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Crowdsourcing:
THE BUILDING BLOCKS
for data improvements
& data acquisition

Research + Concept Proposal

This is an Industry Research Project presented for a Master's degree in Digital Management.

* To respect client's confidentiality, some details & information is replaced and kept confidential. Actual research paper and prototype to be presented  in person, upon request.

 Problem Statement 

How might we obtain reliable and high-quality data and information efficiently through crowdsourcing?

 Background 

In a digital world of big data where we rely heavily on data for analytics and insights, poor data quality can have an adverse impact on businesses. For a data company, the quality of the data will affect the confidence of usage and the credibility of the product which could strain the reputation of the organisation. This is especially critical for a PropTech data analytics startup company.

One of the main objective of a PropTech company is to provide valuable insights, accurate predictions and high AVM confidence score. However, AVM are only as good as the data. They do not, and cannot),  factors in the actual condition or environment of the property. 

 

Apart from property cost, other factors like environment, safety, or neighbourhood vibes could also influence the decision making.  The quality of the data determines the calibre of insights derived from it. However, data analytics and insights are only as good as the data – without high quality data, there will be no good analytics, no good insights. Hence, a good amount of resources (time and cost) is being invested invested into big data acquisition and data processing to ensure data completeness, consistency and very importantly ensuring data accuracy.  

 

Despite theses, there remain many factors that challenges the quality of the data; Data will never be perfect.

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THE BRIEF

Explore and propose crowdsourcing method/s that can be beneficial for acquiring high-quality information and data.


The proposal should consider the following objectives:

  • Contribute to improving the overall data quality; provide more meaningful analytics and insights

  • Improve user confidence; present a more complete and accurate information

  • Increase product/service/data engagement

  • Future viability i.e. efficient and sustainable

THE APPROACH

To tackle the brief, I need to be able to understand the problem area (data quality) properly before diverging into exploring solutions (crowdsourcing) objectively. 

 

I started by looking about the quality of the data within the organisation, understanding how the data is being used, and how the data is connected internally.  

 

With the findings from the desktop research, internal surveys, and an interview with an industry expert,  I was able to

1. redefine my perception of data quality;

2. identify the valuable data pieces; and finally,

3. discover an opportunity – a gap to be filled.

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THE PROPOSAL

An autonomous community-based platform that allows users free access to the property information available on the organisation’s database. Property information such as land information, property records and history, turnover rates and AVM values for their analysis work.

 

The platform is like an inner circle where every member in the community can collaborate, co-broke, share knowledge, grow their professional footprints while contributing in shaping the future standards of the industry.

Members can view, post and claim listings and past transactions records. Members can also put up requests for help – for more insights, advice, information or leads.

 

A combination of gamification incentive mechanisms is applied on the platform to motivate members participation.

 

The ultimate goal of the platform is to bring the industry together; to not regard each other as competitors or adversaries but rather comrades that come together to upkeep the standards of professionalism and as a result become more productive and efficient.

3-Step Easy
Account Setup

The agent’s CEA Licence Number is used to verify personal information, and to retrieve listings and transaction records found from the platform’s database that is listed under the same licence number.

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1. Register & verify

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2. Claim listings

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3. Share your expertise

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Quick Preview

Important tools and functions are available on the home screen. Users can check out each other’s status, earned badges, participation history, activities records and active groups involvements.

Gamification

Gamification mechanism such as leader boards, badges and user tiers are used to motivate participation.

  • Leaderboard achievements vary based on the platform’s usage records of the month. This is to reinforce the fact that all contributions and activities on the platform are important and valuable.
     

  • Redeem credit points for rewards such as 360 Virtual Scans, Property Reports, Valuation Assessments, online course credits or other third party rewards from external partners.
     

  • To ensure that all referrals are made responsible, all referral performance will be tagged along as part of the referee’s credibility score as well.
     

  • Credit points are confidential and not available for public view. Points are earned for task requests such as verification of a new user’s profile, verification of data input, or data error reports.

Personalised AI/ML
with listings linking

This feature uses machine learning to show the relationship of properties within proximity that might affect a listing. Collaborative filter provide ‘similar’ listing recommendations; users are able to ‘remove’ or ‘relink’ any of the recommendations. The algorithm learns and reacts to the user's preference for more personalised recommendations.

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 No. of views for the listing

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No. of related/ similar listings

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Price changes on related listings

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WHAT'S NEXT

The proposal was present to the client, CTO Mr. Patrick Yan. The feedback was generally positive and the client has been very receptive with the proposed concept of an autonomous community-based platform.

 

The client feels that Singapore market is ready for it, but still uncertain how the other countries in the region will respond to the platform. We all agree that information transparency is important. Agencies and agents should stop looking at each other as competitors, but as business partners instead.

From my observation, many of the discussions were circling back and forth on the incentive mechanisms – incentivising to encourage collaboration and real time data input/updates. At this point, the research has led us to discovering an opportunity that fulfils the objective of acquiring high-quality data. There are, however, several areas of in-depth research that are still needed to push the idea from concept into development.

Screen recording of the prototype

indepth research...

  • Points to Rewards

Points and leaderboards are the heart of gamification, used to motivate participation. When the points are awarded too quickly, users either abuse it or lose interest in it. On the other hand, when it takes too much effort to earn the points, users do not see the need to ‘work’ for it, and as a result lagged in participation as well.

 

The point system needs to be designed carefully taking into consideration the platform’s objective, how quickly or slowly the points are earned, and the effort required to earn them.

 

Points to rewards exchange on the other hand, would require consideration from the users perspective in terms of the effort to earn the points vs value of the reward. I would like to research more into the area and design experiments to test the feasibility of it.

 

  • Scalability and Adaptability

Although the concept of an autonomous community platform is adaptable in different countries, it is possible that the exact same features and incentives mechanisms might not be useful to motivate users to engage.

 

Using the prototype as a starting point, I would like to expand the scope of the research and conduct user interviews with users from other countries like Malaysia and Indonesia to explore the adaptability of the platform. Are there regulations or practices that might contradict with the objective of the platform? Will the point and rewards system work across different countries?

* To respect client's confidentiality, some details & information is replaced and kept confidential. Actual research paper and prototype to be presented in person, upon request.