Andrew Townsend
Andrew Townsend
Marketing Operations Manager

Andrew is a leader, storyteller, photographer, marketer, indie film director, author, and father. Working in operations he smooths out and massages customer data as it moves between Marketing, Sales, Support, and Customer Success. Andrew has over 20 years of leadership and organizational management experience in both the workforce and his community. When he's dead and buried, his tombstone will read: HubSpot Expert.

All posts by Andrew Townsend - Marketing Operations Manager

Star Wars DayArrow Icon
By Andrew Townsend on May 3, 2024
One of the most popular and successful movie franchises—by far—is George Lucas' Star Wars. The impact Star Wars has had on the culture of the United States and the rest of the world is incredible. From 1977 on, Hollywood has been producing large, fantastical blockbusters packed with practical and computer-generated special effects. Movies have started being considered based wholly on the merchandise they could sell. Toy laser swords have been selling like hotcakes, and every child finds themselves secretly trying to turn off the light from their bed using the Force.
Dealing with Address Data from Multiple CountriesArrow Icon
By Andrew Townsend on May 1, 2024
In our recent webinar, we hosted Jeffrey Duncan, our Technical Product Manager, who discussed the complexities and nuances of managing address data across various international formats. While seemingly straightforward, addresses are quite complex, especially when dealing with international data. Jeffrey highlighted the variability in address formats, which can range from the number of address lines to the order of address components, differing significantly from one country to another. For instance, while a US address typically follows a structured format, addresses in countries like Germany or India can have a completely different setup, impacting data entry and management.
International Be Kind to Lawyers DayArrow Icon
By Andrew Townsend on April 9, 2024
Lawyers get a bad rap. Lawyers have been around for a long time, and when you're this old, you're bound to collect your fair share of good and bad. It's true, ask your grandpa. We've got records of people described as "lawyers" going back to ancient Greece, Rome, and the Byzantines. These first individuals were folks who were asked to speak for the accused because those under scrutiny were—understandably so—shaken up by the situation. It went from someone who was your friend and did you a favor by speaking on your behalf to someone who knew all of the laws, and you'd hire them to speak eloquently for you.
Navigating the Future: Geocoding & Address Data Trends in the CloudArrow Icon
By Andrew Townsend on March 27, 2024
In a recent webinar, Berk Charlton, Chief Product Officer at Smarty, provided an in-depth look at our industry-leading address intelligence suite designed to provide highly accurate geocoding and address validation. Here are the main points Berk covered during the session:Comprehensive Product Suite: Smarty offers a wide range of products, including address validation, rooftop geocoding, global address auto-complete, and address data enrichment. These tools are designed to handle various aspects of address management and enhancement in industries from Insurance to Healthcare to Telecom and more.
Unlocking Ecommerce Success: Fabletics' Journey with Address AutocompleteArrow Icon
By Andrew Townsend on March 20, 2024
In the growing world of ecommerce, providing a seamless checkout experience is key for customer satisfaction and conversion rates. Fabletics, a leading activewear brand, embarked on a conversion-improving journey with Smarty to enhance their checkout process. We recently hosted a webinar filled with insights from Mel Cummings, Vice President of Product Management and UX at Fabletics. Unlocking Ecommerce SuccessConsider this common scenario: your customer is navigating through an online checkout process, only to be thwarted by an error, often related to address entry.
Smarty's 2023 Address Data Deep Dive: Trends, Challenges, and BreakthroughsArrow Icon
By Andrew Townsend on January 23, 2024
We recently hosted a webinar where Brent Francom and Jeffrey Duncan, two of our Product Managers, talked about the lessons we learned and the improvements we've made in 2023. Here are the highlights. When you process so many addresses, you see things. We processed 327 billion+ addresses in 2023, equating to nearly 900 million per day or over 10,000 per second. When you process that many addresses, you find many funny and interesting ones. We keep a "Wall of Shame" with funny and malformed addresses that somehow validate.
