Getting to Know Charts in InfoSparks
InfoSparks is a housing market research tool designed specifically for ease of use, fast analysis and simple sharing. InfoSparks is included in your MLS membership and can be accessed from the RAM Dashboard (Clariety).
Highlights of what you can do with InfoSparks:
- compare up to four geographies at a time
- filter search results by countless housing variable combinations
- examine housing market metrics as counts, medians and averages
- customize price and square footage ranges
- use it on your mobile device
- share search results online, in print, via email and even with live data widgets!
Now let’s jump right in and learn about the 2 different Charts that are available.
You can choose to display either a line or a bar chart.
The charted area shows the combination of geographic areas with variables and metrics up to the most complete month of data. You can toggle charted items on and off in the legend. You can select anywhere on a line or bar to see individual values, and you can see the variable elements for each chart just below the x axis.
Line charts will not show values on the line until selected, whereas bar charts will always show values. When selected, whether a line or bar chart, the date, area and value will display. Data points are for one month of activity or for 12 months of activity as a single point, depending on whether Monthly or 12 Months is the chosen time calculation, the latter of which is better for trend analysis and accounting for small sample sizes.
Bar charts will show percent changes for the years in which all data used to calculate the percent change is displayed in the chart. So, yes, that empty space is on purpose under the first year of any multiyear selection and for a time calculation set to 1 Year.
The chart’s heading is the selected metric or metric + variable when in variable breakout mode. The legend shows areas or areas + variables in variable breakout mode. Below the chart are areas with variables or areas with nonbreakout variables in variable breakout mode. Metrics, areas and variables also transfer to Share options.
For all charts, the y-axis is based on the metric, the x-axis is time of year and there are never more than six variables on a single chart. For bar charts only, the maximum allowable number of years for historical comparison is three. Beyond that, you really should be using a line chart!
If a line or bar doesn’t have any data, a “No Data” note will be added to the legend label. If there is no data for anything selected, a message will appear in the chart area that states, “There is no data available to display for the given criteria.” Different verbiage may appear in no-data situations, but the message is generally the same: No dice; try again.
User-defined areas will have an asterisk (*) next to the name of the area in the descriptive text under charts. This is meant to help avoid confusion between same-named areas that are default to the system or added by you, the user.
Want to learn more about InfoSparks? Here is a tutorial.