[WEBINAR] Explore When to Use OpenStreetMaps vs Premium Addresses

Cassidy Littleton | Geocoding, Location Intelligence, News & Events | , , ,

OpenStreetMaps is a popular and well-known open source repository for address and GIS data. It may be tempting to want to use this free data to solve your business problems. In many cases, this data may be perfect for what you need; however, there are also many scenarios where a premium paid for a data set is required or preferred.

Join us as we focus on address-level data and geocoding and take a high level look at both data sets to explore the advantages and disadvantages of both options. We will also take a deeper dive into specific use cases, including:

  • A look at how the City of Burbank uses Premium address data to improve city services
  • How a governmental agency like a county might use open source or premium address data
  • Other possible business uses of both the open source and premium data sets that can cross industries from insurance, health care, to e-commerce

Register for the webinar “Explore When to Use OpenStreetMaps vs Premium Address Data” today and join Admound Chou, VP Product Development for Melissa Data, on Wednesday, September 23rd 11:00am – 11:20am (PST).

Hip, Hip, Hooray! The Elephant Gets Addressed Today.

Melissa Team | Address Check, Address Correction, Address Quality, Address Search, Address Standardization, Address Validation, Address Verification, Data Enhancement, Data Enrichment, Geocoding, Global Address Verification, Identity Resolution | , , , , , , , ,

What’s the elephant in your business? Every company has one! I’m talking about the thing that costs you money, customers and insight. Could it be returned mail? How about fraudulent transactions? Whatever the problem, it all stems from one big beast – bad address data. Customer communication, fraud prevention, predictive analytics and ultimately, your bottom line, all hinge on the quality of your address data. Don’t believe me? Allow me to show you.

Curate Creative Communication

The poorest form of communication is none at all. Losing touch with your best customers, unpaid invoices, undelivered merchandise – all caused by an inaccurate address. However, obtaining and maintaining correct address data means you reach your intended recipient. But, it also means you gain deeper customer knowledge. Data appends are designed to take a small piece of your customer’s profile, and create a whole picture.

Let’s start with contact information. From an address, you can append contact details such as full name, phone number, email address and social handles. By adding more contact info, you can create personalized, multichannel marketing campaigns, or reach your customer via their preferred method of communication for higher response rates.

With a single address, you can also access an encyclopedia of information about a single person or an entire household. Using demographics and psychographics, messages can be tailored to fit your audience. Completing your customer avatar also helps you identify the unique attributes of your best customer so you can target prospects just like them.

Fraud-Fighting Fitness

Identity verification is the most important aspect of protecting yourself against fraudulent transactions. This becomes a much faster process with correct addresses. With clean address data, identity verification becomes a matter of quickly cross-referencing name and other contact information to that valid address. With Melissa’s Personator Web Service, this can be done in real time.

Identity verification is integral to any fraud prevention routine. It will hinder money-laundering schemes, identity theft and many other forms of fraud that infect the internet today. Maintaining compliance with KYC and AML initiatives not only protect your organization, but your clients as well.

Powerful Predictive Analytics

Predictive analytics are only possible with clean, correct and current data. Without correct data, business decisions based on faulty analytics could have far-reaching and long-lasting negative impacts. GeoCoder® corrects, updates and appends addresses, then converts that written address into exact longitude/latitude coordinates. This creates a compelling visual map of your customers’ addresses for analytical consumption as well as logistics and marketing.

Once your addresses are standardized and up to date, you can add location intelligence. Geographic information like census tract/block number, voting district or county name with FIPS code, helps optimize route planning and resource allocation, enrich data for analytics, utilities management (water/gas/waste), and risk assessment.

The Bottom Line

77% of companies believe their bottom line is negatively affected by inaccurate and/or incomplete data. Bad address data causes waste associated with undeliverable mail and lost opportunities to connect with your clients. It makes fraud prevention more cumbersome and reliable analytics impossible. Customer satisfaction plummets and too much time is spent correcting errors caused by inaccurate data. Bad data almost always means lower profits.

