Saturday, 19 May 2018

Standing in the Way of Control

If you do the Twitter thing, follow me at @HousingITguy
or LinkedIn here https://uk.linkedin.com/in/tonysmiththathousingitguy



Anyone who has worked with or knows me, will know my knowledge of Socialhousing sector solutions, goes way beyond just the key HMS or Financial Accounting solutions.

There are many peripheral applications and solutions that fill in the gaps from the ‘usual suspect’ providers, particularly in areas that they have not got into, or not managed to crack just yet. They might never crack them either. Who knows?

This can include dynamic scheduling, predictive analytics, some outsourced services and other areas. No doubt there are some great solutions out there and on occasion I have worked to try to calculate ROI (Return On Investment) for most of the projects I work on. That calculation is essential and without it, governance is weakened in my opinion. Most of the projects I have come to late and are drifting or over-running in cash and time terms, were never properly proceeded by a robust business case, or reasonable ROI calculation.

The same can be said of when we tinker with services. Often I see many bright ideas being introduced in a melee of change. Rarely have defined outcomes been agreed prior, often the means of measurement not considered either. Typically, that might be a faster turnaround of void properties to fill them with new residents, reduce arrears levels, increase income collection, or enhance resident satisfaction.

I am often asked, “We have product X, do you think its worth keeping”?

My reply is often, “Well can the such and such team, prove it makes a difference”?

The answer to that is often, “Well that teams a little bigger now, than before they brought in solution X”! Now, is that an experience you may have had in your organisation?

One excellent way that statisticians will tell you to measure effectiveness, if it’s a drugs trial or an exercise to improve arrears, is the use of a ‘control’ group. These are left alone with the existing process or systems, so an accurate comparison can be made. Both groups will be subject to the same ambient influences, such as free weeks, continued shift to Universal Credit, royal weddings, Christmas or winter cold snaps or summer holiday season. All of these could affect our results if not using a control and falsely lead to incorrect conclusions.

Practical use of a control group, could mean perhaps a new initiative or software application was only applied to half the housing stock/residents, or maybe split between a specific demographic, such as leaseholders or particular repair trades, such as heating or plumbing.

To understand what we are comparing, it can pay dividends, to only introduce a single change or set of changes at once, if practical. This might take marginally longer, but you will have a better understanding of the outcomes of the changes being made, what works or not and to what degree.

Particularly in the case of software or solutions that can be started as a small trial, as they are often to avoid a lengthy procurement process, effectiveness can be more accurately measured and more informed decisions made.

Related Post: If you are a supplier, do your USP's fit on a page or less? Should they? 



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I would be pleased to connect with you on LinkedIn - http://uk.linkedin.com/in/tonysmiththathousingitguy Message me with any issues or queries, you would like to be explored in this blog. We generally receive a couple of suggestions each month.

Gossip - standing In The way of ControlGossip - standing In The way of Control.
(c) Tony Smith, Acutance Consulting www.acutanceconsulting.co.uk 07854-655009


Access a quick list of our Social Housing ICT blog posts here

Could we help you or your organisation? Our contact details are here , get in touch we will be pleased to chat about your problems and help with your organisation issues.

