MPAC streamlines property data through global collaboration
July 13, 2020
The Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) is responsible for assessing each of Ontario’s more than five million properties. But the vast amounts of data we collect and manage each day is used for more than just determining property values—it’s also used by banks, insurance companies and the real estate industry to inform key business decisions and meet customer needs.
While we have one of the most detailed databases in the world, we make complex property data easy to understand for today’s customers. Our custom reports help real estate professionals attract new clients and support property sales transactions through data insights and market intelligence. But how useful is that data if everyone using it speaks a different “data language?”
That’s where data standards come in. We recently became a member of the Real Estate Standards Organization (RESO), the trade organization that governs how data flows in the real estate industry. Working with other RESO member organizations from around the world, we are now taking a lead role in developing and implementing standards designed to enhance the consistency and accuracy of property information.
“We are applying the concept of standardization and transparency to everything we do at MPAC,” said Sujit Jagdev, MPAC’s Chief Information Technology Officer. “It’s a natural part of our evolution as a data-driven organization to work with RESO and adopt these standards, and we play a critical role in making quality, reliable property data available anytime.”
RESO is optimistic about the value that MPAC’s data insights can bring to their work. “We're looking forward to MPAC's impact on our international expansion,” Sam DeBord, RESO’s Chief Executive Officer. “MPAC brings a new dimension to RESO as a world-class property assessment organization with unique knowledge of property records. They will provide a model for many organizations looking to become a part of international data standards collaboration.”
In 2019, MPAC achieved our ISO 27001 certification, an internationally recognized standard that speaks to our commitment to the highest standards of information security practices. Becoming a technology partner with RESO is another step in MPAC’s ongoing data journey.
When it comes to property data, standardization is about making sure one organization uses the same terminology as another, with the ultimate goal of making technology easier to use and more efficient for the real estate industry. At MPAC, we knew that many of our partners in the industry were starting to look at standardizing property data – for example, making sure we all mean the same thing when we refer to square footage or age of construction. “Creating data standards is about being able to exchange data between different systems used by different companies,” said Anthony Percaccio, MPAC’s Director of Architecture and Information Services. “So no matter who accesses it, the meaning and quality of that data is always the same.”
MPAC’s sound approach to data architecture meant we were already in good shape to be at the table with RESO members, and our journey doesn’t stop here. We are proud to be Canadian trailblazers as the only assessment jurisdiction with RESO membership, and we are currently pursuing our RESO certification which will formally establish MPAC data as being fully interoperable with other tools.
“Now that MPAC data is in the picture with RESO, we’re helping open up ways for other Canadian organizations to align with data standards,” said Sujit. “Real estate is extremely local by nature, and we are equipped with vast amounts of granular data. We’re happy to collaborate with others and make sure our data can be used to help today’s real estate consumers.”