Better use of street data could net £202m of benefits


A GeoPlace commissioned study projects net benefits up to £202m by 2020 from better use of the address and street data that councils create and maintain.

Based on the current rates of adoption, this represents a return on investment after discounting of 4:1.

The findings come as the government considers its options for a new generation address system.

The purpose of the research study was to provide a cost/benefit evaluation of the impact of address and street data that GeoPlace collates, across England and Wales. The study was launched at the GeoPlace annual conference at the end of April 2016 by Andrew Coote, director of Consulting Where who was responsible for the research.

The research outlines the benefits afforded to local authorities in a number of areas including reduced data duplication and integration, improved tax revenues, channel shift and route optimisation in waste management.

The research methodology was also informed by a validation workshop which involved a number of council address and street data specialists who identified how the data could underpin a number of key current government policy initiatives such as: Health and social care integration, troubled families, strategic planning, shared services, devolution and work with the Government Digital Service to develop Centres of Excellence in information sharing and encouragement of standardisation.


Overcoming hurdles

While emphasising the existing benefits and savings enjoyed by councils of the data, Coote also warned that the return could be significantly higher if barriers to adoption, particularly around access to funds, staff retention and improved national collaboration are addressed.

Coote spoke about how barriers to adoption could be overcome highlighting the need for a: “Sustained marketing campaign based on the results of the study; maintaining current staff levels; ‘speaking the language’ of the chief executive and piggybacking on to existing national initiatives such as the DCLG’s Troubled Families programme.”

Also speaking at the conference was the Rt Hon Matthew Hancock MP, Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General who underlined the importance of this information to the national data infrastructure saying: “Addresses are invaluable to our economy and our public services. Addresses help make sure that emergency services get to our door as quickly as possible; addresses help confirm our identity, they help us to access products and services.”

The study is the first to investigate the economic value of street and address data since 2006, when a report was launched on the financial return of investment from the Local Land and Property Gazetteer by the Centre for Economics and Business Research.

The report can be downloaded here.

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