File Under: 360,1stTouch,4Js. , 07854655009 ,365Agile," """" ",,#UKHousing,#HousingDAY, #HomesForBritain,#InternetOfTenants, #Shout,1st Touch,3squared,Accuserv,Acutence,Aareon,Academy,ActiveH,AirWatch,Alignment,ALMO,Anite,Apex,ArchHouse,Archouse,asbestos, Asprey e-state pro,ActiveHousing,Asset Management,Aurora,Average IT Costs,App,Associates,ACL,Abritas,AMS,AX,aspireview,Agile365, BO,BPR,Browser Applications,Business Objects,Business Planning, Business Process Review,Business social networking, Blockwise, Block wise,BI,BancTec,BluTek,Bluebox, Castle,CBL,Cedar Open Accounts,Cx,Change,Cheaper Housing IT,Chics, CHR,Citrix,Civica,Clearview,CMS , CCS IT Keystone CCSIT,Civica Genero,Contractor Systems,CORE,CorVu,Cost Reductions,Covalent,CRM,Crystal Reports,CTI,CTX,Customer Relationship Management,Cashflow, COA,Coactiva,Codeman,Comino,Competitive Dialogue process,complex IT procurements,Component Accounting, Community Reward Services, Consilium, Consolidation, Consultancy,Consultant,Contact 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software,open tender,OpenHousing,Opti-time,Oracle,Orchard,Optitime DRS,Outsource and outsourcing,OpenContractor,ORS,OneServe, PIMMS Data Systems, Paloma,performance management systems,PfH, Pick,PIMMS,pimms4communities, Planned maintenance,People Value,Plus, Peoplevalue,Portfolio Management System, PM,Progress,Promaster,Proval,Pyramid,PRINCE2,prince,Pamwin,PlanForm, Propoints, Pro-Points,predictive analytics for housing, QL,QLX,Quiss,Qlikview, QueryView,Queryview reporting,Registered Providers,Registered Social Landlord,Rent Increase Freezes,Repairfinder,Reporting,Reports,ROCC,RobotAutomation,Rave Technologies (India) PVT Limited, Rocket,RPs,RSL,Reality,ReAct,reidmark,RM865, Saffron,SAP,Scots, "Social Housing IT",Social Housing ICT, Scottish,Scenario, Scotland,SDM,sector,TonySmithHou,Safron,Server Virtualisation,servicing, Servitor,Sharepoint, Simdel,Simdell,SimPro,Sim Pro,Slash and Burn,Social Media,Software,SQL Open Housing,SQL Reporting Services,SQL reporting services,SQL Server,Star rating,Stores and Stock,Strategic Asset Management,Sunguard ,Surveys,Sx3,System alignment,Symatrix Human Capital Management, TonySmithHousing, Systemwise,SM,Sequoa,Serros,SP,Scout,score,Swordfish,Serengeti,SOTI,southview,Sunguard,Service Charges,Spotlight Service, Spotlightservice, SunAccounts, Social Housing Software Applications, Template,Task,Terminal Services, tonys , tonysm , tonysmi , tonysmith, tonysmitht, gotonysmith, tableau Business Dashboards, tonysmithth, tonysmiththa, tonysmiththat, tonysmiththath, tonysmiththatho, tonysmiththathou, tonysmiththathous, tonysmiththathousi, tonysmiththathousin, tonysmiththathousing,Tony Smith That,Tony Smith That Housing IT Guy,TonySmith that housing IT, guy,tonysmiththathousing, tonysmiththathousinguy,tony smith housing guy,sharepoint, share point, SHBVN, Three Star,Today,Total repairs,Tribal,Twitter,U2, tonysmith , tonysmiththat , thathousing , thathousingIT , thathousingITguy, TED,Tagish Casework,TP Tracker,Telecetera,Tagra,Trace, Totalmobile, Total Mobile, UniClass Enterprise,Unidata,Universal Housing,Universalcredit, universal credit, universal credits,UC,Universe,Unrest, UK, United Kingdom ,Ukhousing,UK Housing, Van Stock,Voice and data,Vantage Sentinel,verse one,verseone,vWork,Version One,Visualmetrics,Valueworks,Voluntas, Wales,Welsh,Windows Server,Workflow and tasking,Wheatley,Works Connect,worksConnect, Xmbrace,XML ,XenApp,Xen App ..

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Meltdown

If you do the Twitter thing, follow me at @HousingITguy
or LinkedIn here https://uk.linkedin.com/in/tonysmiththathousingitguy



Last week you can’t have failed to be aware of the TSB systems and self-service meltdown from the 22nd April onwards, lasting well over a week. You may even have been caught up in it being a TSB customer or relying on TSB in some way. Luckily I don’t bank with them, but I had some fun with my teenage son, who leant a lesson on how when technology lets you down, it can do it big time.

