How Government Services Benefit from Address Data Intelligence
Let's be honest, when you saw the title of this article, it's unlikely that you got a little dose of adrenaline to boost your heart rate. But don't leave! As dry and tech geeky as they sound, address verification, autocomplete, and geocoding have surprisingly interesting uses - especially for government agencies. Stay with us through the explanation and see if you agree.
Government agencies benefit from address data intelligence through address verification, autocomplete, geocoding, and master address lists tools. These tools improve accuracy, save costs, enhance efficiency, and enable effective resource allocation for agencies such as Lake County GIS Division, Miami Parking Authority, Secretary of State offices, and an anonymous service agency.
By leveraging these address data tools, government agencies can streamline operations, better serve constituents, and make data-driven decisions for planning and logistics.
|US Address Verification Demo
|US Address Autocomplete
|US Rooftop Geocoding Tool
In this article, we will cover:
- Address verification, address autocomplete, geocoding, and master address lists.
- Why Should Government Agencies Use Smarty's Address Data?
- Agencies Benefiting from Accurate Address Data
What Are Address Verification, Autocomplete, Geocoding, and Master Address Lists?
It's tempting to say that address verification (sometimes called address validation) is simply checking an address against a reliable and authoritative database to ensure the address is real and correct. But despite its name, there's nothing simple about it.
With hundreds of millions of viable addresses in the US, the databases that keep them all straight are massive and remarkably powerful. There are so many addresses that trying to manually search these databases to check the validity of each one is ridiculously unfeasible. Thanks to Smarty, you don't have to.
Smarty utilizes the massive USPS database and other private and public sources to create a super-fast, super-simple way to check that all the addresses your agency communicates with are real, valid (meaning people can receive things there), and accurate. This in-depth address validation article will help you learn more about Smarty's verification service. You can also try the service for free using Smarty's single address verification tool.
There are many ways Smarty's address verification tool can help you help your constituents, but more on that in a minute.
The hundreds of millions of viable addresses in the US mean there are infinite ways to make a mistake when recording or delivering to one or more of them. And a simple slip from a 3 to a 4 in a ZIP Code or a typo in a street name can divert an important piece of mail from arriving safely to wasting away in the land of lost letters - or worse, depending on the agency.
Smarty's address autocomplete tool does for typos what the EPA did to leaded gasoline - it eliminates them. With this tool, you and your agency will enjoy fewer address keystrokes, typos, and incorrect or incomplete address entries. Using address autocomplete will result in higher-quality data, delivery, constituent participation, and input.
Geocoding is the process of identifying the best set of latitude and longitude coordinates that most precisely identify a specific location. Like any set of latitude/longitude coordinates, geocodes are unique. And as great as they are at identifying specific locations, they're not always consistent.
For example, most geocoding tools use ZIP Codes or address matching to generalize the location of a home or other building. But all too often, a general location for a property isn't adequate. That's why Smarty uses rooftop geocoding.
Rooftop geocoding takes traditional geocoding a step further. Rather than approximate the location of an address, a rooftop geocode pinpoints the coordinates to the building's roof. This precision gives you significantly more accurate data; the more accurate the data, the more you can use it.
Master Address Lists
A master address list is what it sounds like, a select number of addresses that lie within a given area. And while that may not sound like much - after all, anyone can compile a list of addresses - not everyone can verify the addresses as accurate. Smarty can and does. See, Smarty processes billions of addresses each day. As new addresses are discovered and verified, they get added to our master list, which now contains over 193 million verified addresses, including PO Boxes, and will soon number over 210 million.
Smarty's address lists are available for the entire US or by state. In addition, you can get the basic verified addresses, or if more data is your jam, you can get additional information such as business/residential identification, parent flags with secondary addresses associated with them, shared delivery points, and so much more.
To see everything Smarty's master address lists offer, look at the Master Address List page. While you're there, you can even request a free sample. Go ahead and give it a try now. On the other hand, if you just want to learn more about Smarty's master list, you can read up on it in this National Address Database article.
Why Should Government Agencies Use Smarty's Address Data?
There are as many ways government agencies can benefit from Smarty's tools as there are addresses! But rather than boil your brain by discussing them all, we'll give you a little taste and encourage you to discover others as you experience Smarty's various free demos available.
Read on to discover how Smarty can help a few of virtually all government agency types:
· Public health
· Government services and constituent interaction
· Planning and logistics
Local and national government agencies can use rooftop geocoding to identify areas prone to natural disasters, plan evacuation routes, and deploy resources more effectively.
Similarly, public health agencies can use rooftop geocoding to track disease spread during epidemics or pandemics. They can more accurately identify disease hotspots, anticipate hospital overcrowding, and plan targeted interventions to save lives and money.
The list can go on and on. But all these use cases amount to that with address tools, US government health agencies can better serve their citizens while saving money by standardizing addresses according to Project US@ formatting.
Government Services and Constituent Interaction
Because of their vital role in serving the community, government services need regular contact with their constituents. Contact includes communicating with everyone from John in his rural farmhouse to Jane in her city apartment. Communications run the gamut from tax bills for all property owners to public notifications served only to properties within a certain distance of a proposed construction project. With all those people and all their addresses, this vital government communication network can potentially lose a lot of money.
But, with Smarty's arsenal of super-fast, exceptionally accurate address tools, government agencies can save money by reducing administrative and mailing costs while increasing efficiency and interaction.
Address verification ensures that all correspondence arrives exactly where it's supposed to, saving money by reducing undeliverable mail. Good address verification also reduces administrative costs, allowing workers to focus on other tasks rather than figuring out why Joe Public didn't receive his welfare or refund check.
