Friday, January 10, 2014

Bad Data - An Open Letter to the Boulder Realtor Association

by Osman Parvez
An analysis is only as good as the underlying data.   

Back in 2012, I contacted the Boulder Realtor Association (BARA) to let them know their statistical data had a pretty big error.    Here's the email I sent and BARA's response (link). 


The data error led me to drop Broomfield from my regular monthly reports.    I couldn't in clear conscious continue to publish market research that was based on a flawed data set.     I'm now starting to put together my end of year report for 2013 and the damn data error still persists.    


I just sent the following letter to the Boulder Real Estate Association (BARA).    I really want them to step up their game, so it's now an open letter... 
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1/10/2014
Dear Boulder Realtor Association
Thank you for putting together your regular monthly statistics.   I appreciate your hard work.
I'm starting to crunch my numbers for my year end report and i noticed that a data error persists.    The real count for sold homes in Boulder during December is 51, not 47 as indicated in the December Statistics report.   The difference is the Metrolist listings.   
Although a near 8% error isn't horrible, it's not great either.    In Broomfield, the error jumps to about 50%, which is simply unacceptable.    
I understand the data source is indicated as IRES, but it's likely misleading to the vast majority of Realtors (and public we advise).   Will you correct this for 2014?    I know it will make the data collection more strenuous, but it will be FAR more accurate if you include Metrolist listings in the statistics.  
Thanks, 
Osman
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