Collaborative Innovation Through DataLab
At Scout24 data and analytics play a crucial role since we operate digital marketplaces whose success relies on information aggregation. In analyzing the available data we can offer better services to our customers and consumers. However, this is not enough since analysis is the only beginning of the process and we need to proactively link it to our businesses to be constantly one step ahead. This is how the DataLab comes into play to foster the culture of innovation at Scout24 even more. In other words, innovation is not something you can do along the way; it has to be embedded into all aspects of our activities.
Does this situation sound familiar to you? You are sitting in a coffee shop observing people while waiting for someone and suddenly some ideas just pop up out of nowhere. Let’s face it: the best ideas arise when you’re busy with something else. In fact, the initial concept of what shaped into the DataLab came up few days after I joined Scout24, early morning under my shower. It sure did evolved, with a lot of work from the team, but still the initial seed popped out out-of-nowhere.
This is exactly the key aspect of our DataLab, a permanent initiative that will be officially launched in mid-March 2017. It is our place to try far-reached concepts and ideas and therefore the ideal format to take risks. It definitely shares some similarities with our quarterly Hack Days in which we take a break from our daily business and simply focus on hacking. The DataLab is therefore a platform for all Scouts, regardless of academic disciplines and market segments since we want to create a backlog of ideas around data from cross-functional teams.
How does it work? The proposed ideas will be challenged and investigated in the light of data, available technologies and skillsets. At the moment we aim to focus on 4-5 most promising ideas per quarter, but we need to gather as many good ideas as possible. They range from topics such as pricing to tagging to search. In order to facilitate the process we aim for a lean structure in which three fully dedicated colleagues from the D’N’A team will be involved per quarter in the process of examining and experimenting these ideas.
Our Scouts will contribute to our DataLab pitch event on March 15th by writing down their ideas on one of the postcards we distributed along, and pin it down on one of our Innovation Walls. We will then propose them to pitch their idea during our event, and let the audience select the most promising ones to join the pool of our DataLab for the coming quarter.