spatial accuracy

What Marketers can learn from Han Solo and his obsession for Spatial Accuracy

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away… Han Solo enlightened Luke Skywalker on the importance of having access to accurate location data while traveling through the alternate dimension, aka, hyperspace.

In Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, the Captain of the Millennium Falcon quipped, “Traveling through hyperspace ain’t like dusting crops, kid! Without precise calculations, we could fly right through a star or bounce too close to a supernova, and that’d end your trip real quick, wouldn’t it?”

Objects in hyperspace travel faster than the speed of light, so it is easy to think of hyperspace as a phenomenon disconnected from the real universe. However, every point in hyperspace is associated with an actual place and moment in realspace. And the gravitational signature of a real space object (stars, planets, asteroids, etc.) has a very tangible – and dangerous – impact on the objects in hyperspace.

In fact, collisions with these ‘mass shadows’ are usually catastrophic for a starship. Which is why Han was matter-of-fact in his conversation with an impatient Luke that the Millennium Falcon would not make the jump to hyperspace until the navigation computer had churned out the exact coordinates for the journey.

If you really think about it, having access to precise location data is just as relevant to our world as it was in the Star Wars galaxy. According to market research company Forrester, quality and transparency of location data are top concerns for marketers in North America. 34% of the marketers Forrester contacted were convinced that they are working with an inaccurate location database.

Fraudulent or incomplete address data can be as catastrophic for business as coming into contact with a ‘mass shadow’. Here are a few real-life examples of what can go wrong with inaccurate location data:

  • You invest a lot of time and money into designing direct mailing campaigns and getting top-quality print material, but do not receive the anticipated response because the address database you are using has incomplete or invalidated addresses.
  • You plan a new store location based on the inputs provided by your location database, but end up getting cannibalized because the nearby competitor business listings points of interest (POI) data you were using was outdated.
  • You want to create a self-servicing automation service for your website to increase customer satisfaction, but because of the inaccurate postal code data being used by the system, your potential clients now believe you do not provide service in their area.

Missed opportunities, inefficient site planning, increased costs, and reduced insights are only some of the ways through which incomplete, inaccurate, and out-of-date address data can hurt your business.

But just like Han could rely on the navi computer to put the starship on the correct path, you can trust DMTI Spatial to provide you the best-quality address data for Canada. DMTI’s award-winning Location Hub® is powered by the largest nationally sourced Canadian geospatial database, making it the most up-to-date, comprehensive, and accurate location data in the market.

The platform not only provides a unique identifier for each address, but it also enriches the database with related content like name and phone number, demographics, firmographics, flood data, environmental risk information, land use information, etc. – ensuring unparalleled business insights. You can test drive Location Hub today by clicking here.

Already own location data?  Check how clean it is by signing up for a free Address Quality Assessment. Because in the end, all we want is that the force of powerful location data be with you!

Additional Reading:



Location Intelligence

How QSR Marketers are Using Location Intelligence to Improve Revenue and Loyalty

Flood Risk & leveraging Location Intelligence

How Location Intelligence can help Insurers Mitigate their Exposure to Risk

After reeling through the second coldest winter in 16 years, spring couldn’t have come sooner for Canadians. However, according to an Environment Canada report, the abrupt temperature shift is anything but good news. With the winter snowpack melting rapidly, the weather agency has put everywhere from New Brunswick to Alberta under flood risk.

Springtime floods are not unusual in Canada. But typically, only one or two areas struggle with major flooding that results from swift snowmelt and excessive rainfall. This year, however, several parts of the country are at risk, including Quebec City, Ontario, New Brunswick, southern Manitoba, and Alberta.

The basic problem is that climate change has hit Canada especially hard. The country is warming twice as fast as the rest of the world. And these extreme weather events and warmer temperatures have experts convinced that an increase in flooding every year is going to become the norm.

Climate Change and the Insurance Industry

Flooding overtook house fires as the most expensive source of home insurance claims in Canada back in the 1990s. Over the 10-year period of 2003 to 2012 alone, urban flooding resulted in damage of more than $20 billion to the nation. But it wasn’t until the disastrous Calgary flood of 2013 that the insurance industry regrouped and some organizations started offering coverage for overland flooding in addition to standard sewer backups.

Now, as unpredictable costs from climate change-related disasters go up, a deeper rethink awaits the industry. No insurance provider, big or small, can afford to categorize a weather event as ‘once in a lifetime’. Neither can homeowner insurance as a product be called a reliable profit center for companies anymore.