Mastering International Address Verification and Autocomplete with SmartyArrow Icon
By Andrew Townsend on December 12, 2023
With over 240 countries supported, each with unique address formats, language variations, and data complexities, verifying international addresses is no simple task. We recently hosted a webinar about the slippery mess of standards and exceptions that make up international address data. We brought in experts Caroline Roweton, product manager, and Acacia Warner, a backend software engineer, to guide attendees through the maze of mastering international address verification. Crumbling Under Bad Address Data International addresses may appear straightforward on the surface, but chaotic complexities lurk underneath.
Webinar Recap - Ensuring You Have Project US@ DataArrow Icon
By Andrew Townsend on November 21, 2023
Smarty recently hosted an enlightening webinar on Project US@, a vital initiative in health information technology. The webinar, led by Wes Arnold, Team Lead of Product Marketing, provided insights into Project US@ and its significant role in patient data management. What is Project US@?Project US@ is led by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology in collaboration with HSC and AHIMA. The final version 1. 0 was released on January 7, 2022. The goal? The initiative's main objective is to establish a standard approach for representing patient addresses across all health IT systems.
Tips for Setting Up a Geocoding API RecapArrow Icon
By Andrew Townsend on November 2, 2023
Geocoding is converting a physical address into geographic coordinates with latitude and longitude. Accurate geocodes are critical for many applications—routing deliveries, analyzing insurance risk, mapping utilities, and more. In a recent webinar, Smarty's customer service specialist, Ben Rivera, outlined best practices for maximizing geocode accuracy using our APIs and tools. Here are some of the key takeaways:The Problem of Inaccurate Geocodes  Many common geocoding services provide ZIP Code or centroid-level accuracy at best.
Hobbit DayArrow Icon
By Andrew Townsend on September 22, 2023
In the mystical and beloved land of Middle-earth envisioned by J. R. R. Tolkien, we find a powerful lesson encapsulated in the gentle beings of the Shire, the hobbits. As the world celebrates Hobbit Day today, we at Smarty take a moment to reflect upon the substantial parallels between Tolkien's humble hobbits and the fundamental principles steering the realm of address data intelligence. In the grand scheme of things, it’s often easy to overlook the small, the quiet, the unassuming. This is one of the several clever reasons JRR Tolkien chose these garden-loving creatures as his heroes.
The Story Behind Smarty's Upside-Down Banners at BYUArrow Icon
By Andrew Townsend on September 19, 2023
Have you ever walked past those upside-down Smarty banners at BYU and wondered, "What's going on here? Did someone make a mistake? Is somebody getting fired?"We know it really shook some people up. Smarty™ isn't a company that stays inside the most standard lines when it comes to advertising. From hiring the wrong Tom Cruise for our video ads, to posting ads in magazines with the tagline "don't scan this QR code," we've never really fit the standard mold. And the upside-down banners at Brigham Young University are yet another one of those moments.
Address Keys: 5 Data Management Uses and How to Choose OneArrow Icon
By Andrew Townsend on August 29, 2023
Address keys can be used to improve data blending, update and enrich addresses, reduce data processing time, and protect personally identifiable information. In this webinar, we brought in our product marketing manager John Hickey to teach about what they are, how they work, why they're crucial for data management, the different types available, what to look for in one, and what to avoid. Ultimately, John pointed out five primary uses for address keys:1. Update Address Changes2. Simplify Data Blending3.
Can You Trust Crowd-Sourced-address-dataArrow Icon
By Andrew Townsend on August 24, 2023
Crowd-source data is a term that has gained significant traction in recent years. In a recent webinar, we brought in our own Adam Charlton to talk about what can and can’t be trusted when using Open Source or Crowd-Sourced address data. Defining Crowd-source DataAt the outset, it's imperative to understand what we mean by crowd-source data. It essentially refers to data that is both gathered and curated by individuals. The distinguishing feature here is that the data's curation process isn't dictated by a centralized authority or stringent verification system but by the same community that's gathering and supplying the data.
Geocoding Update: Accuracy, Census Block and Tract, PUID & MoreArrow Icon
By Andrew Townsend on August 4, 2023
Smarty has been creating top-notch address data tools since it's inception in 2011. A key part of providing the best location data and address data tools in the world is keeping those products at the cutting edge of the industry. We do this by adding new features, products, and solutions that our customers can use to improve their lives as often as we can. In a recent webinar, our Chief Product Officer Berk Charlton outlined some of the newest features we've added to our US Rooftop Geocoding tool.
