Guide to address data standardization – what, how and why?

Accurate and consistent address data play a crucial role in the effective operation of companies and organizations. Address data standardization is an essential tool that allows for organizing customer data, avoiding errors, and ensuring consistency in databases. In this article, we will examine what address data standardization is, its components, the benefits it brings to businesses, its practical applications, and how to conduct an effective standardization process to ensure high-quality address data in an organization.


What is address/data address standardization?

Address standardization is the process by which address data records are formatted to conform to a reference address database or specific standards. The goal of standardization is to achieve consistency, uniformity and correctness in address records, which facilitates data integration, improves information quality and eliminates redundancy and errors in databases.

  1. Unification of address data – regardless of the form in which the input data is provided, whether as loose text or partially broken down into address components (street name, building number, etc.), standardization returns results in the same form, consistent with good practices for storing addresses in databases (for example, all postal codes will be presented in the format “xx-xxx”, instead of “xx xxx” or “xxxxx”). In Poland, the most common (and often legally required) system for storing address data is TERYT.
  2. Correction of misspellings of street and place names – street and place name values are returned according to the registries that collect this information. Abbreviated or colloquial names (e.g., “JP2” instead of “John Paul II” or “waw” instead of “Warsaw”) will be converted to standard values.
  3. Completion of missing address elements – if the name of the town or postal code is missing, the correct values of these elements will be added based on the other elements of the address.
  4. Updating postal codes, street and place names – in the case of older databases, it may happen that the names of streets/places have changed, in the process of standardization this information will be updated.
  5. Address verification – checking whether the address appears in the reference database and flagging erroneous records.
  6. Data deduplication – as part of the standardization of address data, a deduplication process is also carried out, i.e. the identification and removal of duplicate entries (the result is a single record representing each address).

In summary, address standardization is a process that involves making address data records more consistent (according to the chosen system, in Poland TERYT), correcting errors, updating information, filling in missing elements and deduplication.

Example of address standardization

We have prepared a concrete example of data standardization so that you can see how this process works in practice and what benefits it brings.

Here is a screenshot of an example of address data standardization.

Address data standardization

Notice how the record has been made consistent and existing errors have been corrected. Carelessly filled data becomes clear, transparent and consistent thanks to standardization. The data has been divided into fields corresponding to the various elements of the address, typos have been eliminated, and names have been replaced with standardized values. The street name has been updated to the correct one, as it has since changed its name.

For the next example, we have included the data standardization we carried out for Bonprix company.

Address data standardization for Bonprix

In the case of Bonprix, the data quality problem stemmed from differences in the way the same data was recorded depending on the sales channel – online or call center. Customer data was entered in a variety of ways, which caused difficulties in processing the data and forwarding orders for processing. To solve this problem, it was necessary to standardize the data. It had a significant impact on the efficiency of operational processes, speeding up the entire order cycle and streamlining the company’s operations. You can read the entire Bonprix Case Study HERE.

What is address verification? How is it different from standardization?

Address verification is a process that involves checking whether an address exists in a reference database. When the address matches the database, you can be sure that the address is correct and suitable for further use. This is important, especially in the context of shipping parcels, delivering goods or communicating with customers. However, when an address is not found in the database, it should be marked as incorrect, which allows further identification and analysis of such records.

What is address deduplication?

Modern data management challenges require not only precision but also the careful preservation of the uniqueness of stored records in a database. The solution to the problem of information duplication is the process of address deduplication, which constitutes a pivotal element in maintaining data quality and enhancing the efficiency of activities based on information analysis.

Address deduplication is the process of identifying and removing duplicated entries in a database or CRM system. The issue of duplicated records can arise from various causes, such as ambiguous data entry, human errors, differences in formatting, or data migrations between different systems. This can lead to the presence of multiple entries concerning the same client or contact, resulting in disorganization, hindered analysis, and negative impacts on business operations.

The primary goal of address deduplication is to create the so-called “golden record” – a perfect and coherent set of attributes describing a given record. In the context of a customer, this entails creating a single, complete, and accurate profile that encompasses all relevant information about that customer. The system assesses the degree of similarity between records and decides whether a particular entry should be considered a duplicate or not.

In practice, the process of address deduplication can be illustrated with an example. Let’s imagine a company using the AlgoMaps tool. After the initial standardization phase, various address variants such as “10 Wrocławska Street,” “Wrocławska Street 10,” or “Wrocławska St. No. 10” would be transformed into a unified format. Subsequently, the system evaluates the similarity between remaining data, such as name, surname, phone number, or email address, and determines whether two entries represent the same customer.

As a result, address deduplication enables a company to maintain the cleanliness and consistency of its database, which is crucial for making accurate business decisions and effective communication with customers. By eliminating duplicated records, a company not only gains better data control but also enhances the efficiency of marketing, sales, and service activities.

In conclusion, address deduplication is an essential process for any organization striving to optimize data management and strengthen customer relationships. By creating coherent and accurate records, a company can benefit from a wide range of advantages that will positively impact its efficiency and competitiveness in the market.

What is TERYT and why does it matter?

TERYT (National Official Register of Territorial Division of the Country) is the official system for identifying localities and administrative units in Poland. It is a database that contains information on place and street names and related administrative units, such as municipalities, districts and provinces. All unit names collected in the registry are standardized names. In addition to the names of the listed units, TERYT also contains their unique identifiers, which are used in the State’s administrative systems. This is important in the context of standardization because companies in the banking or telecommunications sector, for example, are obliged by law to collect address data in accordance with the TERYT registry, in order to later easily exchange/connect the data with public administration systems.