To develop a sustainable financial management system for flood risk and to protect their bottom lines, insurance providers need to arm themselves with location-based information and data visualization technologies that are more accurate, up-to-date, and robust than ever.

Location Intelligence and Underwriting Processes

According to an analysis by the Canadian spending watchdog, the Office of Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO), the total estimated annual economic loss to Canada from floods between 2016 and 2020 will be around $2.4 billion. So, it is only imperative that insurance companies empower their front-line underwriters to better understand the risks associated with individual addresses or even an entire portfolio.

Location intelligence solutions, such as DMTI’s Location Hub provide underwriters with exact geographic coordinates to every Canadian address with rooftop precision. This level of accuracy allows underwriters to quickly assess the multiple risk factors (geographic or manmade) that surround the property and rate the policy correctly.

The turnaround time decreases significantly because underwriters can now determine whether or not they want to assume the risk with data-driven confidence. Also, by segregating large datasets through postal codes and visualizing them on a map, underwriters can make sure they are not insuring too many properties within a high-risk zone.

Automating Workflows with Accurate Addresses

Accurate and up-to-date address data eliminates the need for manual property appraisal and allows companies to automate the underwriting process for mortgage insurance applications. Using a location intelligence platform such as DMTI Spatial’s Location Hub, insurance providers can undertake real-time flood risk analysis, portfolio accumulation risk analysis, as well as real-time visualization of the potential exposure to flood zones.

So, if a particular area is historically prone to floods, underwriters can designate a buffer zone around it and any application coming from that ‘catastrophe zone’ will automatically get rejected. Conversely, if a pre-validated location is entered into the automated mortgage insurance interface, the integrated location intelligence solution will generate the risk rating associated with that address, and if the property matches apre-defined level, the application will automatically get approved.

Establishing Risk Territories and Pricing Models

Accurate location information is also necessary for identifying new business, establishing risk territories, and developing fair and competitive pricing models. If risk managers want to know where they should expand their portfolio and determine what type of premiums to charge, they need to understand the risks associated with specific geographical areas and leverage that knowledge to fine-tune their pricing.

An intuitive, web-based location intelligence platform will allow underwriters to integrate multiple layers of risks, historical loss events, and claims on both individual properties and entire counties, thereby identifying actionable trends in risk exposure. If a particular area is under-exposed, underwriters can choose to become more aggressive with their premiums in that region and even dedicate marketing efforts there to garner in more business.

The Bottom Line

The demand for residential flood insurance products in Canada is only going to increase. According to a recent poll conducted by Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), 26% of Canadian homeowners don’t know if they have flood insurance coverage, while 29% are sure that they are not covered for flood risk. As floods become increasingly intense across the country, more and more Canadians will want to get their properties insured against flooding in the coming weeks.

Not only do insurance providers need to increase the speed and accuracy of their underwriting, but they also need to develop appropriate pricing models, match coverage, and expand markets – all while ensuring they are making profitable decisions in real-time. A comprehensive approach to location intelligence can help you to simplify this process simply by bringing all critical risk data into one common view and allowing for real-time, automated analysis of proposed policy vs flood zones.

DMTI Spatial, a member of the Digital Map Products Company, is the Canadian market leader in location-based information and data quality. To learn more about how we can help you understand your flood risks better, contact us here.

Additional Reading:

Mitigating Flood Risk with Location Intelligence

CanMap GIS Data & Location INtelligence

Address Accuracy – Getting it right

Organizations are coming to realize that technology is only as good as the content and quality of data which it is managing. If an enterprise is serious about understanding the entire relationship with their customers, clean and accurate data is essential. This includes the address strings in all business records.

To position an enterprise to make use of location intelligence and safeguard current technology investments, an address accuracy engagement should include the following elements:

Standardizing Addresses:

Ensures a common address structure, syntax, and nomenclature. A corporate-wide level of standardization allows for more predictable levels of data quality and system performance.

Validating Addresses:

Verifying the existence of individual addresses by matching them against a master address database of functional addresses. Standard postal certifications such as SERP (Canada Post’s Software Evaluation and Recognition Program) only ensure an input address conforms to mailing standards and formats, not that the address actually exists.

Mapping Addresses:

Transforming addresses to embed explicit references of location. This allows the enterprise to map customers and to understand the opportunities among business assets, programs, and competitive threats. Mapping should occur at the specific property or premise level.

Persistent Linking:

Ensure a persistent view of the market, through reference links to customer addresses, address aliases and new changes to address components.  Databases linked together through persistent address links will drive accuracy and currency throughout the enterprise.

