AddressBase – not just for public sector businesses

There are a hundred and one datasets out there that promise the earth. In my humble opinion few are as complete and useful across such a broad range of users as AddressBase. In fact, I challenge you to come up with an industry that would not find some kind of use for it. With the Premium version of the dataset providing detailed insight into 40 million addresses, properties and land areas across the whole of Great Britain, the use cases for it are almost infinite. The fact that it has the entire 28 million addresses contained within the Royal Mail PAF dataset as a mere sideshow, adding a huge number of additional attributes to each one, is an impressive feet.

With the huge array of variables contained within the AddressBase, AddressBase Plus and AddressBase Premium products it’s quite easy to get confused as to which holds the best value for your business. However, once you do get to grips as to what it can offer, you can quickly peel back that ROI.

When you’re dealing with a dataset as large as AddressBase it is key that you have some way of uniquely identifying a property at every stage of its lifecycle. The Unique Property Reference Number (UPRN) is that unique key, it persists across the entire lifespan from planning permission to property demolition and everything in between. Even after demolition the UPRN will not be assigned to any other property. In turn the UPRN is a great way to link disparate datasets both within your organisation and between external organisations. Plus and Premium takes this further by offering the OS MasterMap topographic identifier (TOID) and unique property reference number (UPRN).

One assumption which I’ve incorrectly made in the past is that AddressBase is just a dataset for public sector organisations, the Public Sector Mappings Agreement (PSMA) may have compounded this. However, this is far from the case as AddressBase offers Property Classification information which is ideal for direct mail campaigns as user can distinguish between commercial and residential properties. AddressBase Plus and Premium offers four levels of classification allowing you to target properties even more accurately with focusing on things like property type.

As well as the 28 million addresses contained within Royal Mail PAF, Address Base Plus and Premium add a further 12 million and 40 million records to the dataset. These additional addresses are comprised of structures such as phone boxes or churches (not listed within PAF as they cannot be delivered to). While this means they may not be as relevant to certain industries, for many others (such as utility companies or even wedding suppliers), they are vital. If energy providers overlooked the development of a new village hall and didn’t provision for its heating requirements, then there may be a few upset villagers at the parish meeting on Wednesday evening!

Because AddressBase gives you such a comprehensive insight into each individual property in Great Britain, you can make informed decisions quickly and confidently. Understanding a property’s location with Roofline Coordinates and what lies nearby can be essential when making decisions in industries such as insurance and mortgage lending. Flooding is one example which seems to be cropping up in the headlines more and more these days. With our head office perched safely on the banks of the River Severn, it’s one we observe frequently. With the average cost to repair a flooded property standing at £30,000 (source: RICS), ensuring that insurers use every tool in their arsenal to identify potential ‘at risk’ properties is essential. The UPRN also allows you to tie your data in with other third-party datasets such as those from the Environment Agency.

As you can see from this small selection of use cases, even for organisations that are not members of the PSMA and have to pay to access the dataset, ROI can quickly be achieved. And with the arrival of a transactional-pricing model, it’s now even more accessible to smaller businesses.

If you’re interested in finding out more about how AddressBase could benefit your business, check out our latest video.