The OSCRE Industry Data ModelTM is a single, object-oriented, relational data model that comprises over a thousand entities and code lists, thousands of attributes and tens of thousands of codes and classifications. It covers the real estate asset life-cycle from development to demolition, many global jurisdictions, and almost all asset classes. 

Navigating such a vast and deep resource could be complex. So we've made it simpler by classifying the content in several ways.

Use Cases

The most important classification of the Industry Data ModelTM is the Use Case. A Use Case is a subset of the data model that applies in a specific situation.

The picture opposite illustrates how each use case draws from the extensive data model shown underneath as a collection of nodes (entities or code lists) and relationships, and creates a subset for a specific situation - the shaded shape on the upper level of the diagram.

There are well over 130 use cases, each defining a subset that applies in its own unique context. Some of these use cases are small containing only twenty attributes, and some are very large; the largest containing over 2,500 attributes.

To help identify the use cases that are relevant to a particular organization, each is classified to make it easy to filter the full list and quickly find the most relevant standards. The classifications include:

  • Function: This identifies the functional area that each use case applies to, for example Facilities Management or Commercial Listing.
  • Project or working group: Standards are often developed is a collection of use cases that support a particular process, for example Development Handover. These use cases collections can be easily identified by the project or work group that developed them.
  • Partner or organization: OSCRE routinely incorporates third party content where they exist into the Industry Data Model to provide a single source for standards. Sometimes this content also gives rise to specific use cases, and sometimes OSCRE partners with specific industry groups to develop new use cases.
  • Type of standard: Use cases fall in to one of two types: data model standards describe data at rest (e.g. stored in a database, perhaps for analytics, or representing a specific report or certificate) and data exchange standards describe data in motion (for example a transfer from one organization to another or from one system to another).
Each use case has its own metadata, and in many cases this includes the stakeholders it applies to, or activities it supports, and specific benefits. Use cases also have 'renditions' - particular formats that describe the contents of the use case - to support their implementation. These renditions typically include formats like JSON, XML and Excel.

Full Industry Data Model

Whilst use cases are a convenient way of finding specific content, and are the way in which specific standards are delivered, the whole data model is actually greater than the sum of these parts.

There are three reasons for this:

  1. The Industry Data ModelTM contains definitions and codes that are not used in any specific use case, but are terms that have been defined in the course of developing use cases.
  2. Use cases that are rendered as JSON or XML schemas are necessarily simplified to be hierarchical, even though the underlying data model is relational. From a technical perspective this means determining the direction of each association between entities in each use case so that aggregation associations can be converted to composition associations.
  3. When a use case selects its subset of the full data model, this not only means a subset of the entities, but also a subset of the attributes on those entities, and a subset of the codes on each code list. When browsing the definitions in a use case, the number of attributes or codes that are omitted from that particular use case but that exist in the full data model is shown as a footnote.

The full Industry Data ModelTM can be viewed from the IDM home page left navigation and is available for download as the Enterprise Toolkit - click here for more on the Enterprise Toolkit.

OSCRE Standards are open to everyone and available at no cost under a Creative Commons license here

Industry Data ModelTM is a solid framework that offers your organization a streamlined and consistent approach while easing  the flow of information with your business partners. The following are some useful tips on choosing which OSCRE use cases to start out with.

  1. Data Model and Integration Points. Ideally, start by looking at your whole data model and where the points of integration are within your company and with your business partners.

  2. Which Business Processes? Identify the primary business processes you want to enable with information exchanges. For example, you might start with lease transactions, knowing you might expand to include portfolio reporting at a later stage.

  3. How Many Sources? It will also help to look at where the information will be coming from and going to for you to assess the extent of the application of the standards – multiple "systems of record" are common.

  4. Think About Real Estate Data Management and Governance. It’s rare these days for anyone to be an island of information. The OSCRE Standards are specifically designed to help you manage the collection and aggregation of data. Think strategically about how both data management and data governance will be part of your implementation plan.