The high cost of bad data
For housing associations, poor data quality and data management can be more than an inconvenience. With hundreds, if not thousands, of tenants and residences in their records, data is critical for housing associations to keep track of their tenants’ safety and experience, and the condition of their properties.
It’s not just the quality of the data that is important: it’s how that data is communicated across departments. A data record in isolation – say, a single tenant complaint about a damp issue – tells a very different story from data records collected and shared across multiple touchpoints. That single complaint, for instance, could be a symptom of a much bigger property or departmental issue, and if the right data is available to everyone, these problems can be spotted and solved quickly.
If it isn’t, they can escalate dramatically, impacting tenant satisfaction and, ultimately, the association as a whole.
Take Brent Council’s decision to shut down its ALMO, Brent Housing Partnership, in 2017 after tenant satisfaction dropped to 56% due to service failures. Or the recent high-profile disaster for one of the UK’s largest housing associations, which was publicly criticised for failing to deal with widespread tenant complaints including serious cases of damp, mould and pest infestations.
Then there are even more serious issues, such as tenant safeguarding, which saw one association come under fire earlier this year after a tenant’s death went unnoticed for two and half years.
Whether or not these cases are directly linked to data, what is certain is that robust data management can play a crucial role in ensuring that the right people can access the right information to prevent situations like these from happening again.