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The tech boom has delivered innovations in every economic sector from mining to logistics to agriculture and beyond. According to CEO of data and technology company Knowledge Factory, Ashwin Frankie, the property sector is one industry that has remained lacking. With FinTech, AgriTech, MediTech and the host of other innovations ending with ‘tech’ dominating the world economy, Frankie believes that PropTech is falling behind.

With the power of cloud technology from Amazon Web Services (AWS), Knowledge Factory is turning the tides by developing PropTech innovation with a data-driven, cloud-based risk profiler unlike anything the South African market has ever seen. These new and exciting solutions are planned to be released soon.

“Property is one of the most valuable investments money can buy,” says Frankie. “The problem is there are so many variables to consider when analysing the risk whether you’re a buyer, lender, evaluator or investor.”

To put it into perspective, Frankie lists a few variables off the top of his head:

  • Is this suburb a good area to invest in?
  • How do current market movements impact this investment?
  • Does this suburb have the desired segmentation from a LSM, SEM, (Socio-Economic Measure / Living Standard Measure)
  • What is the credit risk profile or indebtedness of this suburb?
  • What are the historic crime statistics?
  • How does this pair with overall inflation?
  • Has the market value increased and how is it projected to grow?
  • What are the average market prices of properties in this suburb and how does it compare to similar suburbs in other provinces?
  • What is the average age of owners in this suburb and how long do they own the property for?

Knowledge Factory identified a need for data-led insights in the property market to answer all these questions. By making use of machine learning technologies that use neural network capability and deep learning algorithms, the company created an engine that takes existing and potential data sources, conducts analyses, and makes sense of data on behalf of those who need more insights into potential property investment decisions.

Not only is Knowledge Factory creating its own first-party data, but this is also further enriched by augmented property data, geo-spatial data, consumer segmented data and every other relevant source of data under the African sun. “We consolidate the data, process it through a highly effective ETL process ensuring its accuracy which then delivers a comprehensive view of the property market right down to a suburb level. In a data-driven economy, this is the key to value generation.”

As a business that prides itself on the ability to not only scale, but meet various client demands in an instant, Frankie says this could only have been made possible with the right cloud partner. “Being a technologist for more than three decades, I understand the value of tech.

In this day and age, every successful company is using technology and data as an enabler to ensure that it can help organisations make informed decisions while remaining competitive at the same time,” says Frankie.

For Knowledge Factory, this meant finding a cloud partner that would meet all its aspirations and goals. “We chose AWS as our preferred cloud partner. Being a global player in South Africa, this partnership allowed us to bring global best practices into the local market.”

Ten years ago, Frankie says cloud was a blip on the radar for most South African organisations. Today, he says it is an essential differentiator. “As technology progresses, we cannot afford to have all our hardware on-prem anymore. We need flexibility and the ability to scale. Most importantly, we need the world’s best solutions at our disposal.”

He continues, “When we moved to AWS, it became immediately apparent that we had multiple options available to us. We could re-engineer the entire framework into one that is fit for purpose and meets all our new client requirements as and when they arise. If we had all this infrastructure on-prem, we would be severely limited.”

With the assistance of AWS Channel Partner, First Horizon, Frankie says Knowledge Factory is now able to turn this world-class cloud technology to its advantage – by bringing unseen innovation to the South African property sector. “With the power of data and the latest technology in our hands, all you need is the right toolsets and the right partner to turn that data into opportunity. Anything is possible when the world’s best tech is lifting you up,” Frankie concludes.

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