The Data Ownership Dilemma
As organizations look to adapt to an era of strategic, data-driven decision making, many are investing in both technology and human capital to ensure they are properly equipped with the tools and skills needed to store, manipulate and analyze large amounts of information. This could mean bringing new capabilities in house or outsourcing to a third party. While outsourcing can be an effective solution for organizations that are not fully furnished with their own capabilities, going this route does have significant implications for data ownership. Commonly outsourced processes, such as property tax assessment appeals, require the transfer of company data to 3rd parties. At times, the third party might even be responsible for collecting information on behalf of your organization, which begs the question, who is in control of your organization’s data?
If you are not responsible for collecting, storing, analyzing or reporting on your own data it can be difficult to have ownership over the processes used to achieve your objectives. The security and accuracy of the information in question is obviously critical, but what influence can you have on how the process is managed without transparency into the operation? Some common concerns we encounter from those who depend on the analysis of large property tax datasets but rely on third parties to provide the insights are as follows:
- How do I ensure the accuracy of the data or reports I am provided?
- How do I ensure I am getting the complete data available and not just what the provider chooses to collect?
- Can I get access to the raw data or live updates on the information collected?
- How do I access my data if we terminate the working relationship with this service provider?
As one of the largest expenses for multi-property owners or occupiers, property tax plays an integral role in cost management decisions for multiple departments. In essence, accessibility to property tax data across an organization is extremely important. Historical data that feeds directly into other systems, such as Enterprise Resource Planning software, will help determine future budgets and forecasts, tax payments, appeals…etc.
This is where using a collaborative data management tool that gives you the flexibility to import, export, manipulate and analyze your own data can be incredibly valuable. With this type of software your data will integrate with other systems across the entire organization in real time. Different permission levels can be set for all parties involved in the process, both internally and externally, including for your third party service providers. This means, you can build a repository of information that you own, giving you access to real-time insights and complete oversight into the entire process.
Ultimately, the data ownership dilemma can be resolved. With collaborative property tax management software you control your data and processes, ensuring full visibility into its completeness and accuracy. You eliminate the need to determine who owns what, and if your organization’s data can be transferred from your service provider and integrated into your ERP systems.
Looking for more information on how to maximize your outsourced processes? Explore our blog post on “What to Look for When Choosing Software to Compliment your Outsourcing Strategy.”