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It’s a big data world!

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One of the internet’s largest contributors to big data – extremely valuable data at that – is online classifieds, which is growing at a blistering rate.

Business operators and leading businesses, regularly ask me where is this big data, where can they get it from and how can they use it. What they may not be aware of is that 9 times out of 10, they are sitting on a sizeable analytics nest of their own.

Take a property listing, a single classified property listing undergoes substantial alteration and duplication across the internet, each time creating valuable insight via the data analytics it creates. A listing is first born by being entered into a client’s CRM system, encountering multiple internal changes before being approved for publishing on property portals and other publishing websites.

External to providing the client’s CRM system, a published property listing is where portals and property publishers first encounter a listing, commencing their view into the analytics of a property listing.

Today, about 90% of property listings are sent to property portals and publishers via an autonomous link like XML or an API connection. The remaining 10% are either not listed or are manually uploaded directly to a property publisher.

Once a property listing is advertised on a portal or other publishing website, most property listings undergo a few changes until the property is sold/leased or withdrawn. These changes are mostly in the form of price alterations, description amendments, the update of photos and the change of a sales agent.

In itself the creation of a single property listing creates a sizable data packet, added with the duplication across the many property portals and synchronized websites, the data for this individual property substantially increases.

Forgetting a property listing’s duplication and concentrating on its modification, each change point creates a new data set for analytics use. Take a price change, together with the many property listings on a property portal, given a day, week or month, valuable data insight is built and provides a real-time view into the movement of the property market at that particular time.

Take the past 12 months of historical property data, sort by region and arrange by a single sales agent. Instantly this snapshot provides key information on who is the region’s best sales agent.

The data sets that are created have endless opportunities and can benefit businesses in more ways than one. Data not only provides valuable insight into companies' strategic direction, it can also lend beneficial competitive understanding of how a rival property portal is performing. All this is available to most businesses publishing property data.

In addition to strategic and competitive direction, large firms purchase data analytics for guidance on their relevant marketing efforts. As an example, a car manufacturer might be interested in knowing areas that are experiencing an increase in property sales. This is valuable to car manufacturers due to the little-known fact that with a new house purchase, 80% of the time, comes a new car purchase, or telecommunication providers might be interested, in data that illustrates regions with high rental markets as renters typically are the biggest users of mobile phones.

A property related example is the total number of homes for sale by a single sales agent. This would be extremely valuable to a franchise group, this is because real estate franchise groups prefer to target the best salespeople and entice them to their brand, encouraging them to open a new agency.

The point of all this is to recognise the asset you are sitting on. With the right data management tool, big data might be big, but it is not difficult. Think strategically and you can not only use data to help focus your business but also create an extra product set for data thirsty enterprise. Be careful. There is a very fine line between anonymous data privacy. Ensure the data you are exchanging does not contain personal attributes.


About the Author:

Joel Leslie is CEO of Australian data management firm Transmit Data. Transmit facilitates some of the world’s largest data transfers within the online classified’s industry. Known as the feed engine of real estate, cars, jobs & boats, Transmit Data monitors, manages & transforms classified listings data from any system to anywhere. Learn more about Transmit for a one time only offer, use the promo code “freeme” to receive your special pricing.

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