A good data strategy can make a world of difference to a business’ ability to connect with consumers, according to an expert in the space.
Carmen Vicelich, the founder and chief executive of Valocity, has shared the importance of cleaning and leveraging data in ways that add value to a business.
“It’s all very well to have Excel spreadsheets if your own people can’t access that and actually use that information to make better decisions, then you’re really not using that asset, and it’s not an asset.
“It’s just sitting there and it’s not creating value,” she suggested.
Speaking to REB following the announcement that Valocity would be embarking on a new partnership with Real Estate Industry Partners (REIP), she shared that “data’s often been called the new oil”.
“But just like oil, if it’s in the ground and you’re not accessing it, it has no value.”
“It has to be cleaned and it has to be turned into something that is a product you somehow have to get that oil to the petrol station; otherwise, if it’s under your house, you ain’t getting anything,” she commented.
With business leaders now beginning to realise that their key differentiator is the data they have and the relationships they share with their customers, Ms Vicelich said that many businesses out there “have lots and lots of data, and they don’t know what to do with it”.
She explained that there needs to be a better conversation than just “we’ve got data”, and that exploration should ask and answer the question: “How do you turn data into actionable insights that really drive value and that drive market advantage?”
For those businesses that already see their data as an asset, Ms Vicelich then probed: “How are you actually protecting that? How are you actually keeping that up to date? And how are you actually earning the right to have that information?”
An example of “earning the right”, from the CEO’s perspective, is “continuing to engage with that home owner post a home sale and saying, ‘Congratulations, you’ve had your house for 12 months. Here’s the latest automated valuation model’, or, ‘your house has gone up by this much’.”
Leaning into that, the most fundamental aspect of a data strategy is transparency, with Ms Vicelich advising that it is “so important to have a data strategy and a data framework of how you’re going to operate because then you have that transparency of this is what’s important and what we will use, and this is what we won’t use and this is how we’re going to use it”.
“It’s fundamental that you have that transparency that this has been used for this purpose, this is what we’ve agreed to, and this is what we will, and this is what we won’t do,” she said.
Providing a practical example of this, she recounted her use of Uber, which required her to share her location, and enabled the ride-share company to track her whereabouts.
“While Uber can track me, they delivered value to me by touching a button and sending a car,” Ms Vicelich said.
If Uber had then kept tracking her location and noted that she had walked past a McDonald’s and sent her a message about buying a cheeseburger with a discount code, that would be an improper use of her data, given not only the lack of permission, but a perceived lack of shared value.
“The future is transparency and shared value exchange,” she stated.
From the CEO’s perspective, there is a level of duty of care to say, “well, actually, just because you could, doesn’t mean you should”.
“We’ve seen that evolve over the ages, and it is about creating frameworks around best practice,” she said.
Citing the scenario that faced Facebook with its Cambridge Analytica scandal, she emphasised that it wasn’t that Facebook didn’t have rules around how to use data, but they “didn’t understand how someone would go with the unintended consequences of what they’d do with that”.
“This is where visibility of where your data is going, what data you’re capturing, how you’re hosting it, how you’re sharing it, just becomes ever more important,” she said.
For more insights from Carmen Vicelich, listen to the latest episode of Proptech Pulse here.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Grace is a journalist across Momentum property and investment brands. Grace joined Momentum Media in 2018, bringing with her a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Communication (Journalism) from the University of Newcastle. She’s passionate about delivering easy to digest information and content relevant to her key audiences and stakeholders.