Autocomplete saves money by allowing database administrators to enter new addresses quickly and accurately. It also makes updating existing records a breeze. Additionally, incorporating autocomplete into online services makes community members more likely to complete important forms such as census records, voting registration, and tax forms because they're faster and easier. Similarly, autocomplete makes applying for permits, registering for utilities, and purchasing public transportation and parking faster and easier. These benefits save money, but they also serve to increase revenue.
Planning and Logistics
We can probably all agree that more information regarding planning and logistics is always better. And when government agencies utilize super-accurate address tools, they benefit from useful data.
For example, imagine that a government agency needs to plan a new housing project. A master address list, including the geocode coordinates for all addresses in an area, reveals where houses, apartments, and businesses are compared to the planned construction. This data also allows the agency to plan roads, utilities, areas vulnerable to natural disasters, public transport options, etc.
Armed with location data, the planning committee can save money by making data-driven decisions that prevent costly replanning, rezoning, and redrafting blueprints. In addition, it helps them better plan for future growth that benefits them and their constituents.
And what about the growth that's already occurred? Geocoded data can show planners where citizens live, where they move, and where services are most needed. It can help identify trends, pinpoint infrastructure updates, and allow for informed decisions about where to build schools, hospitals, and parks.
These are just a few examples of government agencies and how they can benefit from up-to-date address data. There are many, many more. But the takeaway: No matter who uses it or how it's used, quality address data collected through address verification, autocomplete, and geocoding is a gold mine for government agencies. But you don't have to take our word for it.
Agencies Benefiting from Accurate Address Data
While reading about how you can benefit from address data is one thing, it's another to see how others use it. Here are just a few of many government agencies using Smarty's address tools to help them save money and be more efficient.
Lake County, Illinois
Lake County, Illinois, is home to 170 lakes and rivers, acres of lush forest preserves, miles of hiking and biking trails, and attractions like Six Flags, the Naval Station Great Lakes, the Ravinia Festival, and more. It's also home to over 50 municipalities that house nearly 715,000 people. That's a lot of address data, and it's all overseen by the Lake County Geographic Information System (GIS) Division. A team of seven people.
How do a mere seven people manage all of those addresses? They use several of Smarty's tools to build an accurate, up-to-date, verified address database.
Matt Coleman, one of the GIS analysts who work with every type of organization, from state and federal agencies to non-profits, understands the importance of good, usable data. He says, "There's such a wide user base for our address information that goes beyond just internal county departments. There's a big GIS component that serves natural disaster and emergency response teams, public works like stormwater, and more. We're trying to make the address data as current as possible because everyone relies on it."
One way the Lake County Treasurer has relied on the work Matt and others at GIS do is in improving undeliverable tax bills.
"I can remember probably 10 or 15 years ago when the treasurer sent out tax bills, they would end up with a stack of returns three feet high," said Peter Schoenfield, another GIS analyst. "If all these tax bills are getting sent back, they're not getting into the hands of the people that need to pay the bill, which means people run the risk of going delinquent on their property, and the county risks a delay in getting their tax money."
But with Smarty's address verification, Lake County has reduced the number of bad addresses in its system by over 95%! Matt says, "Smarty is indispensable. Having the tool at our disposal makes our jobs a lot easier."
Peter says, "...as a public entity-county-level government-there is an obligation to use resources like Smarty to best serve the taxpayers and residents of Lake County."
With Smarty, government organizations like Lake County and others help serve the public as efficiently as possible.
According to the United States Census Bureau, Miami, Florida, has approximately 449,514 residents. Put all those people into an area that's only 56.07 square miles, and you have roughly 8,017 people per square mile. As you can imagine, finding parking for all those people - not to mention the huge number of tourists in the city at any given time - and you have a massive parking problem.
One way to solve that problem is: Use address verification.
Henry Espinosa with Miami Parking Authority uses Smarty's address verification tool to help manage parking for residents. He says, "More and more, high-density residential developments strain the on-street parking resources available. [Miami Parking Authority is] tasked with creating residential parking permits to make sure curb spaces are available for residents. The limited resources mean that we would have to limit the number of permits issued to each residence. This would be impossible by comparing non-normalized [and non-verified] addresses."
Think of the time and money Henry and his coworkers save by having accurate, verified address data available to them. Because of Smarty tools' precision, Miami Parking is creating a more efficient, more useful parking system for its residents.
Secretary of State
Managing business registration is an important function of Secretary of State offices. They work hard to make the process easy for their residents while ensuring business owners receive needed information on time. One of the ways they do this is by using Smarty's address verification and autocomplete tools.
By connecting to Smarty's US Address Autocomplete API, website users don't have to type in full addresses multiple times throughout the business registration process. Addresses are validated before accepting business filings to make sure the owners get their proper certificates and any notifications that may come up concerning their businesses.
Not only does this autocomplete and verification process makes life easier for entrepreneurs, but it also helps the State register more businesses. And more businesses mean a larger tax base.
Due to the nature of their work, we can't mention the agency by name nor describe their use case too specifically. But we can say that they use Smarty's address verification, autocomplete, and geocoding tools to detect fraud by people seeking benefits, to improve data quality in their systems, and identify high-risk areas. These services help them make decisions based on accurate data to focus on caring for the deserving people in their system while screening for those who would abuse it.
Whether tracking diseases, saving money while boosting revenue, or managing growth and infrastructure using data-driven decisions, Smarty's address data tools can help every government agency be more efficient, save money, and better serve their citizens.