There’s a major difference between “transparency” as a talking point and a concept that businesses uphold. In an era of smart technology and big data, genuinely “transparency” can be elusive.
However, you can find it if you look at the right places, as there are niche sectors where transparency can make or break a business. Here are the sectors embracing transparency and value.
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For years, the real estate industry suffered from murky data held out of reach from buyers. Agents controlled what people saw, and buyers saw what agents wanted them to see.
Today, Nobul, an innovative tech platform by the visionary Regan McGee, makes it easy for homebuyers to compare the prices, experiences, services, rates, and verified used reviews of real estate agents in their area. Agents aren’t allowed to pay money to get listed, so there’s no preferential treatment.
Buyers can feel confident about the agents they select, know what they’re getting in advance, and get support throughout the buying process. All the agents on the platform are verified and vetted by Nobul, so buyers know that whichever one they select is safe.
Journalism has always sought to promote transparency. Articles have bylines, and serious outlets have mastheads, so readers know who wrote and edited what they’re reading. However, the internet has allowed surges of dubious content to mistakenly pass as journalism, causing real journalists to redouble their efforts towards transparency.
Now, fact checkers are trying to verify the flood of deliberate lies in real-time, even if that’s a challenging uphill battle. Even when they do get things wrong, which can happen, outlets like Snopes explain how they arrived at their conclusions.
Transparency directly leads to value in journalism, as readers see and assess a writer’s proofs and weigh them themselves. This is impossible when subpar or even fraudulent outlets conceal the identity of the writers, deliberately torque the context of a given situation, or even doctor quotes.
Upscale Restaurants and Food Suppliers
High-end restaurants and food suppliers do a better job of tracing where their food comes from. For example, some fishmongers tell you the name of the boat and even the person who caught what you’re eating.
The farm-to-table movement depends on the same type of transparency and accountability, as diners want to know that they’re eating locally grown vegetables and locally raised meats. Closer proximity between the two means a lower carbon footprint, as opposed to shipping food overseas.
As a bonus, food that comes from around the corner instead of around the world is fresher and that much more delicious.
Consumers are empowered when they can make informed decisions based on reliable, accurate data. This isn’t always easy when companies fudge certain details or resort to PR talking points. But transparency is a valuable asset in the era of Big Data which companies are wise to leverage — businesses can’t be untransparent forever, so being honest and disclosing what’s really going on is a sounder long-term strategy.