The Pitfalls of Ineffective Data Management
Ineffective data management is the single biggest compliance risk faced by registered providers of social housing.
This may seem like a bold statement, but having now undertaken over 70 compliance reviews for housing providers across the country, we have only visited a handful of organisations with sufficient processes and procedures in place to evidence a level of assurance which could be externally validated.
There are endless ways in which poor data management can very quickly undermine your organisation’s compliance position. The most common issue being where compliance cannot be accurately reported, or where the level of compliance reported cannot be evidenced with the relevant inspection and testing records. Immediately this gives rise to a number of significant risks which can have severe consequences, most namely:
- Tenant safety
- Criminal proceedings
- Regulatory scrutiny and intervention
More often than not, the source of these issues can be traced back to one or more of the following:
- Organisations not being able to demonstrate what compliance data they have and where it is held
- Multiple spreadsheets being improperly utilised to manage compliance data including:
- A lack of ownership
- Improper, or no version control
- No password protection to prevent unauthorised access and/or editing
- No regular reconciliation to ensure that all properties which should be on the relevant compliance programmes are
- No live reporting of compliance performance.
If any of the above apply to your organisation then we would urge action
Without certainty that your data is being appropriately managed, your organisation cannot be assured that, they have taken all of the required actions to ensure tenant safety, and they comply with their statutory compliance obligations.
We have helped a number of our clients overcome their data challenges via the following process:
- Full Data Audit – this involves taking exports of all compliance data from across a client’s systems and/or spreadsheets, and then undertaking a review and cleansing process which will give them assurance that the data they hold is accurate, up to date and most importantly, legally compliant. Additionally, we ensure the asset numbers on each compliance programme reconcile with those in the core housing system in order to give assurance that no properties are being wrongly excluded from the relevant compliance programmes. This will include a review of actual compliance records (LGSRs, FRAs, EICRs etc.) on a sample basis. An initial 10% sample will be audited in order to estimate a level of confidence in the accuracy of what is recorded in the system and the details of the actual records – this 10% sample can be increased at the request of the client.
- Bespoke Excel Workbooks – this methodology has been developed by Pennington Choices to allow our clients to clearly and concisely demonstrate their current levels of compliance, identify any gaps, and provide automatic live reporting on compliance performance. Each workbook is tailored to suit the client’s organisational needs and can be used in a number of ways:
- To ensure they have a set of clean and validated data to be re uploaded in to their housing management system
- As a medium term measure to manage compliance whilst a new system is identified and mobilised
- As a longer term compliance management system for smaller organisations.
Interested in finding out more?
Contact Data and Assets Consultant Tom Wilkinson or call on 07387 020 317.Back to blog