How to Measure, Manage, and Minimize Technical DebtArrow Icon
By Andrew Townsend on August 2, 2023
Spend enough time as a software developer, and you learn about the existence and pain of technical debt. Understanding, managing, and communicating technical debt is crucial. It allows us to build more maintainable software, improve our productivity, and even boost team morale. We recently hosted a webinar with one of our software development team leads, Kiersten Nelthorpe, and senior software developer Cody Robertson, where they gave valuable insights and strategies to help you deal with technical debt in your work.
Celebrate World Wide Web DayArrow Icon
By Andrew Townsend on August 1, 2023
World Wide Web Day on August 1 celebrates the birth of the World Wide Web and its significant impact on modern society. While the Internet and the World Wide Web are not the same (the Web refers to a web of linked pages via hypertext links while the Internet refers to the exchange of information by people on their own computers), the World Wide Web played a crucial role in making the internet accessible and user-friendly to the general public. Let's explore how the advent of the Internet and the World Wide Web have improved address validation and geocoding.
Celebrating Laser Day and the Precision of Modern TechnologyArrow Icon
By Andrew Townsend on July 6, 2023
Every July 11, technology enthusiasts, scientists, and curious minds come together to celebrate a milestone in the annals of scientific achievement - Laser Day. On this day in 1960, Theodore Maiman first operated the laser, introducing the world to a tool that would significantly shape industries, from manufacturing to healthcare. At first glance, lasers and processes like address validation, geocoding, address enrichment, and address autocomplete may appear worlds apart, relegated to vastly different domains.
Use ChatGPT to Write Better Code, FasterArrow Icon
By Andrew Townsend on June 28, 2023
In our recent webinar, we brought together two of our software engineer experts, Adam Charlton and Ryan Cox, to demonstrate how to build a working application using ChatGPT to generate most of the code. We know what you're thinking: ChatGPT can't take our jobs; we've tried. This is wonderfully true. ChatGPT can pull together useful bits of information but still needs to be guided and curated by a human, preferably one with subject knowledge. The exact working scenario given by Adam and Ryan was: Write code in Python that takes an address and delivers the ten closest addresses to that address.
Captain Picard Day: Validation Insights from Jean-Luc HimselfArrow Icon
By Andrew Townsend on June 16, 2023
As a distinguished leader, diplomat, and explorer in the Star Trek universe, Captain Picard's legacy extends far beyond the realm of science fiction enthusiasts. In 2007, fans decided to bring a piece of Star Trek lore into reality: Captain Picard Day. This 'holiday', first introduced in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Pegasus," is an annual celebration observed on the Enterprise by its youngest crew members. The date mentioned in the episode is Stardate 47457. 1, which translates to June 16.
The API Whisperer: How to Analyze Smarty's API Output Like a ProArrow Icon
By Andrew Townsend on June 6, 2023
Smarty's US Street Address API and International Street Address API provide a lot of output. Things like Carrier Route, Congressional District, geocode, eLOT sequence, timezone, and much much more are available with every address check. But there may be points of data that you are not entirely sure what it means, or how to use it. In a recent webinar, we brought Lyle Durland, Head of Support, and Jeffrey Duncan, Technical Product Manager, together to outline some of the more useful points of data, and how to interpret it.
Welcome to the Twilight Zone of Address DataArrow Icon
By Andrew Townsend on May 11, 2023
Picture this. You're traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. That's the signpost up ahead - your next stop, the Twilight Zone! Can you hear the 🎵 dee dee dee doo dee dee dee doo 🎵? That is the familiar introduction to a show that would boggle our minds and twist reality as we know it. Today, apparently, is Twilight Zone Day. Celebrate how you will. Another thing that boggles our minds and seems to twist reality as we know it is when addresses change or when they go by an alias, or when you ship something to someone's house at the exact address they told you, and it still gets returned for some reason.
Data Governance Tools: A Selection ChecklistArrow Icon
By Andrew Townsend on May 4, 2023
If you’ve decided to embark on a journey of data governance, you’ll want to check out the full ebook “Data Governance: An Executive’s Survival Guide. ” The following is but one chapter of the guide. Tools Available for Data Governance By outlining and implementing data quality control guidelines, data governance software helps organizations meet regulatory standards, improve security, and increase employee efficiency. While some software is designed explicitly for data governance, it's also possible to find master data management and data quality software with built-in tools for data governance processes.