Name It and Tame It

We encourage organizations of all types to address the elephant in their business. See what’s costing you money, clients or insights. Once you do that, it’s easy to tame it. Global Address Verification is a perfect start. It will verify, standardize and update addresses for 240+ countries so you can increase ROI, reduce fraud and enable better business decisions.

Address Experts

Melissa has been in the business of data quality for more than 30 years. We’re called the “address experts” for our deep domain experience in address management. Our philosophy is this – if you have a correct address, why not know more? Melissa can help with each aspect of transforming your address data into comprehensive customer profiles, fraud prevention initiatives and predictive analytics to drive reliable business decisions. Melissa will help you name and tame your elephant. Call 1-800-MELISSA or visit sign up to learn more, here.

Coordinates Cooperate with GeoCoder

Author | Geocoding, Location Intelligence | , , , ,

Rural America. Farm country. Quiet living. Some phrases that come to mind when thinking about a small town like Potwin, Kansas. With a population of 468, how is it possible that Potwin is also home to more than 600 million IP addresses? Some of which are connected to scammers, spammers and fraudsters!

Confounded Coordinates

Using IP geolocation to map a person or a device’s location has varying degrees of accuracy. At its most specific, it could locate a house. At its least specific, it will locate the country in which the device is used. Many fraudsters can keep their locations hidden from mapping tools, except for their country. This causes problems for authorities when they use IP mapping technology to pursue criminals. Especially when the location is incorrect.

Mapping programs use longitude/latitude coordinates to portray specific geographic locations. In order to portray an entire country, it is common to place a coordinate set in the geographical center of that country. However, in this incident in Kansas, an IP geolocation programmer incorrectly rounded the coordinate set that portrays the United States’ geographical center. It resulted in all un-mappable, U.S. IP addresses to be mapped to a residential farm in the small town of Potwin, Kansas.

When a few missing numbers land authorities at your door

Because of this rounding error, IP addresses tracked for wrongdoing were leading authorities and internet fraud victims to “the United States” which specifically pointed to the doorstep of Joyce Taylor’s farm. The Taylor family has since received investigations from FBI, police and IRS agents, and countless threats and harassment from people who have fallen victim to internet attacks. Tracking IP addresses can be a great lead! But, because of a rounding error, it happened to land authorities and internet victims to the Taylors’ front yard which is, after all, a very incorrect lead.

This rounding error cost the Taylor family a quiet life and peace of mind. It stalled legitimate investigations from law enforcement by pointing to a deceivingly specific, yet inaccurate location and caused quite the confusion in this small town. The intelligence programming company has since worked to resolve this issue but, it goes to show that rounding specific location coordinates can have major adverse effects.

Getting to the Center of it

The geographical center of the United States is 39.8282°N, 98.5795°W. A programmer at this IP intelligence company incorrectly rounded these numbers to the nearest whole degree, determining the new “center of the United States” to be 38° N, 97° W – which falls directly on the Taylor family’s front yard. This rounding decision results in a staggering 152.26-mile difference between the true geographical center of the U.S. and Joyce Taylor’s farm, about a 2-hour drive.

Coordinating your Level of Accuracy

Each decimal point of a longitude/latitude coordinate relates to increasing levels of precision. Just one decimal point increases precision to about 6.2 miles (about a town or city level of accuracy). Two decimal points in and your accuracy is narrowed down to the neighborhood. Coordinates showing up to the 4th decimal gives us a “street address” (or rooftop) level of accuracy. Military operations land at the 7th decimal place and civil engineering commonly deals with the 8th decimal (which translates to about “as thin as a paper clip wire”). However, the importance of accuracy to just the 4th decimal determines whether you or your neighbor are going to receive that package you purchased.

