Guest blog by Egbe Manners, GI Consultant
One of my colleagues loves online shopping, so, when she moved to a new flat and her favourite home delivery services couldn’t find her address, she was frustrated. Increasingly having a successful delivery to her flat is becoming a differentiator to which online retailer she chooses. Is she expecting too much from online retailers?
Luckily, working at Ordnance Survey (OS), I know a bit about address data. I understand some of the challenges facing retailers to keep customer address data updated. It takes time, investment, and effort to maintain their mailing lists. However, it is worth the effort.
Having access to over 29.6 million addresses in Postal Address File (PAF) from Royal Mail, is a good starting point. However, finding those households within a building that has been divided could prove trickier. But this is made easier with the 12 million additional addresses that OS source from Britain’s local authorities.
In this two-part article, I want to show organisations how to go about creating a location data strategy. The business operations of many organisations revolve around location. Whether you are thinking about your supply chain, asset location or customer address, location affects everything.
In part one, I looked at how you could express your business objectives in terms of location and what questions you should ask to frame a strategy. In this second part, I move on to describe some of the practical steps you can take to move your strategy forward.
Decide how to join the location data back to your addresses
When I wrote about ‘Why you need an address master data management strategy’, I highlighted how organisations could gain better control of the address data they hold. There are many reasons why you would want to do this; better addresses can streamline operations, reduce errors and waste and even lead to new business opportunities.
For many organisations, their main activity is reliant on location, which is often expressed as an address. A delivery company needs to find an address to deliver goods; a mortgage lender wants to value the property found there; a utility company needs to deliver underground services there; an insurer wants to know the risks surrounding it. An address by itself cannot tell you any of this, but it can be used to unlock other location data.
Organisations who want to gain advantage by using location data should take a structured approach and start by creating a location data strategy. In this two-part article, I’ll explain the steps you need to take to get started.