Addresses are such a common feature in our lives that we often don't notice them, even though we use them every day. Here are five ways in which addresses make a difference – some of them might surprise you!
1 – Smarter government
Government in the UK is increasingly data-driven. The answer to the "where?" question is a crucial input to many decisions. Great examples include understanding people's needs, managing the public estate, ensuring tax collection and working together to find fraud.
2 – Enabling innovation in digital services
Innovation in digital services is disrupting many industries. Start-ups and larger more established companies are designing new products, services, and business models. This is increasing choice for the consumer. For example, the insurance sector has moved from assessing risk at the postcode level to understanding individual properties. This better understanding of risk allows companies such as Avantia, Aqua, Aviva, Direct Line, and UIA to offer quicker responses, cheaper prices and more tailored products to their customers.
3 – Helping to manage our environment
The agencies managing our environment know that good data is crucial. Whether preserving fragile environments, or even protecting the night sky they know that address and street data is a great tool to help them ensure we act in the most environmentally-sensitive way.
4 – Helping to manage our energy resources
We need energy to thrive, but we need to manage our use of energy resources responsibly. Address data supports this by informing policy, supporting the use of sustainable energy, informing the roll out of smart meters and helping reduce carbon emissions.
5 – Supporting those who keep us safe and secure
The emergency and security services work tirelessly to keep us safe. Access to the best information gives them an accurate and common picture to work from. Examples of how addresses are crucial include preventing fires and crime, planning for critical incidents and major events such as the Olympics, and reducing the impact of risks such as flooding.
Are you surprised by the ways in which addresses make a difference? Do you work with addresses? How do you feel about the impact your work has? What have we missed?
We'd love to hear – let us know in the comments section below.