A Caribbean Address Adventure

I just returned from an extended holiday in the United States Virgin Islands. The USVI is a U.S. territory located in the Caribbean islands. It has a robust history of European influence. They even drive left there. Fantastic beaches, warm weather and great restaurants.

Part of the time spent there was looking at real estate. Here is where the quality of address information comes into play. Property addresses in the USVI tend to have multiple addresses. For instance, we were looking for a property whose address is 14-22 Peterborg Road East. After locating Peterborg Road East,we determined that this particular address did not physically exist on Peterborg Road East. Instead it was located on Atlantic View Road (a road off Peterborg Road East). Did we find the property and was it great? Yes, indeed. Was this an easy exercise which was helped by the quality of the data in our GPS? No, it was not. After a little investigation, this example turned out to be the rule not the exception in St Thomas.

Take the example above and say that I was a large bank in the region (Banco Popular, Scotiabank) or a large bank looking to expand into the area. If I purchased a marketing list of a particular type of prospect customer and wanted to build a branch nearby and then use mapping software to create a visual representation of the clusters, how accurate would that information really be, if the address data on the list was accurately aligned with the address reference data in the mapping software?

Knowing the nuances of the data in any area is an important step toward ensuring higher levels of accuracy. Just because a vendor says it covers a region or territory doesn’t mean they cover it in a way to fit your business needs. Do your homework when selecting a vendor. It could save you 15 minutes of frustrating driving.