For our timber price database, Forest2Market receives timber sale transaction data between buyers and sellers of timber on a daily basis. Each transaction received is carefully and thoroughly reviewed by a staff of professional foresters before being entered into the database.

Geography faculty at the University of North Carolina like to point out that in 1986, those who graduated with a major in Geography had the highest average starting salaries in the class — $250,000. The punchline to this joke is that basketball legend, Michael Jordon, graduated from UNC with a major in Geography in 1986. In that particular dataset, Michael Jordan is clearly an outlier whose astronomical earnings skew the results and obscure the real market for geography majors.

Because Forest2Market receives such a high volume of timber sale transaction reports, it is common that a number of reported timber prices "fall outside the norm," or exhibit a high or low amount of variability. Since a market is made up of a continuum of prices — from high to low — one would and should expect variability in market data.

Forest2Market's staff of foresters carefully reviews the market variables affecting timber prices. In some cases, variability driven by bias, inconsistent data handling practices or differing valuation standards among contributors produces outliers that exacerbate market variability.

To avoid this type of excess variability, Forest2Market uses a "data normalization process" to account for excess variability, thus allowing only market factors to influence prices. View a flowchart of the data normalization process.

Forest2Market also uses programmed database checks of new sales against old ones to prevent duplicates, which would also skew results.

Data Security and Customer Privacy

Forest2Market takes extraordinary measures to keep all data confidential and secure. We value the privacy of our customers. As a result, we:

  • Aggregate data and report it anonymously
  • Generalize acreage so that tracts cannot be identified
  • Never provide detail more specific than county so that tracts cannot be identified