The value of location intelligence lies not in the ability to just see data mapped, but rather to incorporate relevant business information from within and outside of the enterprise to derive new insights and feed mission-critical workflows. Organizations can gain increasing benefit from location intelligence as they move up a hierarchy of tasks from gaining address accuracy to mapping markets to serving customers.

DMTI Spatial’s location intelligence platform provides technology and data building blocks that can be unobtrusively integrated into an enterprise’s information processing cycle. Our premium data contains national GIS datasets that include key attributes such as validated addresses, points of interest, municipality boundaries, postal code service areas, and other critical location information.  Designed to analyze and evaluate the location intelligence potential within your various enterprise or departmental systems, we can determine how an organization can best benefit from the enablement of enterprise-scaled location intelligence.

To learn more contact us today


Additional Reading:  


Telecom Guide Location Intelligence

How Telecom Marketers can Optimize Customer Touchpoints Using Location Intelligence

Big data has led to big changes in marketing, and Telecom marketing teams are finding that leveraging location data can lead to impressive (and measurable!) gains in profitability. Location intelligence is a digital technology that offers Telecom companies insights they can leverage to optimize a wide range of customer touchpoints. Each of these customer touchpoints is essential for driving growth and improving customer retention.

Here’s a checklist of 4 customer touchpoints that Telecom marketers can optimize using location intelligence:

Locate Your Target Market

Identifying your target market is the base on which all customer touchpoints stand on.

A strong location intelligence platform offers dynamic search capabilities, allowing you to find where your target market is by inputting certain data points.

For example, if you’re seeking to expand into markets with a high concentration of people ages 24-40 and within a high income bracket, you can search for that information and view it on a digital map. Or perhaps you want learn more about an area that is heavily targeted by one of your competitors. You can do all of this using location intelligence. Additionally, you can see if the areas in your search results align with your existing areas of coverage.

Develop Excellent Customer Service

Customer service is arguably the most important customer touchpoint. This is especially true in today’s social media-driven world, where any bad customer experience has the potential to go viral. Location intelligence platforms help you cleanse and standardize addresses across databases, which results in improved customer service efficiencies from billing and starting services, to handling service calls and customer complaints.

Empowering your customer service team with location data allows them to react quickly and efficiently. For example, realtime mapping data of your service areas helps with timely scheduling of service providers. Dynamic location data helps your customer care team respond to all types of service calls more effectively, and even helps them upsell features when they have a digital map-based view of what’s offered in every coverage area.

Effective Automation Processes

Today’s customers are becoming increasingly accustomed to self-servicing automation services. When they land on your website, they likely want to know cost and availability of services and features for their address. Streaming updated, accurate location data onto your website ensures you’re able to deliver an automated process that effectively serves your customers. This includes allowing them to schedule technicians for service calls, and to find whether you offer the features and services they are seeking in their area. Integration location data with automated customer care systems ensures your customers get accurate information.

Deliver Targeted Messaging

Messaging is involved in every customer touchpoint, whether it’s online, on a bill, or in an advertisement. Location data allows you to better understand the market within a given region so that you can get very specific about your messaging. Additionally, it offers accurate addresses for effective direct mail campaigns. Furthermore, you can leverage geofencing combined with customer data to deliver messaging within high-traffic areas of your target market.

If your company has decided to reach out to a specific area, a location intelligence platform helps you understand and precisely segment demographics in your target market. Perhaps one area has a high concentration of young families – this would indicate that family friendly programming is likely a major selling point. Or perhaps there is a sizable community of high-income households. This would indicate customers who are likely keen to take advantage of advanced, pricer features.

Today’s consumer is highly responsive to personalized marketing. Leveraging location data helps Telecom companies know their markets better, allowing them to deliver messaging, service, and overall customer experiences that truly delight customers and help set you apart from the competition.

Click here to learn how DMTI Spatial helps Telecom companies throughout Canada.


Additional Reading:

Location Data and Site Selection

How Location Data can help Cannabis Retailers with Site Selection

On October 17, 2018, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s administration gave adults the right to consume marijuana for recreational purposes. This made Canada the world’s largest legal marijuana marketplace, with $54 million of marijuana being sold in the first month of legalization alone.

These numbers will only continue to grow as more and more players join this bold new business landscape. When Deloitte surveyed 5,000 Canadian adults (19 years or older), it concluded that on sales of recreational marijuana alone, the national marketplace could be worth as much as $5 billion annually. And that’s only the minimum base number. Deloitte pegs the upper threshold of the base market at almost $9 billion. And when you factor in ancillaries like tourism revenue, security, transportation, etc., the potential economic impact of recreational pot could go up to $23 billion per year.

