Data Collection Technology
Why Third Party Data Collection is Preferable to In-House Data Collection

Why Third Party Data Collection is Preferable to In-House Data Collection

By Matthew Cabrera at CIDARE
Updated On: Dec 21, 2021


We all know that fair and equitable valuation can’t happen without clean, accurate data. Flawed data produces flawed valuations; pristine data produces trusted valuations. For the property owner, however, pristine data isn’t enough. For the property owner, a fair and equitable valuation must feel fair and equitable. To align the reality of a fair and equitable valuation with the feeling of a fair and equitable valuation, the entire process must be as transparent and objective as possible, especially when it comes to data collection.

For a long time, the best way to ensure accurate, trustworthy data was to have the assessor or their team gather the data themselves. Now, using a third-party data collection firm is the best and easiest way to gather accurate data that is trustworthy and objective. Afterall, a focused third-party data collection firm has no incentive to provide anything other than unbiased information.


Let’s start with technology. Technology used by third-party data collection firms like CIDARE guarantee transparency and objectivity. High-resolution imagery not only provides the property with crystal clear views of properties at the ground level, but with aerial imagery included, you can also see the surrounding area in a way that provides visual context and an understanding of the neighborhood that you could never get on foot. Documented, visual evidence to back up your assessment gives the property owner visual proof of what you based your valuation on.

LiDAR technology can measure a building 6x more accurately than a tape measure and offers the property owner undisputed proof of a property’s dimensions. It also removes the need to visit the property again if you need to remeasure a building. All you have to do is bring up the 3D model captured by the LiDAR. Aggregated data from MLS listings, public imagery services, and other sources mean the data collection service can review secondary sources of information to confirm the primary data gathered by the in-field collector.

Tablet technology used by some professional third-party data collectors ensures data is accurate.

Tablet technology used by third-party data collectors allows you to audit every single action and decision the data collector makes. This audit capability makes it easier to comply with regulations.


The dedicated, professional staff of a third-party real-estate data collection firm like CIDARE works on your data 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They prepare your data so that it’s as accurate as possible before they transfer your data to your CAMA system. In many cases, they use data not readily available to you. The best part is that you no longer need to worry about the administrative task of finding your paper property cards, going through your photo log, and painstakingly transferring your notes to CAMA. That’s done by the third-party data collection firm’s systems and staff.


In short, advanced technology and analysis services makes it possible for a third-party data collection firm to capture every aspect of a property in a way that is as accurate and transparent as possible. Their technology and processes make it easier to identify new growth, answer property owner questions, and address appeal situations.

The public will respect your office more because you demonstrate true dedication to being as fair and equitable as possible.

The public will respect your office more because you demonstrate true dedication to being as fair and equitable as possible. Finally, you and your staff gain more time for analysis and the arms-length aspect of using a third-party give your valuations objectivity.

There are certainly trade-offs you have to make if you use a third-party data collector. The intimate understanding of each neighborhood gleaned from house to house collecting data isn’t the same. The inter-personal discussions you have with property owners moves from their house to your office. There is a greater need to explain why data collection is necessary and how you use taxpayer data. Most importantly, you may need to rethink your budget and what your priorities are.

But in the end, if the goal is truly fair and equitable valuations, using a third-party data collection firm is an easy way to assure you have objective, accurate data.

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