Brooke Spurling is Business Analysis Senior Manager at Spotahome. An economist with a background in data analytics, today we spoke with Brooke to learn a little more about the importance of data for Spotahome and the team behind it.

Brooke Spurling, Business Analysis Senior Manager
Brooke Spurling, Business Analysis Senior Manager

Spotahome is a platform whose business model is essentially digital. How relevant is data in this model?

We are a fully data driven company, so for us data is key. Thanks to the fact we are a digital company, we are able to collect and learn from all types of anonymous aggregated data that help guide our strategy and also day to day decisions.

Data helps us improve in all different areas of the company, from learning where we can improve a particular operational work flow to maximise efficiency, to being able to understand what different features work better for our customers. Data also helps guide our expansion and new product strategies as we are able to collect and analyse valuable data, even from early stages, which allows us to be flexible and adapt quick.

Real estate was until recently one of the least digitized sectors. How has big data changed this market?

Big data has allowed for this sector to become much more focused when it comes to designing and tailoring solutions to market needs. For example, data now allows us to develop products and ideas specific to specific segments, as we have the granularity of data to learn how they each use our platform and the kind of demands they have, allowing us to improve our product for them. For example, the usage of our platform by international users vs national users can be different, or on the supply side, we have even been able to learn how to improve our product differently for B2C property owners vs B2B property owners.

In general, where is data analytics evolving to, and what still needs to be "discovered"?

As mentioned, the generation of big data is transforming not only the real estate sector, but many sectors, and I think we often find ourselves in a position where we have more data available than what we are able to structure and analyse in due time. Speed is key in the real estate sector and one of the biggest challenges I see we have is being able to analyse structured data almost in real time and action on our learnings quickly enough. I believe technology and our own learnings will evolve, making this easier and easier. We often find ourselves using data in different ways for the first time, so I believe with time we may learn how to standardise certain forms of using and analysing data, which in itself will give us speed too!

Women are increasingly making their way into sectors such as engineering, which are still very much linked to a more masculine image. Are there segments such as big data where changes are already more visible?

Absolutely. In my experience I can see this area still has a long way to go, but in my case I am grateful to be working alongside a group of women in very data analytical roles, especially on the product development side. I believe a career in data analysis doesn’t necessarily have to stem from an engineering background, and this typically can make it easier for women to take a career path in data analytics. I would love to see more and more action to be taken in early stages of education to spread the awareness, but I’m confident we’re definitely on the right track! As for now, it’s encouraging to see women even take career changes later on, thanks to how higher education has also evolved with many great bootcamps and different ways of learning new tech skill sets.

What is the team behind the company's data management like?

We’re essentially three teams. Firstly, we have the Business Intelligence team who are responsible for extracting and transforming the data so it can be structured so that the rest of the company can use it. These guys are also the dashboard wizards. We then have the Business Analysis team, who are responsible for being the main consumers of this data so it can be analysed and translated into actionable insights that can guide our company strategy and day-to-day decisions. Then finally, we have our awesome team of Data Scientists, who build algorithms and models which help predict the behaviour our business and adapt accordingly. I am really grateful to be working with all of these guys and learn from them every day! We actually all have training budgets and are always on the lookout for different ways of improving how we work and staying up to date on tools and technology we can use.

At Spotahome you have a completely remote-friendly policy. What impact does this have on your life? Where do you work from?

Before the pandemic hit and before knowing what remote work even felt like, if anyone would have asked me I would have said I preferred an office all day long. The company culture and office vibe we had was one of my favourite things about Spotahome, but it’s probably no surprise that now having seen how remote work life can be, I choose this model hands down! I’m grateful that we have not only been able to keep our company culture strong even being remote, but I even see it continue with newer joiners, so a huge thanks to our People team for managing that.

Once the pandemic improved I personally gave up my flat and leveraged the fact we were remote by travelling around Spain with my little dog and laptop. I think my favourite place was Ibiza in the winter! I have now settled in Valencia and sometimes go back to Madrid to work a few days from the optional office space we have there. This is great for team building and just to catch up with familiar and new faces! I have also signed up to a coworking in Valencia, where I go a few afternoons a week. This helps me network with like-minded people and is also always an exciting place to be hearing about everyone’s different adventures. I’m now a huge hybrid model fan, and in our case can see it’s the ideal model for both the employees and for the company itself.