Address Verification for Fun and Profit: Using Go SDKArrow Icon
By Andrew Townsend on April 26, 2023
In our recent webinar, Ryan Cox, one of our highly skilled API developers, walked through setting up and using the Smarty Go SDK. The webinar covered various essential topics, from obtaining the SDK to understanding the ins and outs of implementation. Ryan explained that the Smarty Go SDK is easily accessible on GitHub. He then moved on to discuss the key differences between embedded keys and secret keys. Embedded keys are ideal for client-side applications because they provide limited access and don’t reveal sensitive information.
The Connection Between Clean Address Data and the EnvironmentArrow Icon
By Andrew Townsend on April 18, 2023
Earth Day is celebrated every year on April 22, raising awareness about environmental issues and encouraging people to take action to protect our planet. But have you ever considered the connection between Earth Day and clean address data? You probably haven't. But don't worry, because we have. Let's take a look at the importance of maintaining clean and accurate address data and how it can contribute to a healthier environment. The Importance of Clean Address Data Keeping your address database clean and up-to-date is essential for businesses of all sizes.
Data Security Policies and Standards: What They Are and Why They MatterArrow Icon
By Andrew Townsend on April 18, 2023
In today's data-driven world, data security is more important than ever. Data is always at risk for attacks and misuse, and lack of security is an increasing threat. With the rise of phishing attacks and other cyber threats, organizations must be vigilant to protect their data from unauthorized access, theft, and misuse. The following is an excerpt from our newest ebook, “Data Governance: An Executive’s Survival Guide”. You can download the entire guide here. According to Forbes, in 2019 phishing attacks rose to their highest level since 2016, and the time it took to detect and resolve data breaches also increased that year.
Master Data Management Explained: Understanding the BasicsArrow Icon
By Andrew Townsend on April 12, 2023
Master Data Management is but one section of our recent ebook “Data Governance: An Executive’s Survival Guide”. You can download the full ebook for free here. What is Master Data? Master data is all the data critical to your business's operation. It's the data that multiple departments depend on to make decisions and drive success. From customer data to product data, financial data to inventory data, master data is the backbone of many organizations. Without it, businesses would struggle to operate efficiently and effectively.
The Legalities of Address DataArrow Icon
By Andrew Townsend on March 30, 2023
In today's digital age, businesses collect vast amounts of data on their customers, including their addresses. However, federal laws are yet to be enacted to protect consumers from businesses that misuse or from hackers who abuse personal data. Consumers looking for protection must, for now, rely on various State legislation and privacy protection laws. Businesses must keep abreast of the multiple laws governing consumer rights and take extra measures to protect consumers' personal information, including address data.
Data Cleansing vs. Data Enrichment: Why Both MatterArrow Icon
By Andrew Townsend on March 28, 2023
Dirty data, which is incomplete, incorrect, inaccurate, or irrelevant data can lead to misinformed decisions and missed opportunities. That's why ensuring your organization's data is clean and accurate is essential. Data cleansing is finding and removing corrupt or inaccurate records from a set of data. It allows you to identify which elements in your database are bad data and ensures your data is accurate and trustworthy. After cleansing, it is best practice for organizations to enrich or append their data to ensure it’s complete, up-to-date, and reliable.
Understanding Key Data Governance Players: Roles and ResponsibilitiesArrow Icon
By Andrew Townsend on March 22, 2023
Successful data governance requires more than just rules and policies. It requires a dedicated team of professionals with clear roles and responsibilities to effectively manage and protect the data. We recently published “Data Governance: An Executive’s Survival Guide”, an ebook that you can download right now. In it you’ll find information on data governance and other important factors in the address data game. The following is an excerpt on the section about the different roles and responsibilities involved in data governance.
