Many have called the current era the Information Age, but it is easy to see that we are living through a more specific moment dedicated to data, data and….
Oh yeah, data.
As Clive Humby, chief data scientist of Starcount, once said, “Data is the new oil.” Data is worth real dollars. According to a study done at The University of Texas at Austin, a 10% increase in data usability can lead to $2 billion in revenue for a large company. With that kind of money on the line, it is no wonder that at least 20% of the Fortune 500 use smart tools to verify their location database.
Location data — things like addresses, latitude/longitude coordinates and geospatial information — can be used to reduce waste in package delivery, verify risk factors for insurance purposes, prevent scams and make decisions about the future.
However, if the information is inaccurate or unverified, it can lead to major problems for the companies it is intended to serve.
So why do Fortune 500 executives invest in location data intelligence? Here are just some of the reasons.
Better data saves money
Data only works for a company if it is accurate and clean. Bad data has been shown to cost between $8 million and $15 million annually.
Consumer error, voice-to-text issues, transposed numbers and more can cause what should be a database goldmine to instead become a money pit. Using technology to verify addresses reduces these problems and can get you back on track.
Inaccurate information can cause other expensive problems, too. Physical mail and packages sent to the wrong address — or one that doesn’t exist at all — is the same as throwing money in the trash. Worse, important documents that require a response or have legal ramifications can actually get you in regulatory trouble. Resources spent upfront to verify these locations mean nothing goes to waste when you’re reading to start shipping things out.
Verified locations reduce planning errors
Communication giant Verizon relies on reliable location data and geocoding to know where to place 5G towers to ensure that their consumer base is covered. Brick-and-mortar operations considering an expansion need to gather location and demographic data in order to create a strategic plan. Any business that transports goods or professionals needs access to accurate addresses and route information.
Planning always relies on data. Setting goals and projecting milestones based around wants instead of actual facts can set a company back years. If location data is off by just a minuscule degree, you are wasting time and energy on things that aren’t actually there. The only thing worse than bad planning is starting with bad data.
Accurate data shows you where resources belong
When the American Red Cross set out to provide smoke detectors in underserved areas, they needed reliable location data in order to build a map that showed volunteers exactly where to go and who to talk to. They received data from across the nation through the U.S. Fire Administration, but the data was not standardized. In this case, cleaning up and verifying the locations actually saved lives.
The same principle applies to any brand looking to allocate limited manpower and resources in the most efficient way possible. With accurate location data, it’s possible to build maps and models to show where your clients are, where certain types of activities happen, and where risk factors are, so resources can be properly allocated.
Saving money, planning for the future and accurately spending resources wisely are some of the top problems that CEOs face. Spending the time and capital necessary to verify location data offers the tools needed to address these issues.
As we look to the future of business, data is undoubtedly one the most valuable assets a business can have. It makes sense to protect that asset, ensuring it is accurate, verified and organized.
Vijay Yadav is a leader on the Smarty engineering team.