More companies turning to data-driven insights

Start-ups have increased the use of data as a key tool in their businesses


MORE property companies are turning to big data to seek solutions and plan their business push, besides finding the best solution to address the overhang faced by the sector.

Red Angpow co-founder Erhan Azrai (picture) said the country overall is seeking a toward data-driven culture in corporate decision-making.

“We see the emergence of companies providing reports and access to tidy up data and the government is also encouraging more public access to their data.

“Over the last couple of years, the industry (property) is getting themselves familiar with data-driven decision-making. However, we are still far from where we want to be,” he told The Malaysian Reserve.

He said start-ups have increased the use of data as a key tool in their businesses and the property technology company has received a lot of requests for data consultancy.

“I am positively encouraged by the Valuation and Property Services Department of Malaysia’s announcement that it is automating their work, streamlining the data flow, templating the reports and speeding up the approval process.

“The government is more forthcoming with data, but a lot of the data points are fragmented or at the aggregate level.

“To drive this agenda, we need data with better tagging, consistent frequency and granularity,” Erhan added.

He said the adoption of the Internet of Things and data analytics in the real estate industry will produce millions of data points useful for operational improvements, quality control and safety assurance.

He added that the data will then be collected, merged, tagged and analysed to form a basis for action and continuous improvement.

Erhan agreed that any new initiative and paradigm requires some capital spending on system and hardware and operation spending such as training and hiring data analysts.

However, he said the benefits of big data adoption will far outweigh the costs as companies can increase efficiency, reduce waste and better allocate resources.

In addition, data analysts will be able to help companies understand the market, evaluate the risk using data and analytics.

“A better use of data helps companies to respond to market changes faster and smarter. It helps in coming out with accurate product design, market segment targeting and marketing.

“But the use of data will not immediately solve the mismatch — it is not a magic bullet. It may alleviate the mismatch,” he said.

Alternatively, Erhan said the property market should also look at higher frequency data such as the short term rental data.

He added that the rental movement is liquid and fast enough to be analysed to form a view of whether a segment is oversupplied or facing shortage.

Meanwhile, Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Amiruddin Hamzah said data consolidation in the property market could prevent the overhang situation from happening again.

The data, which would be provided by stakeholders including government agencies and property developers, would reveal reasons for homes to remain unsold.

“We would be able to know what contributed to the overhang situation and where the mismatch between the demand and supply is, either the mismatch in location, pricing or others.

“Then, the government could see if there is any way it can intervene to assist the market, to make sure the overhang does not happen again, and developers themselves could avoid being trapped in the same situation,” Amiruddin said on Nov 4.