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NuGen IT CEO calls for nonprofit data repository benefiting auto body shops

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Business Practices | Insurance | Market Trends | Repair Operations | Technology
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NuGen IT business development leader Pete Tagliapietra last month proposed the collision industry establish a nonprofit big data repository free to all contributing body shops.

Right now, businesses like NuGen collect thousands of collision repair records “every day,” he told the first Society of Collision Repair Specialists IDEAS Collide event at SEMA.

“We hoard that information” and use it internally, yet the repairers contributing the data don’t receive any benefit unless they ask for it, according to Tagliapietra.

“My company is just as guilty of this as others,” Tagliapietra said.

Is data more valuable than those companies’ software?

“I say yes,” Tagliapietra said. “I don’t know if we’re there, but if we aren’t, we’re darn close.”

Why shouldn’t everyone have access to that valuable information, he asked.

“As collision repairers, I don’t believe that you really do today,” he said. Repairers only can get it if they’re willing to “buy it back,” he said asking the audience if that was fair or reasonable.

Why should the insurers see an advantage to that data while repairers didn’t, he asked.

The value of repair industry data was alluded to in the recent CCC lawsuit against Tractable alleging Tractable used independent appraiser licenses to steal CCC’s algorithms and methods. (Tractable denied using any of CCC’s intellectual property and said it used its license like other appraisers.)

“The proprietary CCC ONE platform is the cornerstone of CCC’s business, and as such, its data and algorithms are highly confidential,” CCC told the court. “CCC ONE contains a wealth of data, including (as relevant here) prices of replacement parts, hours of labor to replace/repair parts and vehicle refinish time … Much of this data is derived from relationships with third-party sources that CCC has cultivated over decades as well as highly proprietary algorithms and calculations. The CCC ONE platform was created and is maintained for the benefit of CCC. The value of the integrated CCC ONE platform is well in excess of hundreds of millions of dollars.”

Tagliapietra proposed a nonprofit where every shop contributing its records could see its own data for the past seven years and see historical aggregate industry data. The software would be “free and open to all collision repairers.”

Right now, a small handful of companies manage more than 80 percent of the industry’s data, according to Tagliapietra, who said it was the wrong approach for the industry going forward.

Tagliapietra said the Property & Liability Research Bureau was an example of such a nonprofit repository in use today, a comparison he used when discussing the collision repository idea with us earlier this year. Sponsored by the P&C insurance industry, the database is available to any member insurer. (Rates are based on the amount of premiums written by the company; if you’re a smaller carrier, you get a discount.)

PLRB Search is a vast repository of property and liability insurance legal and claims handling information, constantly being updated, revised, and added to,”  the PLRB website states. “Printed out, the contents would fill more than 30 lineal feet of shelf space.  The subject and text fields of more than 33,000 documents are searchable by word or phrase, by state, and the search engine we use also supports sophisticated Boolean searches, as well as ordinary table of contents browsing.”

With a body shop data repository, repairers could look up trends about a particular year, make and model of vehicle or examine why rates varied so much across the U.S. and Canada, according to Tagliapietra.

A repairer “would know how they stack up” in relation to all shops, not just to the subset provided by an insurer, he said.

Other sectors also could purchase access to the information.

Details like paint and materials usage, repairability trends and repair costs could provide value to segments like paint manufacturers  .and suppliers, OEMs and insurers, according to Tagliapietra.

Shops who have never repaired a particular vehicle could see what other repairs experienced and perhaps even inquire about the job with those repairers, Tagliapietra propsed. Insurer guidelines could also be made available so repairers lacking a DRP contract could be prepared for discussions about costs, he suggested.

“As collision repairers, you really need to come to recognize the value of information,” Tagliapietra said. He said data would have “plenty” to do with how shops managed their businesses in the future.

More information:

Property & Liability Research Bureau


NuGen IT business development leader Pete Tagliapietra on Nov. 2 at SEMA proposed the collision industry establish a nonprofit big data repository free to all contributing body shops. (John Huetter/Repairer Driven News)

NuGen IT business development leader Pete Tagliapietra on Nov. 2 at SEMA proposed the collision industry establish a nonprofit big data repository free to all contributing body shops. (NuGen IT slide; photo by John Huetter/Repairer Driven News)

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