By Meghan Hall
In the age of information, commercial real estate professionals rarely make decisions without first consulting data on the fundamentals of their properties. ATTOM Data Solutions, a property database, is one of the first platforms to offer Data-as-a-Service, streamlining the ways in which important property information is both processed and exchanged. The Registry spoke with ATTOM Data Solution’s Chief Technology Officer, Todd Teta, on how DaaS solutions will become an industry standard when it comes to managing bulk files and data operations.
ATTOM Data Solutions is a property database, collecting and storing information on a variety of property characteristics from deeds and mortgages to environmental risk and foreclosures. When did databases such as ATTOM Data Solutions become a pivotal source of information for the real estate industry? How did their rise impact the real estate industry?
Property data became a national concept in the 90s. Prior to that, there were some regional real estate property information companies. The importance of data on properties has continued to grow exponentially since then, where today it’s unheard for a real estate investor, banks or developers to make any decisions without this data. We began licensing our data in 2014, just in time for the rise of Real Estate Tech players, including national portals, iBuyers and tech-enabled brokerages. These disruptive businesses are fueled by data.
How is ATTOM’s database different from the numerous other platforms that have come to market?
The exclusive 9TB ATTOM Data Warehouse powers real estate data transparency with more than29.6 billion rows of transactional-level data and more than 7,200 discrete data attributes. ATTOM blends property tax, deed, mortgage, foreclosure, environmental risk, natural hazard and neighborhood data for more than 155 million U.S. residential and commercial properties multi-sourced from more than 3,000 U.S. counties. ATTOM delivers a variety of flexible customer solutions for innovators in many industries, including real estate, insurance, mortgage, marketing and government.
What are some of the challenges that ATTOM Data Solutions has faced when not only collecting data, but building and creating its platform?
As with any data project, finding talented resources has been a challenge. We also have run into format and ingestion issues, as many of our upstream data sources often change, miss publishing timelines, etc.
ATTOM Data solutions recently launched of Data-as-a-Service; what is DaaS?
ATTOM DaaS is a cloud-based private database that we use to deliver our content to our customers. Rather than sending clients files, we keep a cloud-based database up-to-date for them, and they use it directly.
ATTOM DaaS is a convenient, powerful, scalable and flexible data solution that delivers a large volume of data in a cost-effective way. The ATTOM DaaS Platform alleviates the burdens of planning and executing a data project by greatly simplifying the loading, managing and integration of large data sets.
What pain points were still apparent in the industry that led ATTOM to incorporate DaaS as one of its offerings?
Dealing with data has traditionally involved moving data around in files that we exchange with our customers. This introduces a lot of work in managing the logistics of the file exchanges, including file naming issues, content issues, translation or mapping issues. It’s costly dealing with files.
Why haven’t more platforms like ATTOM Data Solutions incorporated DaaS into its services before?
Cloud-based technologies such as Azure and AWS have really enabled us to do this at scale. We are the first provider of property data to unlock the power of DaaS because we saw the need to elevate and evolve with the market, but we know it is only a matter of time before others join the evolution.
What are some of the benefits to using ATTOM’s DaaS solution? How have CRE professionals reacted to ATTOM’s DaaS platform? How does it allow clients and users to make more informed decisions?
We have a number of clients using it today and the value proposition has proven out as we thought – it’s simply easier and less costly. ATTOM DaaS eliminates the need for its partners to build and maintain their own processes to keep data fresh, thus streamlining and enhancing the process of accessing data to meet their business needs. Updates and data fixes are applied daily, and implementation is made directly.
How is the DaaS part of the platform scalable? Do you believe that this is the future of commercial real estate data analytics? If so, why?
We think it’s the future of data delivery and will enable a lot of new products that couldn’t be done before. One of these is real-time or up-to-date analytics and monitoring solutions (think alerts of deal opportunities, etc.)
We believe more real estate innovators will turn to DaaS in the future for several key reasons:
- Analytics – DaaS enables analytic projects by leveraging clean, updated data without having to build cleansing and loading processes.
- Cost Reduction – DaaS eliminates ingestion and data management costs.
- Scalable Performance – DaaS is right-sized for your use case and can scale up or down on demand to meet changing processing requirements.
- Security – Azure SQL Database meets stringent compliance standards, such as GDPR, ISO/IEC 27001/27002, FedRAMP/FISMA, SOC, HIPAA, and PCI DSS.
Is there anything else that you would like to add that The Registry did not mention?
We see this as a long-tail strategy, similar to how Netflix took 4 years to make streaming their #1 delivery method – over DVD shipping. We’re excited to be at the start of a paradigm shift in how content and data is delivered.