Where Does Our Data Come From?
We’ve worked hard over several decades to protect dealers’ confidentiality and conduct accurate reporting. Dealers and manufacturers give us exclusive access to critical, proprietary sales transaction data in exchange for incentives toward the purchase of our products.
From used sales transactions, including type, make, model, year and condition, to the options associated with each piece of equipment and reconditioning costs, this shared data is core to our ability to deliver accurate current and forecasted values for the industry.
Most importantly, dealers provide us the actual cash selling price, which is the data element that sets us apart from everyone else. Advertised price is public knowledge, but dealers trust us enough that they tell us, for example, that a machine advertised for $50,000 actually sold for $44,500. This is critical information that is unique to Iron Solutions®.
We determine first-year depreciation from historical trends, then reference the sold transactions provided by dealers. We use that data to update our numbers and create new values, issuing revised numbers every quarter.
How Do We Ensure Our Data’s Accuracy?
Our quality-control process starts with our people. Our data entry team is made up of educated and passionate employees who understand the subject matter. Our team has the experience and knowledge to spot anomalies in the data, from very low pricing to missing standard equipment.
To add an additional layer of certainty, we constantly run database reports and compare similar units, ensuring the highest level of accuracy.
Built-In Checks and Balance
When we conduct statistical analysis of dealer used transactions, we throw out the highs and lows, focus on reliable data in the middle, and research any outliers. This data, which comes from regular feeds, faxes and product integrations, then flows to our proprietary model. This model is built from our unique understanding of how options, characteristics, customization and the economy impact value. Our proprietary model, in turn, determines cash values, which we then use to calculate wholesale, trade-in, and advertised values.
The cash selling price has been normalized to a base machine without including extra options or incentive programs. By stripping away extra charges, we can determine the actual base price instead of just using highs and lows.
Our technology has a track record of accuracy, but occasionally, there’s a variation in what the software says and what our experts think. In those rare cases, we always rely on our own knowledge of the market over that of our algorithm. If the model says a piece of equipment should be a certain price point, but we know that model has been problematic in the industry, we adjust calculations.
Our editorial and proofreading teams use a checklist to verify each data point and raise a flag if anything is out of the ordinary. We look for anomalies, make adjustments for market spikes, and consider additional factors such as inventory quantities and incentive programs.
The final filter for our data is our network of partner dealers. If dealers can’t find an option or a spec in our database, we ask that they let us know. If something jumps out as peculiar, they can pick up the phone and tell us about it so we can make an adjustment. Our customers know that the feedback they provide helps us better understand the market, and thus, improve the products we create to serve their needs. We welcome and actively solicit input and participation.