Data Quality: The Foundation of Successful Data ManagementArrow Icon
By Andrew Townsend on March 14, 2023
We recently published an ebook titled “Data Governance: An Executive’s Survival Guide”. The following is a sampling of the chapter on data quality. The Value of Data Quality Data is the lifeblood of modern organizations, providing crucial insights that can drive decision-making and innovation. However, the value of data is only as good as its quality. Poor quality data can lead to costly mistakes, misinformed decisions, and reputational damage. That's why it's essential to ensure your organization's data fits its intended purpose.
The Importance of a Data Governance FrameworkArrow Icon
By Andrew Townsend on March 9, 2023
We're thrilled to share a sneak peek of one of the sections in our latest ebook, "Data Governance: An Executive's Survival Guide. " This guide is a must-have for anyone with a database, and we have packed it with an abundance of critical points and examples that will enlighten and entertain you. One of the most valuable assets businesses have is the digital data we work with every day. As more and more data is collected and used, it's important to have a system to manage it effectively. Enter data governance frameworks.
International Address Masterclass Webinar RecapArrow Icon
By Andrew Townsend on March 3, 2023
In this webinar, our international address expert Bryan Amundson went over the ins and outs of international address data. He gave details about country designators, transliteration, and other localized things to consider when working with international addresses. He also dove into how to tell how accurate your international data is and other international address hacks you didn't learn in primary school. What is an International Address? An international address is any address outside the country relative to your geographic location or the location of a specific business or entity.
Lessons Learned from Validating Over 440 Billion Addresses in 2022Arrow Icon
By Andrew Townsend on February 1, 2023
On average, customers of Smarty process 2. 5 billion addresses collectively a day. If you were to count a single Cheeto for each address, that’s enough Cheetos to fill up 1,930 vans per day. If you were to start walking along the equator of the Earth and you took one step for each address, you’d make 38 trips around the planet. That’s a ton of address lookups. So with that much address data flying through our systems, we decided to host a webinar sharing some of the insights we’ve gained from the over 440 billion addresses that were validated in 2022.
Can You Tell Me How to Get to Sesame Street?Arrow Icon
By Andrew Townsend on January 19, 2023
It seems that 1969 was a very special year. Looking back, you’ll find some of the coolest American muscle cars peaking in their infant stages, such as the Mustang Boss 429 Fastback and the Charger R/T 427 HEMI made famous by the Duke brothers. You’ll find the first Concorde flight in France. You’ll remember what you can of Woodstock, and one man will take a small step on the moon for all mankind. It’s also the debut year of the children’s educational show Sesame Street on PBS. Very quickly, the street named after a seed became nationally known, and the question children would sing at the top of their lungs each day was, “can you tell me how to get to Sesame Street?” Originally the show was called “123 Avenue B” to focus on the counting and alphabet principles that would be showcased.
Does Santa Use Smarty’s Rooftop Geocoding?Arrow Icon
By Andrew Townsend on December 7, 2022
You bet he does. He kinda has to, there’s no other way he can get rooftop-accurate geocoding fast enough. The man travels the entire world in 14 hours and needs to know exactly where to land his reindeer. Look, for a lot of people’s needs you could say that "parcel centroid" is good enough when it comes to address geocoding. Many houses are in fact in the center of the parcel. However, there are also many homes that are not in the center of the parcel. Parcel Centroid (Other Guys): Rooftop-Accurate (Smarty): For example, think of apartment buildings.
Common Problems When Working with Address DataArrow Icon
By Andrew Townsend on November 29, 2022
There are many problems you may run into if you're working with address data. In our recent webinar, our own Adam Charlton went over some of the challenges he's encountered the most, and how to deal with them. Here’s some of what he talked about. You can view the full recording at the link below. Standardization Standardizing addresses helps solve many of the problems inherent with data blending (combining two or more address databases together). In order to properly blend different address databases together you need to either have an external ID correlate the two sources, or have identically formatted address fields.
Helpful Hints to Authenticating Your APIsArrow Icon
By Andrew Townsend on November 2, 2022
We brought out the big guns in the way of our Development Team Lead, Kent Gividen, in a webinar all about authenticating your APIs. He went over some of his most useful tips and tricks that he uses to ensure APIs are authenticated. Was it helpful? You betcha. You wanna get the SparkNotes? Read on. Common and Not-So-Common APIs to Know About Kent began by outlining the APIs that he has run into the most in his years as a developer. Some of them he dug into a little deeper than others, but these are all useful to be aware of.
