Technology tends to be a fairly divisive subject in the social housing sector. You just need to look back at the now infamous ‘dronegate’ debate for evidence of this. But a recent study by Inside Housing found that technology is gaining an increasing foothold as the sector ‘wakes up’ to its potential.
In fact, the survey by Inside Housing found that 95% of respondents thought their housing association either had a ‘great’ or ‘some’ appetite for tech – a significant figure.
What’s more, 70% of people said that they felt repairs and maintenance was an area that would benefit from investment in new technology. Along with customer services and resident involvement, voids was another area that came up with 40% saying it would benefit from new technology.
This largely reflects what we’re seeing here at Oneserve, with more social housing associations in particular approaching us. This would suggest that the oft-perceived aversion to technology in the sector does not really exist. Are we about to welcome in a new era of technology-driven change in social housing?
Data is key
An area that emerged from the survey as key was that of data. People are clearly keen to collect more data, with 81% saying that gathering more housing management data was either ‘very’ or ‘quite valuable’.
Drilling down further, 88% of these people said that the key focus was on data from their repairs and maintenance operations, with 66% citing voids data as key.
Gaining insight from the data
Of course, collecting data is only the first step. To provide value, that data has got to be used effectively. You should be asking whether you can use it to gain insights into your operations and use those insights to improve the service you deliver.
Interestingly, we’re finding that the focus has moved away from key performance indicators and is now on what a specific engineer is costing, for example. So organisations are really drilling down into their data rather than just looking at the top line stats.
Oneserve Analytics provides new levels of visibility
We recently added a powerful analytics function to our solution and have piloted it with several of our clients, including North West Leicestershire District Council and Sky Network Services. Sky are now able to use advanced analytics that enable benchmarking of critical KPIs to track performance and predict future trends. They can also easily create dashboards to enable internal reporting.
They were particularly interested in the visibility that Oneserve Analytics brought to their team. They were keen to understand where process improvements could be made using real data from their own service history as well as predict potential issues before they arose.
We’re excited to roll out our analytics solution to more of our existing clients and the new ones that are coming on board, providing them with the tools to ultimately make smarter decisions.
If you’d like to find out more, you can read about Oneserve Analytics here. Go ahead and request a demo if you’d like to see Oneserve in action.