The Hyde Group, one of the largest housing association groups in the UK, has adopted a new dashboard system from Blueprint Performance Management for consolidating and analysing key management data. This pulls together information held across the organisation into a form that managers can interrogate, understand, and make informed decisions upon.
Hyde provides homes for over 75,000 people in London, Kent, Surrey Sussex and Hampshire. The organisation manages around 30,000 properties and therefore processes this number of rents or housing benefit claims every month.
“Providing ICT support to an organisation of this size is a major task”, says group IT Manager at Hyde Neal Harper, “requiring some 30 IT staff and a portfolio of specialist software that includes iWorld and Oracle Financials. But while these systems capture lots of transactional data and automate a great many everyday tasks, they don’t give our managers and committees the ‘big picture’, nor do they produce the sort of ‘trend’ information that managers and workers need to make faster and better informed decisions.
Neal said that the list of information The Hyde Group wanted was vast, including answers to detailed questions such as: How long does each local authority take to make the first payment on a new tenancy? And which arrears are over this normal timescale? And not all queries related to rent and arrears, Hyde also wanted to know about repair costs – for example comparing actual costs against estimates and patterns or trends that could be learnt from to remove causes of repair needs from design of future homes.
Unlike many housing associations where analytical people would have to run reports from iWorld, enter data into spreadsheets and work on them for days on end, the IT team at Hyde had already implemented a data warehouse, but they wanted to be able to get at performance management information in a more dynamic and meaningful way. So they searched for a consultancy to help them achieve their advanced requirements.
After hearing from software company Business Objects about Blueprint Performance Management’s work with other housing associations, Neal and his team worked with the company for a period of several months in order to fully understand the business questions that need to be answered.
Neal explained, “Only after extensive interviews with dozens of Hyde staff and managers, was Blueprint prepared to put forward a project proposal. By that time, we were all very clear on the questions we needed to be able to answer now – and more importantly the structure for our data-strategy that would allow us to ask questions of the system that we’ve not yet dreamed of needing to ask! So many consultancies don’t take this far-sighted approach with the result that expensive systems soon become legacy systems – not the dynamic onward developing system that Hyde wanted to implement.”
Once understood, the questions are grouped according to key ‘reporting themes’ - such as rent, arrears and voids, repairs and contractors performance, housing stock and tenancy, budgeting and forecasting.
The pièce-de-resistance however, was the application of KPIs (key performance indicators) against these categories for each level in the organisation - from group chair to individual housing officers - and then turning of all this complex information into simple pictorial presentation or “dashboards”.
An important by-product of the system will also automate Hyde Group’s complex task of reporting against the government’ RSR (regulatory statistical return) and the new NROSH (national register of social housing) that every social landlord has to submit each year. “Tasks which take a team of people many days to produce manually in most associations,” says Neal.
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Notes to editors:
A full 1300 word case study version is available about The Hyde Group’s performance management system and interviews can be arranged with the IT manager.
About Blueprint Performance Management Systems
Blueprint Performance Management Systems are specialists in simplifying complex data to provide you with clarity of information and true business insight. We are one of the leading Business Intelligence consultancies in the UK because of our unique and independent approach to reporting and performance management. Our consultants have a wealth of experience and skills across platforms, databases and the most widely used business applications. However our success, within Business Intelligence consultancy, also stems from long-term partnerships with a number of leading technology companies such as Business Objects.
Based in central London with over ten years of experience, our customers come from all sectors and include organisations such as BP, Eurostar, Virgin Atlantic, Lloyd's of London, BNP Paribas, and The Ministry of Defence. Blueprint partners with customers to deliver corporate performance management reporting solutions based on:
- Enterprise performance management dashboards / scorecards.
- Automated report distribution via the intranet/extranet/email.
- Packaged warehouse / analytical solutions.
- Datawarehousing - building & designing data marts & warehouses.
Blueprint also offers BusinessObjects courses across the full range of their software products, Crystal training courses and Datawarehousing courses, to support both individual needs and the requirements of any business.
Blueprint can be contacted on: Tel. 0207 832 1803
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