Data Drives Decisions

Out with the old, in with the new.

New data that is. We live in a constantly changing world. How can we possibly keep up with the growing population count, changes in unemployment rates, and even things like how many homes have internet access? Where does all this data come from and who collects it?

Ever received a survey in the mail from the U.S. Bureau of Census?

These mail-in surveys might be time-consuming, and a little old fashioned, but the information they collect is crucial to maintaining the most complete and up-to-date demographic data for the U.S. population. They include basic demographic questions about your gender, age, race, and education level, as well as more detailed questions on your property, house, utilities, mortgages, income, and taxes.

Every ten years, the United States takes a census of the entire country, but a lot can change in ten years. The Bureau also captures data annually with the American Community Survey (ACS). “While the main function of the U.S. decennial census is to provide counts of people for the purpose of Congressional apportionment, the primary purpose of the ACS is to measure the changing social and economic characteristics of the U.S. population.” The ACS is considered one of the best sources for comprehensive data about the U.S. population. If you’re interested in seeing what kind of questions are asked, here’s a sample survey.

The Bureau of Census is just one of many sources of demographic data. There is additional data available from other locations like the Bureau of Labor Statistics, FedStats, and Current Population Statistics.

After all of this data has been collected, companies like Onboard can begin to organize it. We utilize a variety of sources, like county public records and The United States Postal Service, to offer data on more than 150 million properties, areas, communities, points of interest, and schools around the country.

So what do we do with this enormous compilation of bulk data and what does it mean to you?


We start to translate it into information that is meaningful and valuable for our industry. This data provides the information that helps to paint the picture of the many communities located across the country.  

Most people who are buying a home aren't just looking for a house. They're looking for a community to join and our extensive community data helps give them an idea of the neighborhood. Home buyers want to know more about the area they’ll be living in, whether they’re renting an apartment in the city or buying a home in the suburbs to raise their children. They use our data to determine if they’re looking at a small, close-knit neighborhood or a large urban community. We can also tell them the average age of people who live there and some of are the favorite points of interest.

Products like Onboard’s Nav 2.0 put this kind of interactive data right into the home buyers hands. They can see the property reports and if they're curious, engage with the data.

Our customers also have also found new and engaging ways to use our community data to offer value to their clients. They can share statistics on weather risks and crime rates for different neighborhoods. The prospective homebuyers will be able to see the bigger picture when it comes to finding the right community. Other clients have looked for correlations in data to begin to accurately predict trends likes when and where there will be an increase in sales.

Finding a community that you want to be a part of is an important aspect of a homeowner’s search. We want to provide the most accurate and current data possible to our customers and their customers. With precise demographic data behind our community information, they can make informed decisions about their real estate investments.