<< View All posts

The future of occupancy data collection in office buildings: embracing IoT solutions over access badge systems

June 27th, 2024 | 4 min. read

Share this article

Senior Real Estate Data Asset Manager
As real estate professionals, accurate and reliable occupancy data is crucial for making informed decisions. Traditionally, access badge systems have been used for tracking occupancy, but the advent of IoT (Internet of Things) technology offers a superior alternative. This article highlights the advantages of IoT people counting sensors over traditional access badge systems for collecting physical occupancy data in office buildings.
1. Limitations of Access Badge Systems

1.1. Closed Systems with Limited Integration

1.2. Reliability Issues
2. Advantages of IoT Solutions
2.1. High Reliability and Accuracy
2.2. GDPR Compliance
2.3. Enhanced Data and Use Cases
2.4. Integrated Solutions
1. Limitations of Access Badge Systems
Access badge systems have several significant limitations that hinder their effectiveness:
1.1 Closed Systems with Limited Integration
Access badge systems are typically closed, making it difficult to integrate with other data solutions. For portfolio managers, this lack of standardization is challenging, often requiring manual extraction and handling of CSV/Excel files, which is time-consuming and a source of errors.
1.2 Reliability Issues
The data from access badge systems is unreliable due to:
Inaccurate Count
One badge access does not equal one person; multiple individuals might pass through together.
System Downtime
Badge systems can be down, leaving gates open and skewing data.
Human Intervention

Receptionists may open gates for regular occupants or those without badges, bypassing the system.
From our experience, up to 50% of the total flow of people entering into an office building may not use their badges at the badge access gates.

2. Advantages of IoT Solutions
IoT people counting sensors offer several key benefits:
2.1 High Reliability and Accuracy
IoT sensors provide seamless and continuous counting with an accuracy rate of around 98%. Unlike access badge systems, they are not affected by multiple people passing together or human intervention, and they operate 24/7 without downtime affecting the count.
2.2 GDPR Compliance
IoT sensors record only anonymized data (number of people and flow direction), ensuring full GDPR compliance. In contrast, access badge systems link events to individuals, posing privacy and compliance risks.
2.3 Enhanced Data and Use Cases
If you plan to install people counting sensors at the building entrances, you might as well install a few extra sensors for reduced marginal costs at some strategic locations within the building. IoT sensors can monitor usage intensity of various key spaces within the building, such as business centers, meeting rooms, auditoriums, sport facilities, restaurants, and of course private tenant areas. This data supports optimizing space utilization, improving facility management, and enhancing tenant satisfaction.
2.4 Integrated Solutions

Companies like Square Sense offer vertically integrated solutions, from sensor installation to a unified data platform. Our platform allows clients to access and analyze data related to their assets and portfolios seamlessly, facilitating informed decision-making and efficient management.

While access badge systems serve their purpose of securing building access control, IoT solutions prove to be a better fit when it comes to collecting occupancy data from office buildings. The high reliability, accuracy, GDPR compliance, and versatile data capabilities of IoT people counting sensors make them the superior choice for real estate professionals.
Do you want to delve deeper into this topic?

Subscribe to our newsletter



Square Sense SAS
6, Rue de Penthièvre
75008 – Paris

Square Sense

© Copyright 2024 Square Sense SAS