Why is address standardization important?

By standardizing your address data, you can reap tangible benefits, here are some of them:

1. Reduce costs associated with returning shipments

Incorrect addresses result in non-delivery of goods, which generates costs related to returns and lost sales potential.

2. Higher efficiency of activities (e.g. marketing)

If customers consistently provide different variations of their address when placing orders, duplicates are created in the database. This leads to inefficiency in customer-related analytical activities, making it difficult to identify the number of customers, orders placed, etc. The result is a decrease in the effectiveness of marketing activities and difficulty in building a complete customer profile.

Example: the company is unable to identify that several customers reside at the same address, making it impossible to schedule one sales visit instead of several.

3. Using Location Intelligence

High-quality address data enables precise geocoding and enrichment of addresses with spatial information, opening the door to location intelligence, that is, deriving knowledge from spatial analysis. The results of such analysis can find application in such areas as:

  1. Geomarketing (determining the best area for a marketing campaign)
  2. Streamlining sales (directing salespeople to the most saturated areas)
  3. Selection of locations for new sales outlets
  4. Valuation of real estate

Algolytics provides the following information for each address: demographics, population, credit risk, building surroundings, site characteristics, natural hazards, site attractiveness factors, more than 400 unique features.

4. Faster delivery of goods

Higher address quality translates into more accurate geocoding, which in turn leads to faster delivery, thanks to the fact that the route is mapped optimally and couriers know exactly where the premises are.

Even small shifts in location can cause significant delays, as you can see in the image below. The difference in geolocation accuracy is 20 meters, and significantly translates into an increase in travel time and the route taken.

Precise geocoding

5. Consolidate multiple databases more easily and avoid error propagation

Standardized address data is key to effective database consolidation. By standardizing addresses, all records are presented in a uniform form, making it easier to compare and match data. This, in turn, speeds up the process of combining databases and increases their final quality.

Most common problems with address data

Let’s take a look at the most common address data problems that can arise in systems and databases. We have listed 7 of them that our experts believe are the most acute. Solving them is crucial for operational efficiency and making strong business decisions.

  1. Missing data – the address lacks necessary components, such as street names, building numbers, postal codes
  2. Duplicated data – the same address written in different formats (the system identifies as two (or more) separate addresses)
  3. Using non-standardized abbreviations – for example “Wawa”, “W-wa”, “Waw” for Warszawa
  4. Different letter sizes – for example “Aleja”, “aleja”, “ALEJA”
  5. Different structure – the address is written in different formats – for example, the street name and building number are given in one field or in separate fields
  6. Outdated names – address data does not reflect the current situation, for example, the name of a particular street has changed
  7. Inaccurate data – address does not reflect the real one due to, for example, typos, mismatch of postal codes with localities

How do you standardize the addresses in your database?

If you prefer to standardize addresses manually, you can use the following steps:

1. Define the address standard

To begin with, it is necessary to establish the standard according to which addresses will be standardized. In Poland, the frequently chosen standard is the address notation according to the TERYT registry.

2. Definition of address fields

Specify what fields will define each address, for example, street name, house number, zip code, state, city, etc. This will allow you to organize the information.

3. Analyze the current level of meeting the standard and identify errors

Then analyze existing addresses to see how many meet the chosen standard and identify errors such as duplicates or missing information.

4. Address cleaning and standardization

Perform data cleaning, i.e. removing duplicates, filling in missing values, correcting errors. Adjust the addresses to the chosen standard to ensure consistency and uniformity. Remember to make the process regular (preferably continuous) so as not to generate further inaccuracies.

It is also worth looking at current errors and identifying their sources and making corrections that will reduce the number of erroneous data entries . A common cause of poor data quality is erroneous data entered by customers in forms. In this case, the solution may be to introduce auto-complete forms.

5. Optional address geocoding and data enrichment

You can geocode addresses, that is, assign them geographic coordinates, and enrich them with data such as demographics, earnings, unemployment, neighborhoods or various risks and attractiveness factors, for example. This adds more precision to the addresses and makes it easier to use the spatial information in later business analyses.

Standardize addresses with AlgoMaps

Manual standardization of addresses takes a huge amount of time and thus represents a large cost for your business. With the AlgoMaps web application (or via API), you can standardize your addresses in a short time and with 99% accuracy (the highest in Poland). The solution allows you to standardize records, correct errors, fill in gaps, update information and deduplicate repetitive records. In addition, it allows addresses to be geocoded and enriched with additional spatial information (e.g. demographics or credit scoring of residents of a given building, number of stores of a given type in the immediate vicinity).

Create an account HERE and test the web application or go HERE, if you prefer API – you get free standardization for 1 thousand addresses at the start.

If, on the other hand, you need the support of our data quality experts – CONTACT US.


1. What is address data standardization?

Address data standardization is the process of normalizing and standardizing address information so that it conforms to certain standards and formats.

2. How to standardize address data?

Address data can be standardized using special tools (e.g., AlgoMaps from Algolytics) that check, correct and match addresses to established standards.

3. Why is it important to standardize address data?

Standardization of address data is important because it ensures uniformity, consistency and correctness of address information, which facilitates subsequent analysis and increases the company’s operational efficiency.

4. What is an example of address data standardization?

An example of address data standardization is the conversion of the address “celeja Lecha Kaczyasliepo 26, 06-609 Warszawwa aba ” to “Aleja Armii Ludowej 26, 00-609, Warszawa”.

Pin It on Pinterest