Geospatial data science is good for the books: here’s why

6 business case examples of how quality data helps companies

By Marna Roos, Senior Account Manager and Standards Enthusiast at AfriGIS 

(Pretoria, South Africa – 21 September 2022)  

A prominent South African bank could have avoided collapse eight years ago if it had been able to recover unsecured loans. A major South African municipality could also have been better positioned to recover over a billion rand in debt.


A common denominator between them and many other public and private businesses writing off irrecoverable debt in South Africa is poor quality address data.


The idea was previously floated that it’s more cost-effective to write off some bad debt while employing basic methods to satisfy RICA and FICA rather than verify and validate peoples’ data at the point of capture, which it was suspected would reduce loan volumes and therefore potential for profit. The gains, essentially, outweighed the losses.


But, with the collapse of a bank, growing fraud, and mounting annual losses, many organisations have realised it’s time to change gears. Global economic crime is 49% but in South Africa it is 77%, according to PWC’s Global Economic Crime and Fraud Survey of 2018. Just banking and card fraud captured R1.5 billion in 2020, says the Banking Risk Information Centre (SABRIC).


A lot of those losses are avoidable.


The good quality data is available, it can be quickly and relatively easily integrated into the business systems, actually improves the customer and employee experiences, and most importantly improves the business case for most scenarios. Which ones?



Insurers curb fraudulent claims, improve customer experiences, and improve profitability using good quality address data. They use accurate weather data and quality address data to assess short-term claims.



Fast food chains assess the commercial feasibility for franchise locations. FMCG assesses potential revenues, product desirability, special promotions, and neighbourhood potential. Retail and wholesale groups assess creditworthiness.



Verified and validated address improves first-time delivery success rates for couriers and logistics firms, which significantly reduces overheads.


Mobile Networks

Mobile networks (and tower companies) combine data sets to plan coverage, cells, and network designs. They also use it for handset deliveries so they can quickly and cost-effectively get revenue-earning devices in the hands of customers.



Print media uses the data to effectively plan and manage distribution and support marketing, helping to reduce operational overheads, improve customer experiences, and improve advertising revenues.



Marketers, such as those at a South African paint manufacturer, use high quality address data to improve targeted campaigns, improving sales by up to 40%.


People’s understanding of how high-quality geospatial data has huge impacts on operational success is gaining a lot of traction in corporate South Africa. The results speak for themselves and it’s hard to ignore profits, particularly at a time when the costs to do business seem higher than ever. Those are the costs good geospatial data, properly integrated, and properly queried and presented are helping companies cut. Then it goes on to support the other business challenges and deliver benefits specific to each use case.


Reach out. I’ve been doing this for more than 20 years, I’m passionate about geospatial data, how we can use it to help solve business challenges, and create revenue opportunities.


Reach out.

Let’s talk.

About AfriGIS 

AfriGIS is the leading Geospatial Information Science company in Southern Africa that specialises in location-sensitive data and solutions. It provides customers across the board with a suite of cloud tools and APIs to connect to, enhance, and enrich their own data with verified and validated location intelligence and insights. The organisation was founded in 1997. It is a level 1-certified broad-based black economic empowerment (B-BBEE) business, with more than 100 employees, in Pretoria, Durban and Cape Town in South Africa, Dublin in Ireland, and Dhaka in Bangladesh.  


Media enquiries: Lydette Fouche, AfriGIS 

Contact details: +27 (0) 87-310-6400, [email protected] 


Issued by: Michelle Oelschig, Scarlet Letter  

Contact details: +27 (0) 83-636-1766, [email protected] 

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