Note from Jimmy Hua: I used to work for Intuit as a Software Engineer on QuickBooks Online about a little over a year ago. It was right before they have acquired Mint.com. One thing that Intuit has as you can see here, is huge amounts of data from personal and small business. If you think about it, everything you enter into their sites (online services, and some offline products if you use their connected services) is accessible and available to them. Let me reassure you, at the time that I was working for them, they did nothing malicious with the data. They do not sell you data or anything that specifically points a particular user or business. But if you really think of it, that is a huge amount of data. As human beings, we like to compare ourselves with others to see how we are doing relative to everyone else. And that is what they are doing here. I recommended them doing something very similar for Quickbooks Online when I was working there to let other small businesses to know how they are doing vs other people in their industry from around the US. This would allow small businesses to see if a trend they are seeing is unique to them or is a industry standard. Data is powerful and it is definitely something users and business can use for themselves or for their clients.
This post is shared through my Google Reader from another source. All credit of the post belongs to them which you can access by going to See How Much Others Are Spending with Mint Data
Intuit-owned personal financial site Mint.com has released a new product that presents the sum total of anonymous purchase information it has tracked over the years. The product, Mint Data, is a comparison spending tool that identifies what people actually spend, in aggregate, at specific merchants or across certain categories.
Mint Data aims to be a real-time economic index where consumers can search to discover what their peers are spending and compare their own behaviors against national or regional averages.
The tool dissects spending by retailer, category and region, and it highlights spending data by average price or popularity, where popularity is defined by the number of transactions per month.
In San Francisco, for instance, the average purchase price for a restaurant expense is $35.74, with the average monthly expense totaling $294.69 per person. Users can also drill down to look at the most popular restaurants and the average purchase price at those places — La Boulange with an $11.13 average expenditure ranks first in San Francisco.
With Mint Data, what we’re looking at is essentially a slick consumer-friendly user interface built on top of Mint’s purchase database that encompasses data from more than 4 million users. Mint Data may or may not be a scientific representation of the country’s spending habits, but with its large user base, there’s certainly a wealth of information that packs meaningful insight in the aggregate about consumer spending.
Image courtesy of Flickr, Darwin Bell
Reviews: Flickr, Mint
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