IP geolocating is only as accurate as the database which is used to identify the user’s location. The degree of accuracy depends on how updated these databases are, as there is a constant need to change and update this information. Geocoding is the process of converting physical addresses to geographic coordinates, eliminating the need to use these possibly outdated or inaccurate databases to provide accurate locations. Melissa’s GeoCoder utilizes this process to enable businesses to place markers on a map or position the map itself. Melissa’s GeoCoder solution is programmable to geocode (an address is translated into accurate coordinates) or reverse-geocode (longitude/latitude coordinates are translated into a street address). There are different levels of accuracy available, one more optimal than another depending on the application. One can choose from zip-code-level accuracy all the way to rooftop-level accuracy.

Benefits of Better Locations

Geocoding can improve logistics and decrease shipping costs. It can power retail store location and local search lookups to increase customer satisfaction and ease of shopping. GeoCoder will help correct and verify incorrect addresses or autofill those addresses that are incomplete. Melissa offers accurate geocoding for 240+ countries, allowing you to see accurate locations on a map, plan for route scheduling, or to load as input for spatial analysis.

It is vital to be accurate when dealing with location, as demonstrated by the Taylor farm incident. It may even have life-altering consequences. Location accuracy will improve business flow, enhance logistics and analysis, and increase customer satisfaction. The importance of correct coordinates is unmistakable. Don’t let your business falter due to embarrassing rounding errors or inaccurate locations.

Making Data Work for Your Geospatial Challenges

Blog Administrator | Data Enhancement, Data Enrichment, Geocoding, hazard data, Hazard Hub, IP Location, Location Intelligence, Marketing, Property Data | , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Anyone who has looked at flood data knows that FEMA is not the answer. It’s not that FEMA doesn’t try to accurately map what they believe to be floodable areas. It’s that FEMA is politically driven. As a city, you do not have to participate in FEMA mapping. Why would you not participate? Well, properties in flood zones tend to have lower valuations, and lower valuations tend to generate lower taxes. Even as an individual you can exempt yourself with a LOMA. A LOMA establishes a property’s location in relation to the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). LOMAs are usually issued because a property has been inadvertently mapped as being in the floodplain, but it is actually on natural high ground above the base flood elevation.

Melissa customer wanted to sell flood insurance to prospects that were in flood zones but not likely to flood and not in flood zones but likely to flood. They had three primary targets, properties in 100 year flood zones that were not likely to flood, properties in a 500 year flood zone that were not likely to flood, and properties in FEMA minimal risk zones that were likely to flood. The customer realized that they needed a way to understand the current FEMA designation for the target properties but also have an independent flood likelihood evaluation of the property. For them, we created a sample set of customers utilizing HazardHub risk data that looked something like this:


Then they created a targeted list by selecting B and C score prospects from the 100 year and 500 year flood plains and D and F score prospects from the minimal risk flood zones. This scoring and these selections are available nationwide and provided the customer with the ability to selectively target the types of customers that they were interested in from a risk exposure perspective. While this example discusses flood, this works for any natural hazard where properties are exposed, both personal property as well as commercial property. If you have data challenges to solve, perhaps the Melissa team can offer the location intelligence solution needed. Melissa supports geospatial professionals in the goal of mapping innovation in location-based services, analytics and decision-making powered by location intelligence. We provide a wealth of location data enrichments including global geocoding to derive latitude and longitude from an address, and geo-enriched data for IP addresses. We offer other types of specialized data including U.S. property and mortgage data (type and number of buildings on a parcel, property age, construction, sales value, and more), demographics (household income, marital status, residence data, credit information, and more), and risk and natural hazard information (wind, water, ground and wildfire) that can be linked to location data to reveal relationships and trends. Our data feeds easily into popular data visualization and analytics platforms for ease of use and up-to-the minute accuracy. When you need to solve global challenges with geospatial technology, turn to Melissa– your single, trusted source for authoritative reference data.

