Is Your Data Sexy Enough?

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Guest Blogger, Geordie Romer is a real estate broker in the mountain town of Leavenworth Washington where he specializes in selling vacation homes to folks in the Seattle tech scene. Geordie has been blogging about Leavenworth Real Estate since 2005.

I’ve been blogging in the real estate space for five years or so and I’ve learned over the years that two things keep readers coming back on a regular basis.

● Local real estate info, especially statistics, trends and charts
● Great images

Luckily for real estate bloggers there is a great new tool available that helps create fantastic infographics from your data : Tableau

Tableau started in the 90s as a request by the Department of Defense to Stanford’s Computer Science Department. The DOD wanted a way to make it easier for defense analysts to comprehend data. Who better to help than Professor Pat Hanrahan, a founding member of Pixar? In 2003, Tableau released software called Tableau Desktop. In 2010 came Tableau Public.

Tableau allows you to make great charts and graphs to share online that are easily embeddable and shareable. Once you upload your data (in Excel, Access or CSV files) Tableau gives you countless options on how to display the information. Tableau is also interactive and allows your readers to see the subsets of data and charts that interest them the most. For real estate agents, being able to tie data to maps and geographic locations is really incredible. Tableau is a free download for those willing to share their data publicly.

Here’s a great example by Matthew Campbell using real estate sales in Mecklenberg County , North Carolina.

Zillow is also using Tableau to help share its research. Recently they published a report on the links between APR, LTV, and credit scores.

In some locales like New York City, there is lots of data to work with. I found this visualization fascinating. And what do the charts tell us? Staten Island has very little graffiti, but the graffiti they do have lingers without cleanup.On the other side of the spectrum, Manhattan has over 2000 incidents of graffiti, but it is cleaned up in less than 17 days on average.

I’m excited about all the possibilities for my blogging. This seems like a great tool to show consumers which neighborhoods are “hot” (or not) and which neighborhoods are affected most by foreclosures. How about using Tableau as a tool to show which neighborhoods have older homes versus new construction?

Are you using Tableau? I’d love to see how you’re taking advantage of its possibilities.

As for me… looks like I need to enter some data into some Excel workbooks…