You wouldn’t know it to look at her but Denise Dresden, mild mannered mother of two adult children, is a steely-eyed expert as to how all 50 states file public information on the debt associated with equipment purchases of all types.
“It’s like a puzzle,” says Dresden, a 14-year veteran at EDA who manages the company’s data production from start to finish. And when it comes to data EDA has plenty to manage; they purchase a whopping 12 million images at the state and county level every year.
We use the term “images” loosely. Despite relative uniformity in the documents—known as UCC-1 financing statements—how the information on them is recorded and stored may differ from state to state and even county-to-county. The UCC-1 is the legal form that a creditor files at the state or county level to give notice that it may have an interest in personal property purchased on credit.
EDA sorts, sifts and distills these millions of documents into a form that allows lenders, marketers, equipment makers and others to find out who is buying what and where and for how much. That is no small task given that they receive the documents as paper, on CDs, in huge digital computer files and even on the seemingly ancient form of microfilm.
Denise and a few dozen EDA specialists, with their years worth of experience looking at these documents, are able to interpret, decode and reformat the raw information so any client will understand what particular piece of machinery was bought, who financed its purchase and the name of the buyer.
For example, a client might want a listing of everyone in Indiana who purchased a 50-horsepower tractor or greater within the past five years. Or maybe they just want to know who bought a grain wagon within 25 miles of Indianapolis in the past six months.
“These are all public documents,” says Denise of the UCC-1 statements. “But we have different contracts with the states to get this information more readily in bulk. Our ability to create one consistent database out of these disparate sources really is the EDA difference.”
“I kind of equate it to learning a foreign language or math,” says Denise. “It is learnable but it takes five to six months training. And what we receive is like figuring out a puzzle—we may get 100,000 images [of documents] but may only need 15,000 to 20,000 for our purposes.”
Says EDA Director of Sales, Dan Salerno: “A lot of people can’t do what they do. Someone off the streets could look at the raw data we get and see nothing but jumbled text. Our people have the expertise to see through all that and create pure value for our clients.”