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How to get more from the UK Housing Data Standard

Hitachi Solutions > Blog > 2019 > 06 > How to get more from the UK Housing Data Standard

HACT is an ideas and innovation agency for the UK housing sector. The organisation’s flagship achievement has been the introduction of the UK Housing Data Standard, launched in 2018. The first of its kind, the data standard offers up a way of describing business processes through data in the context of a housing association.

At Hitachi Solutions, we’ve been working closely with HACT, to create a housing analytical model that helps housing associations in the UK get even more value from their data.

In todays’ post I explain why we’re delighted to become an official partner of HACT , and the business benefits of having a consolidated approach to data – something which can be applied to any industry, not just housing.

How the UK Housing Data Standard works

The UK HACT Data Standard is an invaluable asset for housing associations, because it keeps everybody in the housing sector on the same page. This has clear internal benefits, but also helps two or more housing associations deal with each other, for instance during a merger.

The advantages of a consistent approach to data are wide-ranging, including removing data silos, reducing risks of non-compliance and establishing a better data culture. But although this begins as a conversation around data, the implications reach far beyond.

As data collection and analysis is so central to success in the digital world, standards like the UK Housing Data Standard can unlock enormous potential for organisations in all sectors. Organisations can use the data standard and Hitachi Solutions’ analytical model to make informed business decisions, to avoid costly mistakes, and to meet audit and compliance guidelines. This is why the UK Housing Data Standard is so valuable.

The benefits of a consistent approach

Let’s take a look at some of the problems that can be avoided when organisations take advantage of a data standard:

  • Reduce reliance on spreadsheets. Spreadsheets have long been considered a staple of modern business. But in the modern world of Big Data, they can hold an organisation back. Without a standardised approach for storing data, spreadsheets can proliferate through an organisation. Not only do these become unwieldy and hard to manage, but it becomes difficult to use data in a constructive, value-adding way.
  • Get rid of inconsistent data practices. Similarly, when there is no standard to adhere to, conflicting versions of the truth can arise. If one team is using one database – which comes with its own procedures, nomenclature and user culture – and another team uses another, it can become a puzzle when data needs to be shared across teams. Not only does this lead to collaboration problems, but it can also lead to errors and data duplication.
  • Create a ‘data culture’ to drive the organisation forward. Organisations across all sectors need to embrace a ‘data culture’. This requires understanding the role that data should play within the organisation – and that good data practices need to be implemented across every area of the business. Data should not be thought of as just an IT problem; this way will lead to an organisation becoming increasingly disconnected. Instead, data needs to be at the heart of the organisation. It should be integral to driving business strategy. Without a consistent approach to data, creating the right culture to succeed in the world of Big Data is near impossible.
  • Make light work of compliance. Regulatory reporting is inefficient and time-consuming without a data standard that ensures all data processes are carried out consistently. This can lead to a greater risk of unintentional errors that result in fines for non-compliance.
  • Enable mergers. Mergers in the housing association are a common occurrence, but often the two organisations involved have entirely different approaches to data. When two or more associations merge, they are left with a confusing and poorly consolidated analytical view of the data, which can inhibit progress.

Why our analytical data model adds value

Once you’re adhering to the data standard, the next step is to bring in data science and advanced analytics. This is what our analytical model is to help housing associations achieve.

Essentially, what we’ve done is take the data standard and reimagine it, so that the data is optimised for answering questions and solving a wide range of real problems that housing associations face.

Our analytical model can benefit housing associations in numerous ways. It helps them do more with their data, by automating reporting, providing better access to data, speeding up the time it takes to gain insight and drive value.

Our housing analytical model based on HACT’s UK Housing Data Standard:

  • Provides a single version of the truth
  • Encapsulates KPI definitions
  • Offers templates for regulatory/statutory reporting
  • Provides dashboards for analytical reporting

To find out more about our analytical data model for housing associations, based on the UK HACT Data Standard, or how we can build a tailored model for your industry, get in touch with Hitachi Solutions today.

Get in touch today!

 

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Ciara McMillan

Ciara has huge passion for working in the Social Housing Sector. She previously worked at Futures Housing Group and WMHousing managing neighbourhoods and leading on strategic partnerships. Her drive to improve the technology offerings to Housing associations and support Housing to deliver against digital agendas has led her to work for Hitachi as Industry Director for Housing. Throughout her time in Housing she has championed Women in Housing, mentoring younger women to maximise their potential and supporting women to strive for leadership positions and be ambitious in their careers.

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Author Spotlight

Ciara McMillan

Ciara has huge passion for working in the Social Housing Sector. She previously worked at Futures Housing Group and WMHousing managing neighbourhoods and leading on strategic partnerships. Her drive to improve the technology offerings to Housing associations and support Housing to deliver against digital agendas has led her to work for Hitachi as Industry Director for Housing. Throughout her time in Housing she has championed Women in Housing, mentoring younger women to maximise their potential and supporting women to strive for leadership positions and be ambitious in their careers.

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