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3 Ways Badge Data Falls Short In Space Planning

If you’ve ever been issued a corporate badge for building access at your college or workspace, chances are you’ve accidentally let someone in after you. It’s called piggybacking, and no matter how many times you might have been told not to – it’s hard to avoid when you see a friend fishing around for their badge.

They are popular and everyone knows how they should use them – even if the rules are sometimes broken. A badge system is typically part of any strategy for a people counting system and a secure workplace. Lambent speaks with plenty of consumers who see badging as one way to make sure unscheduled visitors aren’t coming and going.

The problem is that badges aren’t evolving fast enough to meet the demands of the modern workplace and a smart office. While badging data can give you a rough idea of how many people have swiped into a building, or occasionally a floor (if you lock down access to multiple floors on each ingress point), it is not a reliable indicator of how your space is being utilized. Here are the common flaws of badging that make them inadequate for modern and future space needs: 


Badging in is usually the practice but badging out is not which is why it is difficult to know how many people are in the building on any given day and at any given time. This is a pretty simple concept: If you can’t see how many people left the building, you can’t know how and when buildings were utilized. Incoming badge data was useful when full-time employees arrived at offices 9-5 every weekday and real estate leaders wanted to see occupancy goals. Now that people utilize offices on only peak days of the week or even a month, badge data falls short.


Badge data doesn’t provide any advanced analytics; you’re on your own there. Because of this, very few people use it in a way that connects it to other key data points or uses it to make business decisions. It does not give space planners the answers they need to build smart offices and the workplace of the future.

 Without a larger context, it is not possible to see floor-level occupancy or determine when it is most utilized. Because there isn’t enough data, it makes it hard for space planners to estimate the required number of workstations, meeting spaces, and conference rooms and meet office space requirements. In a column written by Michael Przytula, Managing Director of  Intelligent & Digital Workplaces at Accenture, to successfully optimize your real estate portfolio post-pandemic you will need to provide more of what people use and less of what they don’t. Badge data is incapable of creating these insights.


Companies are always trying to teach their workers about the security risks that happen when one person swipes in a lot of people or when people follow someone who swiped a card once. But this security risk also hinders space planners, in an obvious way. If you’ve ever been part of a large group stepping off the morning elevator, you have likely been offered the chance to tailgate behind the first person to badge in. Some companies will go as far as to test employees, sending non-employees in right behind the morning rush – to point out how big a security risk ‘tailgating’ or ‘piggybacking’ can create.

Want to learn more about Lambent space analytics solution? You can visit our website or reach out directly to for a quick demo. Our solution helps organizations utilize existing data sources for advanced analytics.

​​Nupur Patra contributes to the Blog and Social Media channels for Lambent. She is currently a Graduate Student at Northeastern University in the Digital Media program.

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