Octavia Housing is a not-for-profit Housing Association. For over 150 years it has stayed true to its social purpose by providing homes, support and care for people on lower incomes in central and west London. It now manages over 5,000 homes in some of the most expensive parts of the city.
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“We are embarking on a modernisation journey which is data driven. We’ve done some great work with Quorum and Semarchy putting the fundamentals in place to deliver that.”
Maintaining this many properties in good condition needs significant organisation. Furthermore, the Association takes its social responsibilities very seriously and there are significant economies of scale at play with this size of portfolio.
The basis for achieving all these goals is to have up-to-date and accurate data on the condition of each property. Therefore Octavia studied the options available and concluded that Semarchy Master Data Management software offered the best way to master all its property data into one accurate record.
To implement the solution, Octavia chose Quorum, in part due to the company’s expertise with data and Azure and partly because Quorum’s status as an employee-owned organisation meant the two organisations share many values.
Benefits of full mastering for Octavia include
Ease of regulatory compliance
Sound data platform for analysis & reporting
Reduce ‘shadow IT’ – a joined up business
Following a 10 day discovery it was agreed Quorum would build a minimum viable product to prove the value of the approach and so its data team set to work integrating feeds from the six key data sources into the Semarchy product. Once there, Semarchy’s advanced matching capabilities allowed Octavia to make very significant improvements to its understanding of its housing stock. Not only was there a definitive accurate record of all its properties but each record includes up to 100 unique, current data items for that property – everything from maintenance records and improvement plans to inventories and compliance certificates.
“We know that to establish effective data quality management and data governance, we have to look at our people and processes, as well as technology. It’s a labour intensive task and not a short journey, but it is essential and foundational” – Abbi Agana
Quorum is one of the UK’s leading implementors of Azure environments and was therefore able to host Semarchy entirely in Octavia’s Azure tenant allowing for ease of maintenance, future flexibility and reduction of cost.
The implementation is now key to Octavia furthering its social purpose through the efficiency of its operations. Specifically, the Association now has a centralised view of its asset data that allows it to keep the quality of data in the source systems up to date at all times. This approach will make Octavia a data leader in its sector as it works towards its aspiration to become data driven. Acurate and mastered data is of course the precursor for all of those plans.
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