15th March 2024

Use of open data at Spuerkeess

Why use open data? We spoke to Romain Van De Louw and Marie-Astrid Cauquy, members of the Spuerkeess Data Management department. They provided us with information on a specific use case, real estate risks and open data in their everyday business activity.

Why are banks turning to open data to assess real estate risks?

Banks are constantly seeking to improve their risk management, particularly around real estate where fluctuations can negatively impact their loan portfolios. The use of open data, such as information on flood-prone areas or the location of points of interest such as nurseries and shops, gives them a more precise view of the immediate surroundings of the assets financed by their loans. 

How does open data on flood-prone areas help in risk assessment?

By using public data on flood-prone areas, banks can assess the risk of loss for the properties they finance. This information allows them to better understand the potential hazards to which the property is exposed, which is crucial in assessing the likelihood that the associated loans will be repaid. 

So, by assessing the environment in which the property is located and knowing the associated risks, banks can decide where to lend money responsibly. This helps to avoid providing financing for real estate that could pose a high risk of default. By knowing these risks, banks can protect their own finances, but also the interests of their customers. 

What types of data can potentially be open?

Data that is not subject to legal restrictions on publication can mainly be considered for being made available as Open Data. This is not the case for personal data, intellectual property, or information related to national security, all of which are excluded from the scope of Open Data. With regard to public sector organisations, the publication of data is subject to the Law of 29 November 2021 on open data and the reuse of public sector information. It should be kept in mind that this law and the PSI (Public Sector Information) directive require them to make their data open. 

What are the benefits of this open data approach for bank customers?

For bank customers, this open data approach can lead to more transparent conditions that are better suited to their situation. By using objective data to assess real estate risks, banks can also offer more relevant advice to borrowers, thereby enabling them to make more informed and responsible purchasing decisions. 

What are the risks associated with open data?

The main risk associated with the use of open data is the quality and reliability of the data available. To make important decisions, it is essential that data is accurate, up-to-date, and complete. Some data made available on open data platforms has not been verified or comes from unofficial sources. This can lead to shortcomings in the quality and accuracy of data and thus compromise decision-making. This results in incorrect decisions being made based on incorrect information. 

Tips for using open data: 

  1. Check the data source. Choose well-known and recognised players such as STATEC. 
  2. Analyse the data quality. Ensure the quality of the data: its exhaustiveness, completeness, accuracy, etc. before using it in your decision-making. 
  3. Work with the community. Get involved by helping to improve data when you detect errors. Report them so they can be corrected for everyone. 
  4. Explore dedicated tools and platforms. Make sure the platforms you use for making your data available are sustainable.  
  5. Share your reuse with the community. Consider contributing to the open data ecosystem, as pooling information enables us to go further. 
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