As with most IT situations, it could have probably been avoided well before with better planning, improved testing, selective rollout possibly and thinking ahead. These are all things I encourage in my projects, as it makes for successful ones. A move to a proprietary Banco Sabadell internally developed system, (dating from back in 2000, originally called Proteo and later renamed Proteo4UK), was the target for this project.

There is a lot to be learned here.

The project was originally planned for 18 months, with 1,000 staff apparently to be involved in it. It was announced that 2,500 person hours were to be put into it. Often systems like this are very patched and my own experience of all the COBOL underlying the Littlewoods systems, in the late 80’s bears this out. Much of it was code from the early 1970’s. Many bank solutions are very similar and can be badly documented.

If adequate testing had been done, customers would not be accidently seeing others accounts, details and transactions. Very simple reconciliations, could have detected data conversion errors and balance differences. With suppliers I work with on data conversion, I am always shocked & surprised that standard reports and scripts to help reconcile data, balances, debits, status counts of repair orders etc are pretty absent and need to be tackled by struggling clients instead.

Shujun Li, a professor of cybersecurity at the University of Kent’s School of Computing was quoted as saying, "The scale of the problem we saw is incredible. It’s impossible if they had done systematic testing of the system. For me, it’s clearly a case of management, rather than purely a technical problem.”. That is true of many system and data migrations that go wrong in #SocialHousing.

The knock on effect is that a lot of customers are now moving from TSB, due to these issues. One was my own 14 year old son, who tried to deposit cash into his TSB account, at a cash machine and had both his card and cash retained. It did make me smile slightly, that his confidence in technology had take a hefty hit.

In Social Housing, if we have system issues, most of our residents are not going to up-sticks and vote with their feet however. We would not expect them to either.

However, if we have put a lot of effort into nurturing them on to self-serve and it suddenly goes wrong, we are encouraging those customers to contact us again by the more traditional methods. Just a small hiccup with posting delays of payments made on-line, can shake confidence if residents are not seeing these payments on their account and they appear (incorrectly) in arrears. Anecdotally, many then pay via the telephone, to a customer service centre team, because they perceive that as more ‘reliable’.

Introducing customers to interacting online is a hard slog. Don’t let an ICT or project meltdown, such as the TSB one described here, set your plans into reverse.  

Related Post: Test, test & test again, why UAT is your greatest friend 


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I would be pleased to connect with you on LinkedIn - http://uk.linkedin.com/in/tonysmiththathousingitguy Message me with any issues or queries, you would like to be explored in this blog. We generally receive a couple of suggestions each month.

Gary Numan - MeltGary Numan - Melt.
(c) Tony Smith, Acutance Consulting www.acutanceconsulting.co.uk 07854-655009


Access a quick list of our Social Housing ICT blog posts here

Could we help you or your organisation? Our contact details are here , get in touch we will be pleased to chat about your problems and help with your organisation issues.

