The ability to bring together data from multiple business systems and functions to create a complete and accurate view of tenants and properties unlocks exciting opportunities for innovation and data insights. However, as housing providers accelerate their digital business efforts, poor data quality is a major contributor to a crisis in information trust and business value, negatively impacting financial performance.
Here are some ways housing providers can use data management solutions to help them take back control of their data to deliver better, more cost-effective services:
1. Delivering trusted insights
From the board, through management and down to operations, one common trusted dataset is the backbone of better insights and improved value. Areas where data management can add particular value include: asset compliance and safety; arrears and income management; fraud reduction; and increasing the efficiency of responsive repairs.
2. Enhancing customer service & satisfaction
The ability to access complete and trusted customer and property information on time, on any device and at the point of engagement, is fundamental to quality customer service. For example, master data management has enabled Wheatley Group to launch its GoMobile project, which allows housing officers to access a full set of data while they are out on their patches.
3. Synchronising digital service provision
While most organisations will already be exploiting digital channels for service delivery, the platforms themselves can inadvertently create a separate silo of customer data disconnected from the core housing management system. Alongside fixing issues with data quality, data management tools also synchronise digital platforms and back-office systems to ensure one consistent set of customer and property records is shared.
4. Supporting mergers & consolidation
< At the same time as mergers and collaborations across the housing sector continue, the application and data landscape providers have to manage is becoming further fragmented. Merging datasets often presents an expensive, lengthy and resource-intensive exercise that jeopardises the realisation of anticipated benefits. Better data management capabilities can support housing providers to ensure timely and accurate on-boarding.
5. Supporting multi-agency collaboration & safeguarding
Enabling better collaboration through a single shared record, while enforcing strict data access controls and upholding data governance policies, is becoming increasingly relevant.
6. Improving internal collaboration
Best practice data management enables organisations to break down siloed working practices by ensuring everyone has access to one consistent and complete ‘golden record’ presented using standardised business terminology. This golden record is automatically synchronised across systems and departments, driving pervasive data quality.
7. Improving service redesign, diversification & better service targeting
Access to complete and trusted information will drive improved decision-making in service redesign aligned to customer demands and accurate profiles. Furthermore, it will ensure housing providers can diversify into new lines of business with confidence. Accurate customer demographic and up-to-date contact information will ensure services are targeted towards the right individuals at the right time.
8. Fulfilling GDPR obligations & customer information requests
Data management tools enable organisations to retrieve the entirety of the data they hold for a customer upon request, to manage and maintain their consents, to analyse their data and ensure what they hold is correct and compliant.
An-Chan Phung is the CIO for master data management at Civica.