Sales Ratio Studies: Make sure your GIS is doing the heavy lifting

By Billy Burle, VP Sales and Marketing

It’s been said that “if a picture is worth a thousand words, a map is worth a thousand pictures”.  I couldn’t agree more.  The power of maps and GIS is the ability to quickly visualize information to give you a greater sense of understanding and clarity about all of the data you have at your fingertips.

I could write for days regarding all of the examples related to the power of spatial visualization (that’s a fun phrase to say, isn’t it).  However, because I like you, I’m going to spare you all of my spatial ramblings and focus on just one example – sales ratio studies.

The role of a local government assessor is to ensure fair and equitable taxation for the property owners in their jurisdiction.  Essentially, like properties in the same geographic location should have similar appraised values.  Visit for a plethora of resources relating to fair and equitable taxation.

Now, let’s look at sales ratios within a specific neighborhood.  The example below shows the calculated appraisal statistics for the selected parcels. They are also sorted into various ranges and color coded as such.

Outliers shaded blue
Outliers shaded blue

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DREAMaps Online – The Analyst Tab for Appraisers

DREAMaps Tabs

The “A” in DREAMaps

There are just too many features of new DREAMaps Online to cover in one email (and chances are you don’t want an email that long anyway) so I’m going to just cover the Analyst tab.  Analyst, our most widely used product, was built for appraiser by appraisers as an easy to use GIS viewer.  Since a picture paints a thousand words, I’ll spare you a bunch of words and show you some pictures

DREAMaps Analyst

The chart above represents the appraised value vs. sale ratio deviation distribution with clickable data points that highlight those parcels on the map.  The example also shows that you can quickly color code the selected parcels based on fields such as neighborhood. Continue reading

Bad Puns, Netflix, and What it Means to be a SAAS-y Government

By Billy Burle, VP Sales and Marketing

Is your view of SAAS (Software-as-a-Service) a little “cloudy”?  If so, I’ll see what I can do to help clear the air. Maybe shed a little sunlight on the situation.  Ok, ok, I’m done with the bad puns. But seriously, the SAAS / cloud services model can have a huge impact on how you run your office and in turn impact the level of service you provide to the public.  Unfortunately, these terms have been thrown around so much in the last two years that they have almost been degraded to buzzwords, just noise we’re all starting to ignore.  Buzzwords aside, let’s take a closer look into what SAAS really is and what it offers.

What is SAAS?  Cloud SAAS

The definition of Software-as-a-Service as defined by Gartner is “software that is owned, delivered and managed remotely by one or more providers. The provider delivers software based on one set of common code and data definitions that is consumed in a one-to-many model by all contracted customers at anytime on a pay-for-use basis or as a subscription based on use metrics.”  Well if you’re still reading that means you didn’t fall asleep during that definition. Let’s try to simplify that a bit.  Think of it as “software on demand”.  Consider various web-based mail services like Gmail, Yahoo Mail, or Hotmail and compare them with Microsoft Outlook.  Those web-mail services are a form of SAAS.  You get all the features of an email service without having to install the software on your computer.  You just login through the internet and you’re off and running.  You don’t have to do anything to make it work – it just works. Continue reading