digital data extraction, and the property information was not available in a CSV file. 

Facing an ambitious technical challenge, JLL needed a highly secure, robust platform that could navigate each property page in the portal to collect data on 15 attributes and download images for each property.   

Exploring Potential Approaches

Initially, JLL considered hiring extra data processing staff to collect information manually. However, upon review of their data management challenge, the team realised this project would require 18 extra staff members, 45-60 days to hire and on-board these employees, and a further 5 days for training. This was not feasible within the required timeline.   

JLL, therefore, opted to explore the potential of robotic process automation (RPA) software. RPA software robots can work at the user interface of virtually any system to automatically and securely process data, without the need for API integration, much faster than humans can.   

Bringing UiPath and rapidMATION On Board

After extensive research, JLL engaged with UiPath, a market leader in RPA and one of the fastest-growing enterprise software companies to date. 

rapidMATION is currently one of the most skilled UiPath partners in Australia, holding over a hundred UiPath Diplomas and Certifications. JLL met with rapidMATION, and within a day, they had agreed to partner with JLL and develop a UiPath-powered intelligent automation solution to address their data challenge. 

The Solution

rapidMATION worked on configuring a UiPath software bot that was able to automate tasks and retrieve data with no need for API integration. UiPath runs automation under locked screens and uses the TLS 1.2 protocol to assure privacy and data integrity. All property data remained within JLL’s highly secure server environment and rapidMATION was never privy to any property data.  

  • Running 24 hours a day for seven days straight, the software bot was able to: 
  • Automatically open the Excel spreadsheet and iterate through each property
  • Open the portal and securely authenticate
  • Browse to the relevant property page and extract data to a secured JLL storage location 
  • Retrieve images and store these to the same location using specific naming conventions 
  • Hand over to JLL staff to securely upload the data into the JLL Valuation Advisory workflow tool

To manage exceptions, rapidMATION integrated a highly secured, intelligent human-in-the-loop solution. Failures were automatically flagged by the software bot, enabling a JLL employee with access rights to resolve issues timeously.  

Results

JLL was able to access complete, clean data organised on their secure servers, and upload this to an internal workflow system for valuers to leverage whilst working on their inspections. Due to this level of data accuracy and accessibility, JLL was able to seamlessly integrate admin and valuation processes, optimise their expert valuers, mitigate project risk and meet the contract requirements ahead of the projected schedule.   

“The failure rate is fantastic – and time to complete has been astonishing,” says JLL valuation advisory business applications manager for Asia Pacific Paul Fitzpatrick.

Going Forward

Another benefit this automated solution is that JLL can re-purpose the software bot. JLL plans to continue their partnership with rapidMATION and four new intelligent automation projects have been shortlisted. 

“This experience gave me confidence that RPA is a very robust and dependable tool," continues Fitzpatrick. 

"While the UiPath toolset is relatively user-friendly, having a partner with extensive knowledge of the software and intelligent automation expertise – like rapidMATION – makes an even stronger business case for using UiPath RPA software.”

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