The Importance Of Good Data In Social Housing

During the recent debates regarding whether AHBs or Local Authorities were better suited to build social housing the IGEES admitted that its analysis was hampered by “incomplete data entries,” data that was “not recorded complete or accurately,” and “paper-based processes” (Irishtimes).

If a better example of the importance of accurate data management and reporting exists I am yet to find it.

Bad data makes accurate reporting and interpretation impossible

There are myriad ways that data can be “bad.”The main two being incomplete or noisy data.

1)Incomplete Information can give only a small picture of a problem or make it impossible to connect it to a cause.In housing a full picture may need to include information from multiple departments.

2) Mislabelled data creates noise in the data set.Just as it can be hard to concentrate on a single conversation in a crowded room, reporting and decision making is easily distracted by the confusion that mislabelling creates.

However, it is not the fault of the AHB or Local Authority that their data is inaccurate or missing.It is the fault of out-of-date processes and data management systems.

As we mentioned in our previous post most housing management systems silo their data between departments and software providers. As a result reports include holes and decisions are made based on incomplete pictures.

What is needed is an interconnected system where every department is contributing to the database and able to pull accurate information for reporting, analysis, and planning. .

Siloed departments are a barrier to communication

The interconnected IPS modules answer all the data issues sited by the IGEES report.

IPS links together all departments

1)Fields can be customised to match the needs and workflow of each organisation.With customisable records there is always a field for the information you need.

2) Property and tenant record histories are maintained automatically to ensure that nothing is ever lost.

3) Changes in one module automatically and immediately update in every other module so all departments are working off the most accurate and up to date information available.

With IPS paper based processes are a thing of the past.

1) Fully electronic stock condition surveys and tenant records remove the paper and manual data entry from the process.

2) Survey results are uploaded to property records upon completion to avoid manual data entry errors.

3) Stock condition surveys are automatically populated with property components to ensure that no component is missed and everything piece of data has a home.

With IPS AHBs and Local Authorities can easily control and access their data for better reporting, a more accurate understanding of tenant needs, and the ability to meet the growing and changing needs of the community.

Noisy or missing data should not be the barrier keeping families from the comfortable homes they deserve.