SimplyMap Tip: Using Multiple Years

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One great feature within SimplyMap is the ability to track the same variable across multiple years. In this report, we will track the percentage of households in the US ordering items from, as we suspect it might show a marked increase over the span of the available years. The value in viewing the same variable over multiple years is that it helps users identify trends in the data over time.

Let’s get started. First, create a Standard Report by selecting New Tabular Report > Standard Report at the top of your screen.


Next, navigate through this path: MRI Consumer Survey » Purchasing » Mail Order & Internet Purchases and hover over the variable, % Households Buying – Catalog, Mail, Phone, Internet Order: Ordered From:, 2014 so the actions menu appears. From the “Select Variable Year” option check off the list of years you would like to see. In this example we will use 2008-2014. See the image below for reference:


Close out the variables panel, and your Standard Report will be created using the United States by default. Results below!


The data clearly shows a trend in ordering throughout years, more than doubling from 2008 to 2014 nationally. We suspected this at the onset, and the data appears to back up our initial thoughts. Feel free to add any additional geographies you’d like to see – the data is available down to the block group level.

There are over 200 variables available within the Mail Order & Internet Purchases folder in the MRI Consumer Survey data, including other websites such as:

And purchases by catalog/mail order from:

L.L. Bean

We encourage you to explore the many variables found within the MRI data package. If your school or library does not currently subscribe to the MRI data set, please write in to We are always happy to provide demonstrations and trials of data packages at no cost.

What other trends have you utilized SimplyMap to identify? Let us know in the comments below!



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