Quantifying return on investment to promote better use of address and street data

“The expertise, experience and extensive network of contacts provided by ConsultingWhere enabled GeoPlace to identify a £4 return on every £1 spent on council address and street information. Together with projected net benefits of up to £202 million over four years, this report demonstrates the value of this data to make a clear case for continued investment and encourage its better use to ensure everyone benefits.



 ConsultingWhere was commissioned by GeoPlace to produce a cost benefit analysis of address and street data for local authorities and emergency services in England and Wales.

GeoPlace is the central source of information for all UK addresses and streets. It does this by managing the data that officially defines more than 42.8 million addresses and 1.3 million streets.



The research provided GeoPlace with an independent economic evaluation of the data it collates from local authorities across England and Wales. The results not only demonstrated existing benefits and savings, but also identified how Return on Investment (RoI) could be significantly improved by addressing barriers to adoption, particularly around access to funds, staff retention and improved national collaboration.



In line with Treasury Green Book guidance, ConsultingWhere undertook a rigorous and robust Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA) to ensure tangible results. In addition, the methodology and results were validated by one of the foremost experts in the field of geo-infonomics, Alan Smart of ACIL Allen.

The CBA, which is recognised as the most appropriate technique for deriving an estimate of RoI, collated all the costs and the quantifiable benefits, adjusted for the value of money over time. It included a comprehensive literature review for background and context, examples of international best practice from Australia and Denmark for additional insight, and the compilation of a database of existing case studies.

Potential contributors to new case studies were invited to a one-day course focused on applications of address and adapted from ConsultingWhere’s successful ‘Assessing the Business Case for Investment in Geospatial Projects’ training. This also provided delegates with a set of reusable skills in aligning applications to key business drivers and presenting a business case to senior executives.

An online questionnaire was supported by one-to-one interviews conducted using ConsultingWhere’s well-established and proven structured approach and methodology.

The research was also informed by a validation workshop with council address and street data specialists who identified how the data could underpin a number of key current government policy initiatives, such as health and social care integration, strategic planning and shared services. This was extremely helpful in validating assumptions and providing ideas on overcoming barriers to adoption before the final report was published.


Benefits delivered by ConsultingWhere

  • Delivering quantifiable and tangible independent results using a proven approach customised to evaluate the financial impact of addresses and street data.
  • Identifying barriers to achieving greater return on investment and suggesting solutions to remove them to unlock potential value.
  • Providing tools to make an effective business case for address and street data aligned to government policy, national initiatives, and partnerships.
  • Accessing an extensive network of national and international contacts to provide additional insight and context.

The report is available to download here.