Attom Data Solutions, a company with a massive archive of property information, has unveiled a cloud-based system that it believes could save clients huge amounts of money and ultimately do for data what Netflix did for streaming video.

Attom launched its new Data-as-a-Service, or Attom DaaS, program this week. The DaaS will give companies faster, more streamlined access to Attom’s database of 155 million U.S. properties. In a statement, the company described the DaaS as “an enhanced data solution that is unlike anything in the industry.”

Todd Teta

Todd Teta, Attom’s chief product and technology officer, told Inman that the company developed the DaaS after realizing that clients — some of whom get thousands of files a day — were spending vast resources just ingesting data before they could actually use it. Teta conservatively estimated the cost of ingesting data and making it useable at as much as 25 percent. In other words, for every $100 clients were spending on the data itself, they had to plunk down an extra $25 just to make it useable.

“These are just extremely large files,” Teta explained. “Our customers end up having to map that data into their platform and it’s a very tedious and error ridden process.”

Attom’s new DaaS is meant to eliminate that cost by giving clients direct access to the data, which is stored on cloud services such as Microsoft’s Azure.

Teta compared the launch of the DaaS to Netflix. He noted how the streaming giant formerly expended significant resources stuffing DVDs into envelopes, mailing them out and then re-cataloguing them after customers were done watching the movies. It was a labor intensive process.

But when Netflix shifted to streaming, it significantly reduced its need for all that physical, DVD-oriented infrastructure. (Netflix still sends out DVDs, but has been deemphasizing that side of the company for years.)

“All of that work of just kind of the manual fulfillment goes away in a streaming model,” Teta added.

An info graphic showing how DaaS bypasses traditionally labor intensive data ingestion processes Credit: Attom Data Solutions

Teta said the DaaS does the same thing for data, eliminating the need for teams of people whose job is to simply take Attom’s data and ingest it.

Attom has an array of data on taxes, foreclosures, home sales, and other property records. The company provides that information to real estate portals, insurance companies and government entities, among other clients. Teta said that with the DaaS a real estate portal could, for example, directly apply data to a valuation tool.

“They can focus on building their value model,” he added.

The DaaS launch comes about four months after Attom announced it had moved its entire database onto Microsoft’s cloud platform. And in January, private equity firm Lovell Minnick Partners acquired Attom.

Teta expects DaaS technology to take several years to really catch on, much like video streaming did. However, he described Attom as “leading the market” and said DaaS is a good option for cutting down costs and increasing efficiency.

“We want to support our customers with what they need and sort of nudge the market,” Teta added.

Email Jim Dalrymple II

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