In 2009, a group of Government agencies received a report containing the benefits to New Zealand derived from the use of spatial information. It was determined that $1.2b of productivity gains were obtained through the use of spatial information in 2008 and a further $481m, including $100m of government revenues, could have been gained had roadblocks to the use of spatial technologies been removed.
Since then, the Minister for Land Information presented a paper to Cabinet resulting in an open directive, that all non-personal data held by government be made openly available.
Currently the majority of organisations do not have good address data quality and geocoding practices in place. If nothing is done, significant investment in repeated batch address cleansing and geocoding is likely to continue to be required to extract value from this data, and the risk of decisions based on inconsistent or incorrect data will remain high.
To ensure that you deliver the right service to the right people and do so in a timely manner, you need to hold correct current address details - more than just an email address and passport information.
Correct and current address details can only be achieved if address data is validated, but too often this requirement is perceived to be a low priority, expensive add-on to a customer relationship management (or similar) system.
Working with Critchlow and Intech Solutions, government organisations will be on the right track to an environment where all address data is accurate and geocoded. This will result in reduced costs, enable databases to remain accurate as new data is entered or changed, and multiple new uses of data will be identified that deliver benefits which can only be imagined.
In addition, trust in the data will grow and the application of business and location Intelligence tools will allow for new insights leading to better decision making.
With poor quality data, there is a risk of losing track of clients. With improved data quality, there is a significant opportunity to use the valuable information discovered through geographic analysis. This information can only be properly understood with the aid of visualisation tools and these tools rely on accurate data.
In other words, decisions can only ever be as good as the underlying data, making data quality a top priority for all organisations.
We propose a web service hosted on the Government cloud to resolve a variety of information quality issues, and enrich address data by appending additional data attributes.
Functionality includes data transformation, validation, standardisation, matching and integration of a wide array of agency or private sector owned data. Processing can occur in real-time and batch mode and at the point of data capture.
The solution can be accessed in different ways depending on each agency's specific business requirements. Geocodes, such as latitude and longitude, boundary data such as mesh blocks, statistical boundaries, administrative boundaries, socioeconomic indicators and more can also be automatically appended to validated addresses.
By offering a single shared service, our solution, which uses Intech's IQ Office at its heart, overcomes issues of cost, timely response and delivery, resource allocation, consistency of approach, agency skill shortages and complex procurement processes.
Consider how to determine where to put the next secondary school based on the home addresses of the enrolled primary school children, or how to determine the location-based factors that influence the occurrence of third world conditions such as rheumatic fever by combining EECA's home insulation database with instances of infants presenting to their GP with sore throats. A web-hosted address validation and geocoding service will not only rationalise this investment, but significantly reduce the duplication of resources.
To summarise, our solution will ensure that address data is validated and corrected against authoritative datasets at point-of-capture (preferable but not essential) and enriched by appending relevant geospatial data. Validating and geocoding addresses will not only make these datasets more valuable, allowing each agency to improve their services to their customers, but allow for wider sharing of anonymised data.