File Under: 360,1stTouch,4Js. , 07854655009 ,365Agile," """" ",,#UKHousing,#HousingDAY, #HomesForBritain,#InternetOfTenants, #Shout,1st Touch,3squared,Accuserv,Acutence,Aareon,Academy,ActiveH,AirWatch,Alignment,ALMO,Anite,Apex,ArchHouse,Archouse,asbestos, Asprey e-state pro,ActiveHousing,Asset Management,Aurora,Average IT Costs,App,Associates,ACL,Abritas,AMS,AX,aspireview,Agile365, BO,BPR,Browser Applications,Business Objects,Business Planning, Business Process Review,Business social networking, Blockwise, Block wise,BI,BancTec,BluTek,Bluebox, Castle,CBL,Cedar Open Accounts,Cx,Change,Cheaper Housing IT,Chics, CHR,Citrix,Civica,Clearview,CMS , CCS IT Keystone CCSIT,Civica Genero,Contractor Systems,CORE,CorVu,Cost Reductions,Covalent,CRM,Crystal Reports,CTI,CTX,Customer Relationship Management,Cashflow, COA,Coactiva,Codeman,Comino,Competitive Dialogue process,complex IT procurements,Component Accounting, Community Reward Services, Consilium, Consolidation, Consultancy,Consultant,Contact Manager,Context,CIH,Chartered Institute Of Housing,Cadcorp,Cerrus Saturn,convergeOne,CACI,CPL, CRS Director, Deeplake,Development Systems,Accuserve,Document Management,Documotive,datasystems , Microsoft dynamics GP 2013, DynamicAI, Dynamic AI, ECMK,EDRMS,England, English,EnterpriseBI,ERP Systems,ERP,Elmhurst,Estatecraft,EDM,ESRI,Exponential-e, Finance, Financial Systems, Financials, Factorwise,Facebook ,Footprint,Fusion, Getting best from,gotonysmith, Grasp,Grip,GeoSolveIT,GIS,GGP,Genero,GCloud,G-Cloud,HouSys,Housing software,HFI (Housing Financials interface),HG,Housemark survey,Housing Blueprint,Housemark,Housing Portfolio Management System, HRA,housingtITguy,Housing Support Pro,HousingSupportPro,Housing Options,Hometeam, Housing Group,hotpixuk, HousingIT,hotpix,Hardware,Hitex,Housing Contact Company,housing predictive analytics, Impact Response,iPayPro,implementations,iRobot,In House,InHouse,In4,InMotion, InMotion2016, InMotion2015, InMotion2016 , Exhibition, conference,Housing Management Consultant,Housing Management Consultants, Infoflow,Information Technology,Informix,inHouse,in-house workforce,Information@Work components, Innovation,Inside Housing,Internet Portal,Internetalia,Information Management Server,IMS, Invu,Ireland,Irish,Inphase , IT Budget,IT Training,iWorld, Innovation Group Apex,ITIL, In4Systems Promaster,IT,Insight, iSupport,iSupportPro, Keylogic,Keystone,Kirona,Kypera,Keypera Hometeam,Keyfax,Ledgers,Linkedin,Locality,Liquid Voice,MD ,Mr Void , MrVoid, Measuring Change,Mebus,Miracle,MISCS,mDesign,mobile functionality,mobile platform,Monopoly board images and pictures, Montal,MS Dynamics,MS Dynamics CRM2011,Miracle Software,MDM,Management,CRM2013,Reporting,MI,M3,MIS,MIS-AMS,Mobysoft, Northgate Codeman,Neighbourhoods and Communities,NPS,NPS Housing,NPS CRM,NPS Job Manager Mobile, Northgate,Notice,NROSH,NINTEX,NINTEX workflow,Natural Forms,Nintexworkflow,NPS ASSIST, OA,OGC Buying Solutions,Ohms,OJEU Limits,OmFax,Omniledger,Open source software,open tender,OpenHousing,Opti-time,Oracle,Orchard,Optitime DRS,Outsource and outsourcing,OpenContractor,ORS,OneServe, PIMMS Data Systems, Paloma,performance management systems,PfH, Pick,PIMMS,pimms4communities, Planned maintenance,People Value,Plus, Peoplevalue,Portfolio Management System, PM,Progress,Promaster,Proval,Pyramid,PRINCE2,prince,Pamwin,PlanForm, Propoints, Pro-Points,predictive analytics for housing, QL,QLX,Quiss,Qlikview, QueryView,Queryview reporting,Registered Providers,Registered Social Landlord,Rent Increase Freezes,Repairfinder,Reporting,Reports,ROCC,RobotAutomation,Rave Technologies (India) PVT Limited, Rocket,RPs,RSL,Reality,ReAct,reidmark,RM865, Saffron,SAP,Scots, "Social Housing IT",Social Housing ICT, Scottish,Scenario, Scotland,SDM,sector,TonySmithHou,Safron,Server Virtualisation,servicing, Servitor,Sharepoint, Simdel,Simdell,SimPro,Sim Pro,Slash and Burn,Social Media,Software,SQL Open Housing,SQL Reporting Services,SQL reporting services,SQL Server,Star rating,Stores and Stock,Strategic Asset Management,Sunguard ,Surveys,Sx3,System alignment,Symatrix Human Capital Management, TonySmithHousing, Systemwise,SM,Sequoa,Serros,SP,Scout,score,Swordfish,Serengeti,SOTI,southview,Sunguard,Service Charges,Spotlight Service, Spotlightservice, SunAccounts, Social Housing Software Applications, Template,Task,Terminal Services, tonys , tonysm , tonysmi , tonysmith, tonysmitht, gotonysmith, tableau Business Dashboards, tonysmithth, tonysmiththa, tonysmiththat, tonysmiththath, tonysmiththatho, tonysmiththathou, tonysmiththathous, tonysmiththathousi, tonysmiththathousin, tonysmiththathousing,Tony Smith That,Tony Smith That Housing IT Guy,TonySmith that housing IT, guy,tonysmiththathousing, tonysmiththathousinguy,tony smith housing guy,sharepoint, share point, SHBVN, Three Star,Today,Total repairs,Tribal,Twitter,U2, tonysmith , tonysmiththat , thathousing , thathousingIT , thathousingITguy, TED,Tagish Casework,TP Tracker,Telecetera,Tagra,Trace, Totalmobile, Total Mobile, UniClass Enterprise,Unidata,Universal Housing,Universalcredit, universal credit, universal credits,UC,Universe,Unrest, UK, United Kingdom ,Ukhousing,UK Housing, Van Stock,Voice and data,Vantage Sentinel,verse one,verseone,vWork,Version One,Visualmetrics,Valueworks,Voluntas, Wales,Welsh,Windows Server,Workflow and tasking,Wheatley,Works Connect,worksConnect, Xmbrace,XML ,XenApp,Xen App ..

