Data is all about correlation rather than causation. But this is why it is so powerful. In the past, management decisions could be based on whatever the decision-maker deemed to matter.
Now, the causal nature of decision-making is being challenged by a host of correlations. Of no market is this truer than the previously opinion-rich but near data-free zones of workforce management and office location, both of which the Pandemic has challenged at the elemental level. So the emergence of Vertis.ai, a market intelligence platform that aims to improve decision-making in the HR and commercial real estate industries by analysing billions of data points, could scarcely be more timely. Dominic Hobson, co-founder of Future of Finance, spoke to Sam Hocking, co-founder of Vertis.ai.
Questions being asked
1. Does Vertis mainly address (a) real estate or (b) workforce/HR issues?
2. The Vertis service enables users to rank and compare local real estate and labour market combinations, but when are companies using the tools (e. g. when looking to expand, making major investments, making acquisitions etc.)?
3. The Vertis service also uses data to make predictions – or are they more like projections or even extrapolations? Have you back-tested the model?
4. Can you help companies with D&I?
5. Can you help companies manage employee quality of life and value proposition questions?
6. Can you help companies with ESG obligations?
7. What sources of data are you actually using?
8. Your data machine is learning. Can you explain how it learns?
9. Can proprietary in-house data be combined with third-party data?
10. Do users have to know what they are looking for or does Vertis provide questions as well as answers?
11. Won’t the user filters distort the insights users get?
12. How hard is it for the untrained to use Vertis?
13. How do you measure success (e. g. lower real estate or payroll costs, access to talent)?
14. How are firms managing these problems today – with HR consultants and real estate brokers – and what data sources do they have access to?
15. The Pandemic obviously altered how employers and employees see the workplace. Is the changed outlook permanent?
16. How many companies you talk to are thinking strategically about their workforce and real estate portfolio – by, for example, assessing which roles need to be office-based and which do not?
17. What do you think the CEOs of Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan and Morgan Stanley ordering employees back to the office says about the culture of those organizations?
18. Who is your ideal client inside a company – CEO, CFO, COO, head of HR, head of real estate?
19. Is your service bound to appeal more to fast-growing tech companies than slow-growing traditional companies?
20. Have you come up with any high-level insights applicable to all companies (e. g. 80% of employees favour a mix of office and home working)?
21. Can you make firm predictions about (a) the Future of the Office and (b) the Future of the Workforce?