Wednesday, 01 June 2022 13:55

CIECAST Looks at Unintended Consequences of Data Sharing in Collision Repair

Written by Abby Andrews



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CIECA on May 24 hosted its latest CIECAST webinar, “Data Sharing in the Collision Industry and Its Unintended Consequences.”

The roughly 40-minute broadcast, featuring Pete Tagliapietra, managing director of DataTouch, LLC, can be viewed at any time here.


Tagliapietra, who also founded NuGen IT before it was acquired by OEConnection, discussed the lack of security and control around the now-ubiquitous Estimate Management Standard (EMS) export, and the importance of giving collision repair facilities and customers the ability to control personal information sharing in the future.


CIECA first released the EMS Standard in April 1994, designed to allow shops to import estimate data into their management system of choice---CCC, Mitchell or Audatex.


“It was designed for internal shop use only,” Tagliapietra said. “It was never intended to be secure or used externally for ecommerce purposes.”


But since then, several companies have recognized its value as an “excellent external ecommerce tool,” Tagliapietra said, including those offering claims processing, data mining and reporting and integration with any collision repair industry stakeholders.


“Pandora’s box was opened and the EMS Standard is entrenched in the industry,” he said. “That data today is widely used for many different purposes.”


Tagliapietra said ActiveX controls and data pumps have become prolific on shops’ computer systems---which seamlessly grab EMS export data and share it wherever the data pump directs it.


“Once a data pump is installed, it will copy all estimates indefinitely until it is uninstalled,” Tagliapietra said. “That means if a shop switches and no longer uses that partner, but doesn’t uninstall the data pump, it will keep sending [data.]


“We see that as a very key issue as to what’s going on now,” he said.


Tagliapietra said repair data is the “newfound gold” in the industry.


“That data is being used way beyond what most people recognize,” he said. “It goes way beyond vehicle reporting.”


As an example, Tagliapietra said, startup electric vehicle manufacturers are looking at repair orders of competitors’ EVs, to learn what is being repaired and when, as well as...

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