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Data Democratization in Property Tax: What Technology Is Out There?

Much of the recent Association of Computers and Taxation conference was focused on data analytics—how to manipulate data, and the opportunities and challenges analysis presents. A problem that was discussed at length is one most companies are currently struggling with: How do tax departments gain easier access to the variety of data that will help them make more strategic decisions?

Other industries seem to be making strides in this area, but property tax has been slow to catch on. The truth is, there is advanced tax technology for data analytics available—you just may not know about it yet.

Solving The Tax Data Analytics Problem

The goal of property tax practice should go beyond simply fulfilling compliance obligations; the best practitioners work to ensure their organizations pay only what’s fair in taxes. To do this effectively requires aggregating multiple datasets—the company’s financial information, asset information, and property tax systems, for example—and analyzing them as a whole.

Most systems, some property tax software applications included, are closed, meaning they are not interoperable with one another. In an effort to combine the data, companies are forced to perform arduous multi-step processes to manipulate it from various sources. This process of data integration not only takes time, but also increases the probability of introducing data errors and inconsistencies. In fact, the obstacles posed by data aggregation are the main reason that a huge amount of data—up to 90% by some accounts—never gets analyzed at all.

Today there’s a new trend called data democratization, which emphasizes the free sharing of data across organizations. Exporting data is the final step of what’s known as data wrangling, the process that transforms raw data into various formats for analytic use. (Data wrangling itself can be a tedious process; see how machine learning is making data wrangling easier for property tax practitioners.) The best software vendors are rising to the occasion, providing APIs (application programming interfaces) that make data sharing easy.

Your tax software is likely already failing you when it comes to data analytics. If you’re experiencing any of these 12 challenges, talk to us about how easy it is to switch.

By offering APIs, software developers are giving you a “front door” to your data. Your company likely uses numerous software applications to conduct business; an API allows one computer program to be used by another. (Tweet this!) That means you can easily and quickly bring data from different programs together for integration and analysis. It also reduces the risk of inconsistent data, promoting “cleaner” data.

Is your data clean?

Another important step in the data wrangling process is data cleansing. Plenty of tax practitioners still rely on the partner system and reading aloud to check data already entered into the system—a strategy that has a high probability of introducing errors. Data errors could lead to penalties or even missed opportunities to reduce your tax liability. Check out our blog on why your read-aloud system of data checking is costing you more than you think—and what you can do about it.

Focus On Tax Data Analytics With CrowdReason

CrowdReason software—both MetaTaskerPT and TotalPropertyTax (TPT)—offer APIs to make your data available to you however and whenever you want to use it.

Other tax applications force you to create custom reports (sometimes requiring scheduling) or download data to Excel spreadsheets; we’ve eliminated those manual data requests and the processes that go along with them. Via the use of APIs, our users can easily connect their property tax data to popular external applications and services, like Alteryx, Domo, and Power BI. No multiple steps, no inconsistencies, and no extra time needed.

Our focus is to get you back to your focus—analyzing property tax assessments and building appeals. Visit our website to see all the ways our software saves you time and improves your processes, or schedule a demo to see it in action.

Download Now: 12 Signs It's Time To Switch Property Tax Software

Topics: Data analytics