At first glance it would appear that a submariner turned data geek would be an unlikely fit as the new president of NIC.

By Steve Moran

The first week of August 2015, National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care (NIC) expanded their C-Suite in a big way by adding Brian Jurutka as their new president, splitting the role of president and CEO both of which had been held by Bob Kramer. This makes perfect sense when you look at the primary goal of NIC, which is to better educate the capital marketplace about senior living.

I first met Brian very briefly at the NIC Fall Conference in Washington DC, then later we spent maybe 10 minutes chatting at the Spring meeting in Dallas as I was exiting for a flight to California. I came away from that conversation thinking “I really like this guy. Great pick for NIC.”

A couple of weeks ago I finally got the chance to interview Brian about his new and evolving role as president.

A Crazy Pick

At first glance it would appear to be an unlikely fit pick — a submariner turned data geek — as the president. However, after chatting with Brian, I see it as a perfect pick.

Most good business decisions are made emotionally, but not solely on emotion. They have to be backed by a thorough understanding of what you are buying: product, product benefit and marketplace. A big part of having that understanding is the availability of the right data in a timely manner.

Building on the Foundation

NIC does four things extremely well:

  1. Help senior living providers and capital providers network
  2. Help the industry get smarter
  3. Help the industry get more sophisticated in how we look at ourselves and where we fit in the eldercare ecosystem
  4. Develop and provide data for and about the industry

What they have done — in collecting data and making that data available to the industry — has made it possible for both capital providers and senior living providers to make much better, more informed decisions. Yet, there is still a lot more that can be done with data.

The Next Level

Brian is focused on driving initiatives that will continue to expand the ability to collect data and make that data useful to the industry. In particular, he is focused on these areas:

  • Meaningful Skilled Nursing Data – Historically, NIC has focused more on data for IL, AL and MC. This was a logical thing to do since the nursing home component of the industry has been sluggish. It is an area that is facing significant changing dynamics with the emergence of transitional care facilities and healthcare reform. NIC is currently reporting key aggregated metrics from more than 1,500 skilled nursing properties and the set is expanding rapidly.
  • Actual Rates – A key component of what NIC has provided is an aggregated look at asking rates for senior living. The challenge is that to a greater or lesser degree they do not reflect what actually happens in the marketplace. They are now able to electronically collect actual rate data (in place and move in) from a significant number of providers and that list is growing every month. The data will be released in 3Q16.
  • Useable Data – In virtually every industry the ability to collect data is much better than figuring out what the data means and how to use that data. Brian’s expertise at comScore, a company that is very sophisticated at collecting and using data, will help NIC make the current and expanding data more useable and the insights more actionable.
  • Financial Benchmarking Metrics – Today there is good market data and rate data is getting better. The biggest void is access to real and meaningful expense data. It is still a ways out, but Brian and NIC have a big dream of providing senior living operators and investors with both expense and revenue benchmark metrics that will allow the industry to see what the cost of providing care and services really looks like and to track revenue growth over time.

It was a great conversation, and I am looking forward to even more and increasingly better data and analytics.