How housing associations can make better use of data

A report from our partners Phoenix Software explores the storage and IT mobility challenges currently facing UK housing associations

Greg Dean is Sector Sales Manager – Charities and Housing Associations at Phoenix Software

Greg Dean is Sector Sales Manager – Charities and Housing Associations at Phoenix Software

19 October 2017

Housing associations face many challenges that may affect their ability to deliver vital services for their customers. From central funding freezes to benefit payment caps, ongoing welfare reform and social housing fraud, and customers who expect more and better digital communications and services. Crucial to all of these is the effective storage and management of data.

Data is at the very heart of what housing associations do – collecting an enormous amount of important information on property and people. Making better use of this information can power decisions across many areas – from home design and investment to the allocation of care services, maintenance and repairs. Effective use of data will also be increasingly important as the sector embraces the ‘Internet of things’ to remotely monitor utilities and security.

Phoenix Software, alongside IT company VMware, commissioned independent research* asking housing association employees in the UK how well their organisation was doing when it came to storing, managing and using data and providing the right access for remote-working staff and suppliers.

The research found that many were in desperate need of change:

  • Three quarters of respondents don’t think their organisation is capable of effectively using the information it stores.
  • A fifth believe their current data storage and management capabilities will need a refresh within the next year, a quarter in two years and a third in three years.
  • Aside from managing and storing data (43% of housing associations), the top challenges they faced included access to the right technology for staff and suppliers (47%), flexible working (65%) and data compliance and spending cuts (51%).
  • One in three are still struggling to manage tenant payments following the introduction of Universal Credit.
  • A worrying number don’t believe or know whether their organisation has the ability to manage and protect mobile devices (19%), email content (25%) or applications (39%) used by remote workers and suppliers.

Many housing associations recognise the need to change and are already reimagining processes to make improvements. Faced with budget constraints and a lack of clarity around managing masses of data, the findings show the damage that a lack of action could have on their services.

You can read the findings of the survey in full by downloading our free eBook. If any of the challenges resonate with you and your organisation, speak to the Phoenix Software Charities and Housing Associations Team on 01904 562200 /

* Phoenix Software, alongside VMware, commissioned research to explore the extent of storage and mobility challenges currently faced by UK housing associations. The research was conducted in April and May 2017, and questioned 72 employees from housing associations across the UK.

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