This is how you identify and fix poor quality address data

6 ways you know your data are low quality

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

(Pretoria, South Africa – 8 September 2022)  

One of the most common reasons that businesses develop poor quality address data is they merge with or acquire another business. Another is the way they unwittingly capture the data, allowing free text entry.


Some sure-fire signs that the data is poor quality, though, include:


  1. A high percentage of unrecoverable debt
  2. Slow decision-making and poor business decisions that result in higher-than-expected expenses, losses or worse
  3. Marketing and re-marketing achieve poor results.
  4. Customer acquisition and retention costs are higher than expected
  5. Operational costs higher than average if you use customer addresses for service or product delivery
  6. Franchises may experience low returns for franchisees


South Africa has a low literacy rate and 11 official languages, which compound challenges with free text entry. Those are among the reasons that make it even more important to pay close attention to capturing the data correctly.


It’s also important to note that address data is not static. Extensions change, the nature of suburbs changes, towns, farms, stands, malls and more, all addresses accumulating over time, many different types used for the same place on Earth. This is what makes it even more vital that we assign unique identifiers to each place, so no matter what address type someone uses, we can always find the correct place.



  • Addresses contain the correct fields
  • Fields are correctly completed
  • Addresses are captured via autocomplete
  • The data are verified and validated


The truth is that free data are usually low quality for the simple reasons that they are unverified and unvalidated. People and organisations that supply free data are not in the business of supplying data, therefore they do not exert themselves to ensure that it is accurate and high quality.


They do not check, for example, that there is a number 165 Church Street. If their latest data reflects only up to number 47 Church Street, they simply assign number 165 to the end of the street.


That’s not good enough for many businesses. It doesn’t reduce the cost, time and effort to deliver goods and services, nor does it support quality business planning that leads to profitable operations.


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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