Friday, 27 April 2018

Bullet in the head(less device)

If you do the Twitter thing, follow me at @HousingITguy
or LinkedIn here https://uk.linkedin.com/in/tonysmiththathousingitguy




Many of us are going headless, in a device sense anyway! But is it a good thing and is this headless thing secure? Well, the other week I got involved in reacting to a tweet about Amazon Echo, being introduced into a Care Home environment. Here it is below.

Click here to read the tweet and the discussion following.
https://twitter.com/ArthurDavisCrt/status/984765373319929857
No doubt about it, this is cool tech. Who would choose a Querty (or an Azerty pour la Franciais readers - merci!) keyboard over speaking your commands? Didn't Captain Kirk have one on the Enterprise, to rebel the Klingons, on the starboard bow? I think he did.

As at the end of 2017, it was estimated worldwide, over 20 million homes had a voice activated assistant. Most of these were from Amazon (73%), remainder from Google (27%). Amazons, comes ready primed to shop (as you would expect). You can easily disable this feature however.

Once the digital assistant is awake, it records what is said and sends that recording (over an encrypted connection) to the back end servers, where it’s stored. These devices are 'always listening'. These headless devices, posing as smart speakers are designed to be hubs that can control other Internet of Things (IoT) appliances in the home. This could be lights, thermostat, and door locks. This convenience creates some potential vulnerabilities.

Clearly just shouting 'open the front door', or 'disable the alarm', would make life very easy for burglars out there. So clearly not sensible applications perhaps, if you value your security.

Probably pre-storing your credit card info, passwords etc, in your headless digital assistant, is not so smart either. It might be convenient, but not so secure for thieves or maybe teenage family members, looking to make an impulse purchase.

So what are Amazon and the like doing about security?

