How Where We Live Affects Us

Have you ever wondered how your insurance premiums are directly affected by your postcode? Most people know that the local crime statistics will have a direct impact on your insurance. Your local police collect data on the types of crime in the area, whether it’s resolved and how frequent it is, Insurance companies use this information to underwrite risk, when covering your policy.

It’s not just your insurance company that collects data about where you live to determine the risk your property is exposed to. Big data determines the commercial decisions that most companies make. A large baby goods retailer is unlikely to open a store in an area where the demographic average age is above 55, although the argument for the grandparent population could shift that model of thought.

Data is collected about you everywhere from your local supermarket to the Police and the DVLA. So much information is held about us on computer that the average age, income and age of the car we drive can be established in a few short clicks. Even churches keep figures on how many people attend and so the density of any cultural and religious population can be established.

Address Management

Quality address management tools are sought after by any business that needs to capture information about where we live whether it’s a simple operation to build a mailing list, or more complex to determine business viability in an area. There are several companies that offer digital tools for address management. There is one factor however that needs to be considered- people move. In fact, entire populations move.

Lower income sectors of a particular population group may develop communities in a certain area because property rental is cheap, however within a generation or two you may find that the group has developed economically and moved to a more affluent area, leaving only a remnant of the original group behind. The ebb and flow of population groups is what makes accurate address management critical.

Demographic and Geographic change

It’s not just the people though. Buildings are demolished and parks built on the ground where they used to be, rendering old addresses obsolete. Empty pieces of land are built upon, creating new addresses, so keeping a database up to date is not as simple as it used to be. It has become necessary to find a provider hat can ensure that your address management tools are kept up to date in real time. Even local authorities are now maintaining voter’s rolls in a way they didn’t only a few short years ago.

Data Cleansing

This process is called data cleansing UK. As people move, the age of the population changes, the level of crime rises or drops and cultural changes also impact on the spending habits of the population. Keeping up with this information is no longer a case of annual update like it used to be with the voters’ roll. It now happens in real time.

When data is updated and kept updated it is said to be cleansed. Until quite recently voters’ rolls were updated annually. Many local authorities change the information on voter’s rolls as soon as the occupants of a property change and thus the council tax payers themselves change. This means that data cleansing in some situations becomes automatic. The same is when a person changes address and informs their bank. The bank then shares this information with the credit reference agencies, meaning that an automatic data cleansing has taken place within these organisations.

Royal mail Postal Address files

The Royal mail uses a system by which a lot of mail sorting is automated. The computer system uses what are called PAF, postal address files. These files are updated daily and as buildings are demolished and new ones built, the files are updated to reflect the new addresses. The royal mail also manages information about mail redirection so alongside with voters roll information and credit referencing crime prevention can use postal redirection to track a person down quickly.

Address management and data cleansing is an investment

When an organisation invests in monitoring their target client group in an area to send out bulk mailing campaigns or understand how the population behaves economically, it is critical that the address information on file is maintained and kept up to date. This also prevents situations where post code errors occur especially in places where different postcodes can be allocated to different flats in the same building.

A lot can be determined about you by where you live such as medical data and statistics, healthcare, life expectancy, insurance and debt risk. It can also show more in-depth information such as how likely you are to be a victim of crime, your level of education, shopping habits, vehicle ownership, and even political, religious and cultural affiliation and much more.

To be able to benefit from this data management, we should ensure that our information is up to date. It could make the difference when we need healthcare treatment or to update our insurance premiums.