On Tuesday the 16th of July I took a trip to Shoreditch to hear how people were starting to implement the UK Housing Data Standard within their services and products.
This is a quick rattle through some key points that registered in my brain. Speakers notes are available here: https://www.hact.org.uk/implementing-uk-housing-data-standards-event
What did standards ever do for us?
Imagine that we didn’t have a UK standard for the humble plug. Instead, every house builder picked their own design of plug socket based on what they thought was best for the eventual home owner.
As a prospective home owner you’d have four options for making your array of electrical items (which might each have their own design of plug) work with your lovely new house.
- Throw everything out and buy all new electrical items that fit with the plug sockets.
- Spend a few hours browsing Amazon looking for an array of converters to make your electrical items work with your plug sockets.
- Hire an electrician to rewire some or all of your house to accomodate your electrical items.
- Do a mixture of the above based on how critical each electrical item is & how much it’ll cost to get it working.
Fortunately, we don’t have this problem because in the UK we use plug type G.
It ensures that any electrical item you buy in the UK works with any electrical socket. This saves an awful lot of time, expense and waste for all involved as we’ve all agreed on a recognised standard.
Does social housing need a standard for data?
For all the reasons above. We expend far too much valuable time and energy converting or interpreting data so that it can travel between people, teams, systems or external partners.
Standards are actually not a new thing to us. As Doug Silverstone (MTVH)pointed out during his talk, we already work with standards on a regular basis, but we probably don’t think about them that way or actively manage them.
For example, you may use some form of standard to do the following…
- Send data to a local council.
- Import data into your finance system(s).
- Exchange data with external repairs operatives.
So really, we’re just talking about being more intentional about how we use data and in what format. In that sense, the UK Housing Data Standard does an awful lot of the leg work for us. It’s doing the hard work to make things simpler.
This is a technology supplier that understands the value of open reusable standards. This is a technology supplier that has confidence in their product or service. This is a technology supplier that is happy to work with other systems and services that we may already be using. This is a technology supplier that’s going to be far more compatible with the principles of GDPR. Visit the HACT Housing Data Standard page: https://www.hact.org.uk/DataStandard Mention the HACT Housing Data Standard to someone else. Retweet the HACT twitter account. Register to download the HACT UK Housing Data Standard: https://www.hact.org.uk/DataStandard Think about how you might use some part of the standards in your upcoming change projects. Post some thoughts on Twitter/LinkedIn about how you might practically use the standard. Talk to your team about how you might support the standard or incorporate them into the work you are doing. Get in touch with one of the other UK Housing Data Standards supporters to see what they’re up to. Write a blog post about how you might start using the standard. Arrange a call with HACT to see how they can support you to get started.
Our thanks to Neil for attending the event and writing this blog post, which originally appeared on his site, Technology Meets Culture.