Well in fairness, they disallow third party apps being installed on the device, in their own words, "instigate rigorous security reviews, secure software development requirements and encryption of communication between Echo, the Alexa App and Amazon servers".

So, what security tips are worth considering?

Well, link your headless device to a known home or work wifi connection. Avoid an open or public node. Use strong passwords and two-factor authentication (2FA) when available. Mute the device when you go away on holiday, so someone outside the house can’t shout commands to it. Be careful about which accounts you connect. If you don’t need to use the calendar or address book don’t enable these features.

On the plus side (and there's plenty on the plus side), these can be used very well to connect with IOT (Internet of Things) devices for all kinds of domestic and social care applications. Alexa flexibly allows 'skills' to be added, which may allow residents to access information or perform other tasks. E.G. Ask for their rent balance, request a landlord visit or other action. IOT can monitor usual activities, such as what sort of time residents first use the bathroom or switch on an IOT connected kettle for the morning brew, and alert care staff if this does not happen at a usual time.

While this would not necessarily replace qualified care staff coming in, on a regular basis, it might well complement it, or provide different choices for certain residents, who might prefer more privacy or more social interaction. I don't think it should be an all or nothing approach, residents are key to all this tech fitting together.

Related Post: Forget the ICT team, its your users who need to play to win, for your projects... 


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I would be pleased to connect with you on LinkedIn - http://uk.linkedin.com/in/tonysmiththathousingitguy Message me with any issues or queries, you would like to be explored in this blog. We generally receive a couple of suggestions each month.

Rage Against The Machine - Bullet In The HeadRage Against The Machine - Bullet In The Head.
(c) Tony Smith, Acutance Consulting www.acutanceconsulting.co.uk 07854-655009


Access a quick list of our Social Housing ICT blog posts here

Could we help you or your organisation? Our contact details are here , get in touch we will be pleased to chat about your problems and help with your organisation issues.