America's Spookiest StreetsArrow Icon
By Andrew Townsend on October 27, 2022
Tis the season to know “it’s coming from inside the house” but you still stay in the house. It’s the time of year when teenagers are alone in their convertible at makeout peak while there’s a monster on the loose. The air is getting chilly, the leaves are falling, and people are moving into known haunted houses without a care in the world. So it just makes sense that we should look at some address data. There are some extremely famous addresses (or at least streets) in the “scary movie” genre.
Why Do I Need International Address Validation?Arrow Icon
By Andrew Townsend on August 30, 2022
With innumerable formats and unfamiliar spellings, standardizing and validating global address datasets can be a real pain. But it doesn't have to be. International Address Validation is an essential part of virtually every business that works with international address data. But how can you keep your address data in multiple countries accurate while not wasting your time and money? In our recent webinar, Jeffrey Duncan went over the details of international address validation. You can view the recording below, or continue reading for the quick recap.
Common Mistakes When Calling Smarty APIsArrow Icon
By Andrew Townsend on July 28, 2022
There are two types of frequent errors: 401 "Authentication Required" errors, and 402 "Payment Required" errors. Status Code 401 - Authentication Required If you're seeing this error there's a chance that there's an issue with your API key, there's a mistake inside your client-side request, or a mistake in the server-side request. In the recording Lyle dives deep into each of these, but here are the basics. How to Authenticate API Requests It is important that you are familiar with your API keys.
Our Fast Processing SpeedsArrow Icon
By Andrew Townsend on July 8, 2022
Are you looking to use an API to verify addresses and convert them to latitude and longitude coordinates? Maybe you also need to standardize addresses in order to de-duplicate records across millions of addresses in your database too. That's right, we're talking about validating, standardizing, and bulk-processing geocodes with a geocoding API. There are several options out there, so let us tell you how *speed* sets Smarty apart from the rest. Smarty is fast. Now, we're not just talking about fast like Usain Bolt.
An Advanced Look at US Autocomplete Pro APIArrow Icon
By Andrew Townsend on June 28, 2022
Improving address form completion rates—whether in a shopping cart, request for quote, or other form—can be a sinch if you’re using an address autocomplete tool. Not sure what that is? When you see an address line on a form and think “oh shoot this is going to take a minute” and then it fills it in after only a few keystrokes, that’s address autocomplete. And no, not all address autocomplete tools are created equal. Some check against their own address database only that is not frequently maintained.
Address Data Masterclass Webinar RecapArrow Icon
By Andrew Townsend on May 23, 2022
In this webinar, our geocoding and address expert Adam Charlton went over the ins and outs of address data. He gave details about address components and how they influence the way an address is composed. He also dove into the difference between ZIP9 and ZIP11, what a non-postal is, and other address hacks you didn’t learn in primary school. Standardization and Validation What exactly is a valid address? There are lots of different definitions depending on what your goal is with the address.
How to Identify the Right Level of GeocodingArrow Icon
By Andrew Townsend on May 12, 2022
Geocoding can unlock valuable business intelligence that is hiding in your address data. But how do you know what level of geocoding you would benefit from the most? Do you need rooftop data? Or maybe you just need parcel data? What about ZIP 9 geocodes? These are the questions Adam Charlton, one of Smarty's genius geocoding developers, set out to answer in his recent webinar. What Is Geocoding? Geocoding most typically means appending a latitude and longitude to a named location like an address.
5 Principles For Creating Stupidly Brilliant JavaScript ApplicationsArrow Icon
By Andrew Townsend on April 11, 2022
Have you ever tried to add a minor feature to your application only to discover that you’ll have to re-write large blocks of code first? Or maybe you’ve spent hours deciphering hundreds, or perhaps thousands, of lines of existing code just to find out a task only required two lines of additional code. If you’re like most developers, you’ve wasted countless, frustrating hours wading through immensely complicated code trying to force it to do things it wasn’t built for. In his presentation, Mike Manwill, Frontend Team Lead here at Smarty, discussed 5 principles to help you create stupidly-simple applications that are maintainable, extendable, and bug-resistant.
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