At the beginning of 2017 leading Brazilian real estate portal VivaReal bought the real estate research and analytics database Geoimovel. A forthcoming speaker at the Global Online Classifieds Summit in Miami, VivaReal CEO Lucas Vargas spoke with PPW about just how much of an asset data really is.
“Any company that starts collecting data now is approximately 10 to 15 years behind Geoimovel since it has started collecting data in the early 2000s,” Vargas says.
“Some people may think that 10 to 15 years from now, recent data will be much more relevant, but in reality that’s not 100 per cent true. Predictive models can predict future behaviors and also enrich data. Who owns data now can start the crunching process, get insights, enhance its collection process, and offer every team of the organisation the opportunity to invest in data-driven approaches and guidelines.”
Vargas says there are three key factors to keep in mind during the data collection process to ensure you’re getting the most out of the process.
Track your data
“Being able to track data is the starting point of any data warehouse creation,” Vargas says. “Today you save absolutely everything you can, even if you do not know how you will use it or if you will still need it in the future. A decade ago maybe storage was still expensive, but nowadays storage is just a commodity and the platforms to process immense amounts of data are available for everyone on demand in platforms like Azure, AWS, Google Cloud and others.
“It is crucial to save the raw data and to make it available in different representations depending on the needs of the individual client. For example; a data science team that creates recommendation systems has different needs than a product analyst that creates reports on user engagement. So it is very important to give teams the flexibility to create the data representations that they need to answer their specific questions and to get their jobs done.”
Have the correct interface
Collecting data is one thing, but the way that it’s analysed and the tools needed to do this efficiently also play a major part in the process, Vargas says.
“It’s paramount that we not only create a database with quality, but also that we provide our teams with the proper interfaces to consume data,” he says. “It’s not rare to see teams and companies that give up on consuming data because they don’t have a reliable infrastructure or an endpoint from which multiple services of the architecture can consume data from. Not being able to consume data translates into not well-thought decisions and poorly-planned products.”
Create a data-driven culture
The successful collection of data is more than just number crunching, Vargas says. You have to create a work environment that nurtures data.
“If the company, from the top level, does not value a data-driven approach to its product development cycle, it is going to be very difficult to have its tech team to incorporate data. User research can be neglected and product managers will not measure the most relevant KPIs. The definition of a successful product will not be reliable. Unless there is a data-driven approach that starts from the senior management — creating a data-driven culture — the whole company will suffer.”