Magazine
Victory housing trust logo

Using data insights to drive service improvement

...and top decile customer satisfaction levels.

Victory Housing Trust is a registered charity and registered provider of affordable homes for those in housing need. Victory owns 5,000 houses located across the north of Norfolk which serve as homes to over 10,000 residents. Victory employs 80 people and is based in North Walsham. The organisation has an annual turnover of £22 million and is committed to improving the communities within which it works.

Background

The Clearview project with Victory Housing Trust (Victory) utilised both the Clearview Business intelligence and reporting suite, combined with Clearview analysts and expertise, to further develop their corporate and operational reporting. The initial focus of the project was on creating timely and accurate performance dashboards and supporting reports, and then focussing on ensuring that these services were sustainable going forward.

Commenting on why Victory selected Clearview for the project, Hugh Unwin, Head of Customer Support, says,

“We decided to embark on this collaborative project with Clearview as we consider them to be a reputable, substantial supplier with considerable relevant experience and felt that working with them would enable us to achieve two main parts of our corporate plan:

1. To deliver timely and accurate performance reporting to both drive and enable service improvement to support our long term corporate goal to ‘Achieve resident satisfaction levels in the top 10% nationally’ and;
2. To reduce our reporting overhead and give managers and staff the reporting data they need and in so doing support our value for money objective ‘To manage our resources to provide cost effective, efficient high quality services that meet residents’ needs.’”

Prior to this collaboration, Victory’s business reports were created in-house by drawing data from a variety of sources across several disparate systems, including external systems, and the compilation process was largely manual and not well understood (as identified by their own internal auditing) and hence slow and error-prone. Therefore, to improve services to residents; compliance; and value for money; Victory decided to work collaboratively with Clearview to develop automated, reliable, and dynamic, corporate and operational dashboards.

The project approach

Clearview worked closely with each of the stakeholders involved in the project. The initial discussions involved Victory’s heads of service to investigate what their expectations of the project were for them personally, for their service areas and for Victory as a whole to ensure that they were met and exceeded throughout the project.

Interestingly, not only were Victory concerned with the presentation of the data and turning it into information, they also wanted the new information reporting to influence their internal culture to move towards a culture of responsibility and responsiveness through access to better, and more up-to-date, reliable business information.

In the first instance, it was important to find out what reporting had already been achieved by Victory and to what extent this was accepted and used by the organisation. It was found that in some cases the information that was being presented in reports seen by the senior management was regularly challenged in meetings. This was because the origin of the data and how the reports and figures were created was not always well understood.

Part of the challenge for Clearview was to investigate and validate the information that was being displayed in reports. This involved collaborating with members of senior management to understand their actual reporting needs and what was important to them, and then talking to the members of staff who produced the current reports to find out what data was already being captured and how it was being processed (if at all).

Identifying differences between the two points of view was crucial, as was finding a way forward to produce reports that were not only easy to understand and interpret correctly, but were also rigorous from a data capture and analysis point of view. The timeliness of information was also crucial, as it was important that the appropriate members of staff were able to immediately access the data that was used to compile the information contained in the reports so that any anomalies could be explained, corrected or acted upon as soon as possible. This also required constant collaboration with members of staff who were involved in the capture of any data that was fed into these reports. 

In some cases, this meant actually mapping the process of how the data was captured to ensure that the right data was being recorded and sometimes, more importantly, understanding of the frequency of the data capture. This process mapping then enabled Victory to make decisions about whether to invest time, energy and effort in either changing how the data was captured or accepting the current process and the limitations that would put on their reporting.

In producing the documentation for each of the reports, Clearview ensured that all these decisions and conclusions were captured in the documentation so any decisions made were well understood and known to all stakeholders. Importantly, this record allows for amendments to be made at some future date by Victory should priorities or data change in the future.

The results

Extensive work has been carried out by Clearview, to tune, reconfigure and align Victory’s data sources. This work has enabled the automation of their corporate KPIs, has enabled the production of a number of new operational reports, and will support and enable the creation and running of operational dashboards going into the future.

Summarising, Hugh says,

”Overall, this project has improved, and continues to improve, the quality and availability of our reporting while reducing production overhead, delivering managers and staff a dynamic and comprehensive view of service performance, thereby improving monitoring and intervention before service thresholds are reached, and enabling service planning and forecasting based on higher quality information.”

Mark Hobart, Managing Director, Clearview says,

“Victory are a great example of an organisation that has invested in putting in place a management information system to enable their service delivery teams to be as efficient and in turn effective as possible. They are actively engaged in a continuous improvement programme to improve services by sharing data and knowledge in a collaborative way across the organisation.“