A new report commissioned by Clearview Systems provides some interesting insights around business intelligence in housing. The ‘Effective Business Intelligence and Reporting in Social Housing’ report (March 2011) found that:
There is a lack of overall vision for business intelligence across most organisations.
Current BI systems are silo-based, expensive and considered to be technical tools just for IT teams.
Ideally, there should be only one BI system.
There is a lack of end-user skills to make use of BI systems.
There is an existing ‘cottage industry’ already producing executive and board information for housing providers.
Housing providers have a number of cultural challenges in this area which appear to be in the ‘too hard to do pile’.
There is a perception that the ideal solution does not exist, so why change?
In terms of the next steps to achieve effective business intelligence, the report suggested:
Run BI as a business (not IT) project, develop a vision for BI across all systems and then translate that vision into solutions.
Empower staff to use BI for themselves – create many champions and give them support and training.
Think about how the organisation can use BI proactively rather than only for historical reporting.
Automate the production of BI for stakeholders such as tenants, executives and the board.
The Clearview report was commissioned from Stuttard Davis and is based on survey data from around 80 housing providers.