Search Acumen  has become the first search provider to capitalise on Land Registry’s open data commitment by launching its new ‘Title Intelligence’ digital reference tool for conveyancers.
The unique application allows conveyancers to visualise and validate a property’s location when ordering searches via Search Acumen’s online portal. Using a live feed through to official Land Registry data, it displays the property’s boundary on a map of the surrounding area. It means conveyancers can confirm they are using the correct address, and avoid the risk of mistakenly ordering searches against adjacent properties or those nearby with similar names.
The development makes Search Acumen the first search provider to launch a service supported by Land Registry’s open data, which is published so that businesses can create new applications and services for the industry to use.
Creative use of ‘big data’ – large or complex data sets – is a fundamental part of Search Acumen’s IntelliSearch approach to re-imagining and re-engineering conveyancing searches. The business aims to develop better products and services by combining in-depth knowledge of conveyancing with innovative use of the latest technology and available data.
Search Acumen’s system already enables conveyancers to obtain searches without the need for a plan and minimises the time needed to place search orders. ‘Title Intelligence’ builds on this streamlined approach and is available at the click of a button on the address validation screen.
The live data visualisation provides immediate and accurate confirmation of the boundary defined by Land Registry. It gives users the additional comfort and certainty of viewing a property’s exact location.
Data sharing by Land Registry is part of a wider government initiative billed by David Cameron as “the most ambitious open data agenda of any government in the world.”¹ It involves publishing data from central government departments, public sector bodies and local authorities, to encourage greater public awareness and business innovation in the UK.
The launch of ‘Title Intelligence’ is the first in a series of innovations from Search Acumen using Land Registry data. Further developments will be unveiled in spring 2015.
Lynne Nicholson, head of data products and services at Land Registry, comments:
“This is a great example of using Land Registry’s data to create something new that makes people’s working lives easier and improves the flow of information through the property-buying process.
“There is huge potential to improve the house buying and conveyancing process through better use of data. We need forward thinking businesses to take up the initiative, and we look forward to seeing what else Search Acumen and other organisations can achieve with data that we are planning to make available in the future as we enhance and develop our services.”
Andrew Lloyd, managing director of Search Acumen, comments:
“Getting to grips with big data opens up all kinds of possibilities for providing better search services. By putting the ‘big data’ theory to practical use, we have taken an important step towards giving conveyancers more information and greater insight at the touch of a button.
“The technology exists to tap into public data and use it in a way that is easy to understand and immediately useful in everyday conveyancing. Displaying live property boundaries on-screen adds no time at all to the ordering process – but it can save a huge headache by validating spatial details and confirming that everything is in order with each search request.
“Imagination is the only boundary to the potential uses of this kind of data. We are already looking to extend the scope of ‘Title Intelligence’ to get even more practical benefit for conveyancers.”