Our Data Philosophy - Using AI For Good
In an age where the customer is at the center of most business initiatives, companies in every industry need data, and lots of it. Consumer-facing businesses, like home builders, need large volumes of data to help them know as much about the market, and each customer, as possible. Artificial intelligence (AI) has made that focus on customers more accurate and attainable for businesses of all sizes. However, this novel technology has raised a serious question surrounding the theme of privacy. To provide a superior customer experience, businesses need to know and understand each unique individual in great detail. The best way to do so is through the responsible use of AI-technology. In last week's blog, we investigated the fine line between utilizing data to provide a personalized experience and infringing on an individual’s privacy.
As a data-driven company, OpenHouse.ai believes in the power that AI-technology can bring in offering a personalized home shopping experience. We are passionate about the ethical use of AI-technology to ultimately improve the customer journey for each home buyer. So, as a continuation of last week’s blog, in this article we are going to dive into our philosophies about data privacy and how we will empower and ultimately improve the quality of business across the real estate industry, and beyond.
DATA FOR GOOD
At OpenHouse.ai, we believe that superior customer experience comes from really knowing each individual. In the digital space, that stems from the diligent collection of data using AI-technology. Behind the scenes, data science has the power to gain tremendous insight into who we are and what we want. However, when it comes to the delivery of an experience, we prefer one with a more human element. At OpenHouse.ai, that is exactly what we aim to do. We want to use data for good to equip local companies with the technology that was once exclusive to only the largest companies in the world. By breaking down these barriers, technology can be empowering for businesses of all sizes.
Within the real estate space, we find the balance of gathering only the most crucial of information necessary to offer a home buying experience that feels as though a salesperson is sitting right there beside each unique home buyer. However, this personalized experience cannot be replicated on a human scale without the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning. We understand that a significant privacy concern regarding AI technology is the collection of personally identifiable information, without the consent of the user. Another apprehension for consumers is the sheer speed and volume of data that AI-technology can gather, sort and analyze based on the behaviour of a user. At OpenHouse.ai we combat these privacy concerns with our unique guiding principles.
OUR DATA PHILOSOPHY
Privacy is critical, for every party involved. At OpenHouse.ai, we are passionate about the ethical use of data and ensuring every individual doesn’t feel like their personal information is being collected without their knowledge or consent. However, the added challenge of privacy and data is that each unique individual has their own idea of what they qualify as an intrusion of privacy. Based on who you are, and what you believe, you have a very different perception of where to draw the line. To illustrate varying privacy preferences, a home builder used the example of the generational difference of sharing a phone number of an email address with a business. For seniors, with their general avoidance of technology they likely only have one email address that they manage that is solely used for correspondence with friends and family. Therefore, there’s a greater likelihood that these individuals would rather share their phone number over an email. This generation has been comfortable using the phone for decades, they can better navigate cold calls, instead of spam emails. Alternatively, if you ask any individual of a younger generation, they are far less likely to share their phone number over their email.
The purpose of this small anecdote is to illustrate the differences in comfort levels of the information each individual is willing to share. The harsh reality is policy will never keep up. From this principle, stems the foundation of OpenHouse.ai’s data privacy philosophy – to do unto others as you would have them do unto you. A timeless saying that we have all heard a thousand times, but to have it applied to data privacy is something new altogether. But it really is that simple. Within our organization, we encourage intellectual and personal diversity of our team members. This is important to us for two reasons-- we believe it creates an environment of continuous improvement as well as provides diverse perspectives in every decision we make. What might be comfortable for one individual on our team, might not be for another. So, if we do unto others as we would do unto ourselves as a team, we are better equipped to keep up with changing consumer preferences and different comfort levels throughout the market.
To address the protection of an individual's personal identifiable information, we have designed our data architecture in a very specific way. We have deliberately designed our data to separate the anonymous behavioural data from the individual’s personal information. The two components are distinct from one another; the anonymized behavioural data is used to fuel the data insights, while the personal data that is collected with consent is immediately pushed into the home builder’s CRM. This personal information is a helpful tool for home builders to cater to the specific needs of each individual, while the behavioural data is used to fuel the insights dashboard that builders leverage to make their strategic marketing and operational planning decisions. By anonymizing the behavioural data and pushing the personal information immediately into the CRM, we are protecting our home buyers to ensure their data is safe and secure.
DATA & THE HOMEBUILDING INDUSTRY
Artificial intelligence is just beginning to enter the real estate space. OpenHouse.ai is leveraging this technology by curating the optimal customer journey for each unique website visitor. In a traditional industry, this sort of technology carries a bit of a reputation. There are rising concerns surrounding the misuse of consumer’s personal information, and the potential marginalization of individuals in the digital space. With the restrictions from Google to protect marginalized people from being victimized, the pendulum has swung to protection. At OpenHouse.ai, we want to debunk that fear that artificial intelligence is the boogie man that sci-fi movies have made it out to be. We want each home buyer to feel safe and protected while shopping online for a home, and beyond that stand for creating real value with technology for businesses and customers.
As a plug-in to existing home builder’s websites, the OpenHouse.ai platform is learning about each potential home buyer as they navigate through a website, revealing their unique preferences and needs. By utilizing AI technology to understand the customer better, we are taking advantage of real-time decisions and predictive analysis to provide a hyper-personalized experience. The common concern is that the AI is being used against the buyer, however with our use of AI technology we are helping buyers find the right home that meets their individual needs. Beyond that, OpenHouse.ai is also supporting home builders in designing and constructing the right home for their individual business needs and the overall needs of the market.
Artificial intelligence is making its way into nearly every component of our lives. At OpenHouse.ai we are passionate about bringing the good that AI can offer to the home building industry, and ultimately beyond. By following the guiding principle of do unto others as you would have them do unto you, we are encouraging individuals to be honest with their privacy concerns to ensure that home buyers only feel empowered, not controlled or tracked. With diversity of thought, our team is always challenging one another to change perspectives with the common goal of continuously improving our platform and adapting to the changing needs and comfort levels of all parties involved. At OpenHouse.ai, we understand this is not a topic to be taken lightly, but with transparency and ethical use of information, we can empower and ultimately improve the quality of business across for companies large and small.
- The OpenHouse.ai Team