Know Your Government

However, setting up a pot shop in Canada is not as simple as zeroing down on a storefront, applying for a licence, and flipping the ‘open’ sign. The distribution and sale of recreational marijuana, as detailed in the Cannabis Act, falls under provincial jurisdictions. Which means, instead of one common federal law governing cannabis retail, each Canadian province has the right to create a different framework of regulations for licensing retailers.

Take Alberta for example. According to the Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Commission (AGLC), a licence for retailing cannabis can only be obtained if the store is located at least 100 meters away from healthcare facilities, schools, or a school reserve. In Ontario, the minimum distance between a cannabis store and a school has been established at 150 meters.

Further, While Alberta is allowing municipalities to vary the proximity restrictions through bylaws, Ontario is giving them a one-time chance to block the sale of recreational cannabis in their jurisdictions. The stores also need to meet the local land-use and zoning requirements. Which is why, progressive sellers – who want to get it right the first time and cash in on a booming market – would want to make sure that their chosen store locations are in sync with all government guidelines.

Know Your Competition

But, even then, the rules set-up by the local governments are not the only considerations for a would-be pot retailer. With both big companies and small entrepreneurs scrambling to get a piece of thet pie, forward-looking retailers would like to be mindful of the locations of potential competition as well.

Supermarket chain Loblaws has already won the rights to sell recreational marijuana under its Shoppers Drug Mart banner in Newfoundland and Calgary.   Toronto, meanwhile, has been home to more cannabis stores than pizza places – even before recreational pot was legalized.

In Ontario, which is arguably on of the biggest markets for cannabis in Canada, private cannabis retailers will not start operations until April 1, 2019.  And if the province is to successfully take down its widespread black market for pot, around 700-1,400 legal stores would need to be established, industry insiders predict. Securing prime retail locations in Ontario is, therefore, on top of would-be sellers’ priority lists.

Know Your Location

Robust, accurate, and up-to-date location data is the backbone of any prudent retail site-selection process. DMTI Spatial’s high-precision address points empower organizations and entrepreneurs to understand the exact location of specific buildings with a few clicks. And since the dataset comes bundled with comprehensive points of interest (POI), retailers can easily create POI listings for cannabis-sensitive locations like schools and hospitals while evaluating the best sites for their stores.

The benefits of location data, however, do not stop there. DMTI’s location platform can be an excellent tool for retailers to scientifically-manage the sale of recreational cannabis. Our visualization platform allows sellers to:

  • Visualize: When stakeholders can conveniently visualize all store locations on a map, instead of having to flip through Excel sheets, it aids the process of decision-making and streamlining processes. Similarly, the store locations of competitors can also be mapped for strategic insights.
  • Analyze: Undertaking location-based analytics becomes a breeze with an online mapping portal. For example, with the help of our platform, retailers can easily create ‘no-sell’ buffer zones around schools and other prohibited locations.
  • Strategize: With increased visibility into the sales territories, retailers can improve business performance and drive new revenue streams. By attaching sales attribution to location data, retailers can track how well their stores are doing over time.

So, while it’s safe to conclude that the legalization of recreational marijuana brings very lucrative business opportunities to the table, retailers need to make sure they have a solid winning strategy in place to score in a highly-competitive market. By arming themselves with precise location data, retailers can not only understand their marketplace and target audience better, but they can also differentiate themselves from the competition and capitalize themselves sufficiently to execute on their strategy.

To learn more about how our location data and visualization platform contact us here.


Additional Reading:

Database and Location data

Uncovering the Value of your Database

7 Steps to getting the most out of your Database using Location Data:

  1. Cleanse your Database: Clean, correct and standardize existing data in your database and assign persistent identifiers to each record.
  2. Go Visual: Add high precision geocodes to each record, so you can match records based on location, and view them on a map.
  3. Enrich your Existing Data: Taking your data, you can now enrich with demographic and firmographic information.
  4. Go Granular: Move beyond just postal code boundaries to understand your customers at a more granular level.
  5. Gain Insights: Use additional analysis including proximity and drive time to see where your assets are in relation to your customers and each other.
  6. Infill with Quality Datasets: Find new customers that share the same characteristics as your existing customer.
  7. Consolidate: Tie it all together with a uniform view of your customers. What do they like? What do they dislike? How far are they willing to travel to access your stores or services?

Contact us to learn how we can help with your Database.

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