Blog > Location Intelligence > Unleash the Power of Addresses with Precisely’s Pre-built Geocode API for Snowflake

Unleash the Power of Addresses with Precisely’s Pre-built Geocode API for Snowflake

Authors Photo Precisely Editor | March 10, 2023

Accurate physical addresses play a vital role in most business analytics. Whether your aim is to understand your target customers, the physical infrastructure of an area, traffic flows, or even weather patterns, accurate location is an essential first step toward linking meaningful datasets. By zeroing in on location, you can better understand relationships between people, structures, and events in the physical world.

It can be extraordinarily difficult to standardize addresses. Variations among street names, spellings, abbreviations, numbering systems, and formatting options make it especially challenging to arrive at a common nomenclature.

Without standardization, it is virtually impossible to join datasets and analyze information in its full context. With the right geocoding technology, accurate and standardized address data is entirely possible.  This capability opens the door to a wide array of data analytics applications.

Location map.

The Rise of Cloud Analytics

Data analytics has advanced rapidly over the past decade. As organizations digitize more business processes, including many consumer interactions, the volume and velocity of data skyrocket. At the same time, IoT devices, web analytics, social media, and interconnected systems generate higher volumes of data than ever before. Consequently, there is a growing demand for scalable analytics.

Think back to the early 2000s, a time of big data warehouses with rigid structures. Organizations searched for ways to add more data, more variety of data, bigger sets of data, and faster computing speed. There was a massive expansion of efforts to design and deploy big data technologies.

That effort led to a dramatic shift toward the cloud. Cloud computing power is highly elastic and infinitely scalable, and cloud storage is cheap.  With the cloud as a key enabler, businesses have more opportunities than ever before to generate valuable business insights from their data.

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Generating intelligent business insights from your data comes with some challenges. As you rely more on data, data integrity becomes a bigger issue. You need to be able to trust your data and the decision you make with it. You need access to high-quality, accurate, and complete data.

If your organization is making decisions about how to interact with customers, what strategies to deploy, which new products to develop, and so on, and those decisions are based on your data, low-quality data could easily lead you to the wrong conclusions and, ultimately, to poor business outcomes. Data integrity leads to better decisions that produce stronger outcomes, whether your focus is on creating meaningful interactions with customers, buying new technologies or products to support your business, or determining which market opportunities to pursue.

Making the Transition to Snowflake

In 2022, the market for public cloud services grew to $495 billion, underscoring the reality that customers are adopting the cloud at a faster rate than ever before.

Cloud analytics has grown very rapidly, for many of the reasons cited above.  Snowflake is one of a handful of modern data platforms taking the data analytics space by storm. It’s successful largely because it has solved a host of problems inherent in on-premise analytics software:

  • Snowflake can handle large, consolidated datasets by offloading data from relatively expensive on-premise data warehouses to scalable, elastic, pay-as-you-go cloud environments.
  • Snowflake provides lightning-fast analytics capable of revealing powerful new insights to inform better business decisions.
  • Snowflake has a strong reputation for security and protecting sensitive data.

Nevertheless, Snowflake isn’t necessarily the complete solution for your needs. Simply moving data from on-premises servers to the cloud doesn’t address some core problems. For example:

  • How do you standardize the data?
  • How do you harness vast amounts of data to drive better decisions?
  • How can you be sure you can trust that information?

Addresses Are Everywhere

Most data points exist within some kind of geospatial context. Consumers almost invariably have a primary residence, for example.  Very often, they also have a work address, and they may be associated with other locations as well, such as a school, volunteer facility, or vacation home. Businesses, likewise, can have an office address, one or more warehouses, satellite offices, and more. The products you buy must first move through a supply chain, stopping at multiple physical locations along the way.  Most of the data that matters can be associated one way or another with one or more addresses.