File Under: 360,1stTouch,4Js. , 07854655009 ,365Agile," """" ",,#UKHousing,#HousingDAY, #HomesForBritain,#InternetOfTenants, #Shout,1st Touch,3squared,Accuserv,Acutence,Aareon,Academy,ActiveH,AirWatch,Alignment,ALMO,Anite,Apex,ArchHouse,Archouse,asbestos, Asprey e-state pro,ActiveHousing,Asset Management,Aurora,Average IT Costs,App,Associates,ACL,Abritas,AMS,AX,aspireview,Agile365, BO,BPR,Browser Applications,Business Objects,Business Planning, Business Process Review,Business social networking, Blockwise, Block wise,BI,BancTec,BluTek,Bluebox, Castle,CBL,Cedar Open Accounts,Cx,Change,Cheaper Housing IT,Chics, CHR,Citrix,Civica,Clearview,CMS , CCS IT Keystone CCSIT,Civica Genero,Contractor Systems,CORE,CorVu,Cost Reductions,Covalent,CRM,Crystal Reports,CTI,CTX,Customer Relationship Management,Cashflow, COA,Coactiva,Codeman,Comino,Competitive Dialogue process,complex IT procurements,Component Accounting, Community Reward Services, Consilium, Consolidation, Consultancy,Consultant,Contact Manager,Context,CIH,Chartered Institute Of Housing,Cadcorp,Cerrus Saturn,convergeOne,CACI,CPL, CRS Director, Deeplake,Development Systems,Accuserve,Document Management,Documotive,datasystems , Microsoft dynamics GP 2013, DynamicAI, Dynamic AI, ECMK,EDRMS,England, English,EnterpriseBI,ERP Systems,ERP,Elmhurst,Estatecraft,EDM,ESRI,Exponential-e, Finance, Financial Systems, Financials, Factorwise,Facebook ,Footprint,Fusion, Getting best from,gotonysmith, Grasp,Grip,GeoSolveIT,GIS,GGP,Genero,GCloud,G-Cloud,HouSys,Housing software,HFI (Housing Financials interface),HG,Housemark survey,Housing Blueprint,Housemark,Housing Portfolio Management System, HRA,housingtITguy,Housing Support Pro,HousingSupportPro,Housing Options,Hometeam, Housing Group,hotpixuk, HousingIT,hotpix,Hardware,Hitex,Housing Contact Company,housing predictive analytics, Impact Response,iPayPro,implementations,iRobot,In House,InHouse,In4,InMotion, InMotion2016, InMotion2015, InMotion2016 , Exhibition, conference,Housing Management Consultant,Housing Management Consultants, Infoflow,Information Technology,Informix,inHouse,in-house workforce,Information@Work components, Innovation,Inside Housing,Internet Portal,Internetalia,Information Management Server,IMS, Invu,Ireland,Irish,Inphase , IT Budget,IT Training,iWorld, Innovation Group Apex,ITIL, In4Systems Promaster,IT,Insight, iSupport,iSupportPro, Keylogic,Keystone,Kirona,Kypera,Keypera Hometeam,Keyfax,Ledgers,Linkedin,Locality,Liquid Voice,MD ,Mr Void , MrVoid, Measuring Change,Mebus,Miracle,MISCS,mDesign,mobile functionality,mobile platform,Monopoly board images and pictures, Montal,MS Dynamics,MS Dynamics CRM2011,Miracle Software,MDM,Management,CRM2013,Reporting,MI,M3,MIS,MIS-AMS,Mobysoft, Northgate Codeman,Neighbourhoods and Communities,NPS,NPS Housing,NPS CRM,NPS Job Manager Mobile, Northgate,Notice,NROSH,NINTEX,NINTEX workflow,Natural Forms,Nintexworkflow,NPS ASSIST, OA,OGC Buying Solutions,Ohms,OJEU Limits,OmFax,Omniledger,Open source software,open tender,OpenHousing,Opti-time,Oracle,Orchard,Optitime DRS,Outsource and outsourcing,OpenContractor,ORS,OneServe, PIMMS Data Systems, Paloma,performance management systems,PfH, Pick,PIMMS,pimms4communities, Planned maintenance,People Value,Plus, Peoplevalue,Portfolio Management System, PM,Progress,Promaster,Proval,Pyramid,PRINCE2,prince,Pamwin,PlanForm, Propoints, Pro-Points,predictive analytics for housing, QL,QLX,Quiss,Qlikview, QueryView,Queryview reporting,Registered Providers,Registered Social Landlord,Rent Increase Freezes,Repairfinder,Reporting,Reports,ROCC,RobotAutomation,Rave Technologies (India) PVT Limited, Rocket,RPs,RSL,Reality,ReAct,reidmark,RM865, Saffron,SAP,Scots, "Social Housing IT",Social Housing ICT, Scottish,Scenario, Scotland,SDM,sector,TonySmithHou,Safron,Server Virtualisation,servicing, Servitor,Sharepoint, Simdel,Simdell,SimPro,Sim Pro,Slash and Burn,Social Media,Software,SQL Open Housing,SQL Reporting Services,SQL reporting services,SQL Server,Star rating,Stores and Stock,Strategic Asset Management,Sunguard ,Surveys,Sx3,System alignment,Symatrix Human Capital Management, TonySmithHousing, Systemwise,SM,Sequoa,Serros,SP,Scout,score,Swordfish,Serengeti,SOTI,southview,Sunguard,Service Charges,Spotlight Service, Spotlightservice, SunAccounts, Social Housing Software Applications, Template,Task,Terminal Services, tonys , tonysm , tonysmi , tonysmith, tonysmitht, gotonysmith, tableau Business Dashboards, tonysmithth, tonysmiththa, tonysmiththat, tonysmiththath, tonysmiththatho, tonysmiththathou, tonysmiththathous, tonysmiththathousi, tonysmiththathousin, tonysmiththathousing,Tony Smith That,Tony Smith That Housing IT Guy,TonySmith that housing IT, guy,tonysmiththathousing, tonysmiththathousinguy,tony smith housing guy,sharepoint, share point, SHBVN, Three Star,Today,Total repairs,Tribal,Twitter,U2, tonysmith , tonysmiththat , thathousing , thathousingIT , thathousingITguy, TED,Tagish Casework,TP Tracker,Telecetera,Tagra,Trace, Totalmobile, Total Mobile, UniClass Enterprise,Unidata,Universal Housing,Universalcredit, universal credit, universal credits,UC,Universe,Unrest, UK, United Kingdom ,Ukhousing,UK Housing, Van Stock,Voice and data,Vantage Sentinel,verse one,verseone,vWork,Version One,Visualmetrics,Valueworks,Voluntas, Wales,Welsh,Windows Server,Workflow and tasking,Wheatley,Works Connect,worksConnect, Xmbrace,XML ,XenApp,Xen App ..

