slopegraph-browser-example

CRT Technology Survey for 2013-2014

Every year, CRT produces a survey that provides a snapshot of technology usage for our membership. The audience for this survey our primarily our members, but also our associations, MLSs & vendors interested in REALTORS® and their use of technology. We’ve found some very interesting things this year. Including:

  • More than half our membership are using iPhones (52%, p. 10).
  • Use of IE as a browser is dropping (From 50% in 2012 to 38% in this survey, p. 9)
  • Brokers spent a median of $1,410 on technology for work, which is up from $1,122 in 2012 (p. 11)
  • Forty-five percent of agents would like their broker to expand their technology offerings (p. 14)
  • Sixty-two percent would like their MLSs to also expand their technology offerings (p. 16).
  • REALTORS® spend a median for 44% of their time corresponding with and communicating with their clients. (p. 18)

We’ve streamlined the survey and reduced the amount of pages by combining charts and graphs that were initially on their separate pages. This will reduce the amount of pages printed and make it easier for the user to find data.

One of the big changes this year comes in the area of visualization. We considered the presentation of the data very heavily in this report. CRT’s been doing a lot of research on the best practices of data visualization. We’ve consulted the writings of a lot of experts in the field and developed visuals that we feel best represent the data and make it easier to understand.

One example of a new type of display in this report is something called a slopegraph. This was first proposed by Edward Tufte and I feel it’s a great way to do a comparative. In order to show trend, we felt like representing the data in this way made it clearer. We also use color to show increases, decreases and no change for these. This helps visually distinguish items and make it easier to parse quickly. The example below is from our section called, ‘Technology in General’. It is showing the change in browser usage. What becomes clear is how much IE is sliding and how Google Chrome is rising.

slopegraph-browser-example

Another example of the work we did this year was to remove pie charts. Pie charts can be useful with a very small set of series, but they can also make it hard to parse data. It’s generally agreed among data visualization experts that pie charts have had their day. We used horizontal bar graphs and stacked horizontal bar graphs to represent this data that had been typically presented in pie charts. Here is an example of a horizontal stacked bar graph using this data:

stacked-bar-graph-example

Finally, we’ve used color to highlight difference, but also streamlined the palate. This is meant to make data stand out and be readable not only in color, but for those who may be color vision deficient (the old term being ‘color blind’) and for black and white printing. We tested our palate against tools provided by sites like color-blindness.com , and printed copious copies in greyscale to make sure the colors worked for both uses.

Click here to download your copy of the Tech Survey. Thanks!

Chad Curry

Managing Director for the Center for REALTOR® Technology. Working to improve the value proposition to our members through our web properties and mobile space.

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