Address data provides context and helps you understand the relationships between multiple entities. If you want to know more about where your customers work, live, and spend their free time, you can use the address for each of those places. There are also things associated with various addresses, such as packages, mailings, or invoices.

When you understand the context about these locations, you stand to gain a better understanding of the things you care about.  A customer’s home address can tell you quite a lot about them, offering clues to their income level, lifestyle, and level of debt, for example. Businesses operate in the context of a broader economic environment. Location may offer clues as to a company’s competitive climate, its physical plant, and potential environmental risks.

Location unlocks a world of contextual detail about customers, competitors, markets, and opportunities. But you can only gain access to that information with accurate location data.  Accurate, standardized addressing is a necessary first step in that process.

Physical addresses are the common thread to join disparate datasets together, but working with postal data, especially across multiple countries, can be a real challenge.

Challenges of Managing Addresses

Address information is usually rife with inconsistencies. The same street might have multiple names, such as “Amherst Street” and “Route 101A.” Abbreviations are common, leading to multiple variations of a single address. Names and numbering schemes may even be subject to change, adding even more confusion. Language variations and regional customs can create further problems.

For data analytics, inconsistencies and errors lead to a lot of heavy lifting and manual intervention. Without accurate, standardized addresses, even the most powerful analytics platform cannot produce optimal results.

If your organization is moving to Snowflake, you’re presumably looking to get faster, more powerful insights from your data. You don’t want to spend time, money, and resources to understand which data elements might be missing or inaccurate. Bad addresses yield bad location information, which means flawed conclusions, missed opportunities, and potentially much larger downstream issues for your business.

Location and Geo Addressing

You can resolve these address challenges using a combination of geocoding (adding latitude and longitude coordinates) and address verification, which Precisely calls geo addressing.

Precisely offers the world’s leading solutions for both geocoding and geo addressing. We curate one of the largest, most accurate address databases on the planet. Our geo addressing algorithms resolve virtually any address to a highly accurate location, even in many cases where basic information has been omitted.  We can correct errors in addresses, standardize the data, and assign a latitude and longitude based on our vast global database of address locations.

The solution to common addressing challenges is access to complete, accurate, and contextual data. Precisely understands the complexity of addresses. Our Geo Addressing solution helps:

  • Match and validate the accuracy of addresses with Address Verification
  • Associate latitude and longitude coordinates with Address Geocoding
  • Enable easy and efficient look-up with Address Autocomplete
  • Append a unique and persistent identifier also known as the PreciselyID for ease of enrichment.

At Precisely, we don’t simply see an address as a random collection of text fields. Instead, we standardize, geocode, and verify that address, making it possible to link that information to a trusted unique and persistent ID.

The PreciselyID is a unique and consistent identifier attached to each address during geocoding. In the same way a DUNs number removes ambiguity about a business’s identity, a unique identifier resolves questions about a location.

While the PreciselyID helps manage and organize data, it also enables you to bring greater context to data by linking an address to location-based information in one of our 400 enrichment datasets. The unique and persistent nature of the PreciselyID facilitates this seamless data interoperability for data enrichment.  More than ever before, your address data can help you discover critical relationships in your data.

Precisely and Snowflake: a Powerful Combination

Precisely and Snowflake work in tandem to give you fully optimized analytics that allows you to take full advantage of the power of location context. Snowflake offers cloud-based data storage and analytics. Geocoding and geo addressing from Precisely ensure that location-based information is accurate and standardized. The PreciselyID opens the door to powerful data enrichment capabilities, expanding the possibilities for big data analytics. You can even find many Precisely data enrichment products right within the Snowflake Marketplace

These aren’t theoretical benefits; Precisely customers are leveraging the power of location to drive game-changing insights. Using our Geocode API for Snowflake, for example, one Data Integrity Suite customer achieved a 10% uplift in geocoding performance, with an implementation time of only 5 minutes.

To learn more watch our webinar Unlocking the Power of Location data with Snowflake and Precisely and see a demo in action.