As the senior housing industry continues to grow in sophistication, the technology that tracks it must also evolve to bring more transparency to the market.
For more than two decades, the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care (NIC) has been the go-to source for senior living operators, developers, investors and other industry stakeholders who have relied on the organization’s data tracking services for their next projects and investments.
Now NIC, which has had a pulse on the senior housing sector since 1993, is placing greater focus on data analytics.
Earlier this month, NIC appointed Brian Jurutka to lead the organization as its president alongside NIC’s current CEO Bob Kramer. A former nuclear submarine officer in the U.S. Navy, Jurutka brings more than 20 years of leadership experience and a track record in analytics, business development, operational management, and data system development and integration.
Most recently, Jurutka served as senior vice president of Telecoms at comScore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR), a global digital analytics company that provides marketing data to various enterprises, agencies and publishers. Before that, Jurutka worked with Capital One’s Direct Banking organization, where he launched and managed the company’s first deposit product partnership, in addition to overseeing various strategic partnerships.
Senior Housing News caught up with NIC President Brian Jurutka to hear what led him to work in the senior housing industry, how he plans to leverage his expertise with data analytics, and what to expect from NIC’s data tracking efforts in the future.
SHN: Did you have any experience in the senior housing sector prior to joining NIC?
BJ: Not from a professional background. From a personal background, I went through some situations where I was tangentially exposed to senior care and the senior housing space. But what attracted me to the field is looking at the broad demographic shift as to where things are heading from an American perspective. There’s a big wave coming and that excited me.
Also from a personal perspective, there was an opportunity to find a fit with an organization that aligned very well with a mission-driven focus that resonated with my experience. The more I learned about NIC, the more excited I became about understanding how I would be a fit.
SHN: Not having any prior senior housing experience, do you have any anxiety or fears of diving into the unknown?
BJ: What I love about this opportunity is I have an organization around me filled with top-notch individuals. Bob [Kramer] is a fantastic mentor, and I’m hoping to lean on him and learn from him. I’ve also had the opportunity to interact with a generous leadership at NIC. All of that has made me feel incredibly secure and comfortable.
I went from the Navy to Capital One to comScore. For each one of those transitions — while at the absolute core you have skill sets and abilities that are similar — they are very different industries. So I’m excited for the opportunity to learn about the senior housing industry, but at the same time, I feel very comfortable in my abilities.
SHN: How will you leverage your background in previous endeavors, like comScore and the Navy, as you operate in this new role?
BJ: Across all of those, the key thing is a willingness to work on a team and a willingness to lead a team. One opportunity here at NIC is to guide this team and really help organize and move the team in a direction that supports our mission.
The other big piece is the analytics. I have an engineering background. So I’m bringing my background from the analytics perspective and what I’m hoping to do is marry that with a fresh perspective on some of the information that’s here [in senior housing]. Sometimes when a new person is added to the mix, you bring a fresh perspective. But it’s all from the vein of ‘Hey I’m the new guy, let me ask all of these questions.’
SHN: A particular focus for you will be building on the infrastructure at NIC to deliver transparency to the capital markets. Are there any plans to change, or alter, the way NIC collects or measures data for the senior housing industry? Can we expect any updates to things like the NIC Map Data service or other NIC tracking systems or tools?
BJ: Yes to all of the above. Clearly, it’s not a static product, nor is the market in which it operates. From a capital markets perspective, as I look at the senior housing industry and benchmark it to others like multi-family, I feel like we’ve only just started to scratch the surface.
The next big thing is looking for operational efficiencies to provide what NIC does for the market.
You can’t stand still. You have to look for ways to improve, and I’m hoping to bring some analytical background to help build systems and processes. I’m excited about continuing to build on a lot of what exists here and to further that sense of mission and teamwork to accomplish what we want to get done.
SHN: From your previous work at comScore, where do you see big data fitting into the senior housing sector?
BJ: The data sets we have here at NIC are relatively small compared to comScore, but I think fundamentally it’s less about the amount of data. It’s learning to use that data set to answer questions to drive both the business and the mission of the organization forward.
In general, we’re in the at the start of the big data journey. And this is broader than just NIC, but my assumption here is that as we look at the broader senior housing space, there is huge opportunity to use data to drive decisions.
As an industry overall, there are huge ramifications. At NIC in particular, I think there’s always the opportunity to expand in the data that we collect.
Written by Jason Oliva