Today, building the digital experience that our demanding consumers expect means leaning on all of the data elements at your disposal. The most accessible and valuable of which being location (address, phone and email) details. But in all cases, the quality of data collected matters far more than the quantity.
Let's face it, the unique value and strategic benefits of accurate location data in business processes is not fully understood. At scale, global address verification is complex, especially so in hard-to-address emerging markets which are leapfrogging legacy technologies in favor of solutions that are convenient and deployable.
To deliver for those markets, advancements in location data parsing capability coupled with flexible and enhanced deployment of this technology is critical. Our latest Ask the Expert episode dives more deeply into this topic with none other than Justin Duling, Senior Vice President and Commercial Director for Loqate.
In today’s digital world, very few transactions can take place without creating a complete customer record. To secure goods and services, customers are required to share their physical location. Without an address verification solution in place, this information travels downstream, often leaving the organization with access to mounds of inaccurate data, especially if they operate globally or in emerging markets.
Justin highlights the value that Loqate has provided as the address verification module inside some of the largest data quality and master data management products on the market. “The name of the game is data quality,” he notes. “If you're a company that maintains a customer or business record, location is going to be a part of that. For enterprises, they've got oftentimes tens of millions of records all with various input sources. So collating, standardizing, formatting the address record and augmenting with the geocode to have the most accurate record is absolutely critical. And it’s certainly not an easy job when you're looking at 249 countries and territories, and something like 5, 000 languages spoken around the world, and 130 different postal formats.”
But with new technology, comes a new future for the face of location master data management. “Right now, the way that address verification works is you acquire and process reference data, create a reference data database, and then an engine takes customer input data and parses, matches, formats and standardizes based on the best available knowledge of how to do that in a particular locality,” says Justin. “But there are gymnastics with linguistics and the official addressing systems of certain countries that just aren't possible with the human mind, at least not possible to do comprehensively.”
To overcome these challenges, Loqate has looked into the future of data quality, with a focus on improving the reliability and pinpoint accuracy of the reference data models used by the world’s enterprise and emerging businesses.
“As we talked about earlier, location formatting is not standard, and the human brain can only create so many rules to cover for so many scenarios. But machines can do better than that,” says Justin. “And so, we think the key to unlocking emerging markets is at the nexus of machine learning (ML) and natural language processing (NLP). We are recreating the address verification process by using ML to enhance our parsing capabilities and create context and lexicon rules that were previously manually driven.”
This is changing the game for developers, giving those who were used to doing the machine's work for years a chance to hand that off to something else, not somebody else.
“We know enough, and machines know enough, about NLP to where we can analyze patterns and create those rules without having a specific request. So, the result is the ability to go to a market where you may not have reference data, but you may recognize an address that's in a customer database or receive some sort of positive feedback like a parcel was delivered here. You would be able to parse the address elements for data quality purposes and score that location for its usability even if it doesn't show up in the reference data.
There’s never been a more exciting time to be in the location data world. The advent of technology will allow Loqate to do even more with the help of flexible and easily deployable products, and processing speeds that can allow for the validation of huge volumes of data. Not to mention the accuracy and ability to get to a local level and begin investing heavily into the opportunities across emerging markets at the peak of their growth journeys.
Watch Justin Duling’s full Ask the Expert episode to learn more about AI parsing and how Loqate is fulfilling its vision to help every business in the world reach every customer in the world.