Addresses are the most difficult data to enter correctly. Human error and data inconsistency result in a self-perpetuating cycle of misinformation. Digital, device-based forms of communicating and submitting data can create problems for a business, so having a method of quick, reliable data entry at your fingertips is essential.
The main way to solve the issue of inconsistency is to provide tools that allow addresses to be selected from a database of valid address. This ensures that all addresses are accurate and formatted correctly, regardless of when and where they are being entered. Getting this information to you correctly, the first time, saves you time and energy no matter what the scale of the project may be – allowing you to focus on making use of that data.
What reference files do we use for that purpose?
There are two choices for this verification in Australia. The first – from Australia Post – is the Postal Address File, or PAF. This database contains all of the addresses that Australia Post delivers mail to. Using the PAF is a traditionally reliable way of validating addresses: whoever is responsible for postal delivery will walk past and check the address almost every day.
The other reference file available is the Geocode National Address File, or G-NAF, which is developed by PSMA. Address data is collated from mapping authorities and other sources, and allocated its unique spatial located code, or Geocode.
On the postal file, you get the accurate delivery address, the correct suburb, postcode and a unique ID called a Delivery Point Identifier (DPID) – identifying that address for the postal system.
On the G-NAF you get the accurate property address and Geocode – its location in space.
Each data set contains addresses and other information that are not available in the other, such as individual hotel rooms. Combining these address files together provides the greatest address coverage possible, and cross links data between each file – which is exactly what the Harmony Link Table does.
Mastersoft presents the PAF and G-NAF data sets in the Harmony Link Table, allowing addresses to be cross-referenced and complete.
The Link Table provides the broadest coverage of addresses available in Australia, as George Langley, General Manager of Business Development at Mastersoft explained:
“Our customers depend on addresses for a growing range of applications from customer ID through to business risk. They need to store accurate addresses that exist in the real word to run their businesses.”