Written for Directions Magazine – Header Image via @directionsmag

Strategic Alliances Fuel Global Growth for Melissa Data

Blog Administrator | Address Check, Address Quality, Address Validation, Address Verification, Analyzing Data, Analyzing Data Quality, Canadian Change of Address, Data Cleansing, Data Integration, Data Management, Data Quality, Geocoding, Global Address Verification, Global Data Quality, Press Release | , , , , , , , ,

Technology Partnerships Advance Data Quality as Central Business Process;Enable Worldwide Expansion of Both Direct Mail and Data Quality Divisions

Rancho Santa Margarita, CALIF – December 16, 2014 – Melissa Data, a leading provider of contact data quality and address management solutions, today recognized 2014 as a milestone year for company partnerships in both its direct mail and data quality divisions. By working with leaders in ecommerce, data integration and comprehensive mailing solutions, Melissa Data has cemented strategic alliances that further expand its customer base worldwide. Essential to the company’s growth strategy, Melissa Data’s technology relationships are designed to fuel data quality as a central business process integrated into the earliest stages of master data operations.

“As the world recognizes the scope and value of data as a business asset, Melissa Data’s global perspective on contact data quality has increasing impact. By providing sophisticated data quality that is simple to deploy, we’re enabling businesses worldwide to embrace the competitive value of correct, validated customer information,” said Ray Melissa, CEO, Melissa Data. “Collaborating with other technology leaders is essential in these efforts, and 2014 saw some of our most significant partnerships to date. Working closely with key partners, we’re building existing business, growing in new markets, and seeing a greater understanding of data quality as the foundation for optimized master data systems.”

Melissa Data’s newest direct mail partnerships include Deutsche Post and Royal Mail, integrating global address verification and geocoding into their existing solutions and customer base. Melissa Data is one of only a handful of vendors licensed by Canada Post to provide Canadian NCOA (National Change of Address) processing so mailers can reach customers in both Canada and the U.S.

In the data quality realm, Melissa Data partnered with EXTOL International to enable seamless data quality operations in tandem with EDI. The company’s alliance with Scribe Software uniquely enables cleansing, validating and enhancing customer information in a single integration as data moves between CRM, ERP and marketing automation applications. Melissa Data’s relationship with Semarchy unites data quality and master data operations; Semarchy users have a fast and easy method for consolidating unstructured data sources and enriching master data, while Melissa Data customers have a strategic path to upgrade data quality projects into more comprehensive data governance initiatives. Melissa Data has increased its already deep support for developers by aligning with Varigence, incorporating data quality in Varigence’s business intelligence accelerator tools based on Business Intelligence Markup Language (Biml).

Building data quality into ecommerce applications has also been a priority; by working with NetzTurm GmbH and Crafty Clicks, service providers for the implementation of online stores, Melissa Data has enabled plug-in data quality for users of Shopware and Magento-based ecommerce sites. Support for additional ecommerce platforms is imminent, enabling a greater number of online merchants to verify and correct addresses as they are entered, validating information from more than 240 countries and territories in real-time.

Earlier this year, Melissa Data also partnered with Blu Sky to solve healthcare data management challenges; data quality tools are now integrated into Blu Sky’s EpicCare data capture technologies used to administer medical groups, hospitals and integrated healthcare organizations. Furthering its role in healthcare data quality initiatives, Melissa Data has also partnered with TriZetto, integrating data quality into software solutions that support nearly a quarter million doctors and healthcare providers under 350 different healthcare plans nationwide. Melissa Data’s recent alliance with V3Gate expands public sector market dramatically, while enhancing V3Gate’s big data capabilities with integrated data quality tools and solutions. Together the two firms are actively targeting business growth in federal, state and local government sectors, offering cutting-edge IT solutions that support high-level public agencies in achieving their diverse missions.

Partnerships on the 2015 horizon focus on ecommerce as well as enterprise data quality. Melissa Data conducts business worldwide, supporting its global clientele with sales and service from key locations in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany and India. For information about partnering with Melissa Data, contact sales@melissadata.com or call 1-800-MELISSA (635-4772).

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