Sunday, 22 April 2018

For The Want Of A Nail

If you do the Twitter thing, follow me at @HousingITguy
or LinkedIn here https://uk.linkedin.com/in/tonysmiththathousingitguy



Predictive analytics look to me to becoming Social Housing's next 'Self-serve' or 'staff mobile working'. The latter pretty much now being rolled out by pretty much all forward thinking landlords. I have recently written a whitepaper on predictive analytics for arrears case management. Definitely one area which I would take a proven solution off the shelf.

But how should you go about building a model yourself, for other purposes? What might be the gotcha's that are worth thinking about?

Well the first one for me would be focus carefully on your end-game. As I have heard it described quite well, by one data scientist friend, don't build yourself a rather elaborate hammer, then go looking for your nail. Predictive Analytics is a current buzzword, much like 'Digital Strategy' was until recently. At least most organisations understand what the latter practically means now. Before setting out, know what most of your outcomes are going to be.

Next, when you have some outcomes in mind, check your available data supports it. Easier when you start with a well integrated set of systems. Do get in touch with me directly if you still haven't cracked that one. Never try to structure a project around data you just don't have. Ask that crucial question before you start. Where specific data is missing, there may be the opportunity to generate it or collect it specially. You might want to target a particular sub-set of residents/customers, to have reliable data to utilise.

Data quality is the next gotcha. Assume a good deal of your data will be of poor quality. That need not hold you back. Many projects have been delayed until data is thought to be 100% correct. Believe me, you won't have 3 years or more to get to that point. I would urge you to cautiously work with what you have and enforce a data culture to constantly improve it, in parallel to any predictive analytics project.

Assume too, that you will find even more poor data, as you build models & work with it. I have lost count of the number of tenancies & works order requests, with end dates before start dates etc. If your data cannot be corrected, filter it right out, lest it skew models.

One example I heard about, management were too bullish about the apparent good quality of data. After being advised that data cleansing was required in the project, this was dismissed to shorted timescales, against the advice of consultants. Later when poor data quality was revealed, and more time needed to be added to extend the project, to achieve outcomes, it became a credibility issue for the director involved. Don't be caught out by too much good news, hiding the bad.

Finally, when your lovely shiny predictive analytics model is built, ensure you have planned a proper deployment phase. It is not enough that you have 'built it and so they will come'. Work out how you are going to tell the wider organisation what your model can do and seed their imagination as to how they can apply it to their own department issues and decision making. Find out what their particular nail will be, to which they can apply your new shiny hammer.

I promise, soon I will post on what typical calculations for SocialHousing, might work for us, and how this might affect process.

Related Post: Sick of your housing management system? Why not write your own?  


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I would be pleased to connect with you on LinkedIn - http://uk.linkedin.com/in/tonysmiththathousingitguy Message me with any issues or queries, you would like to be explored in this blog. We generally receive a couple of suggestions each month.

Todd Rundgren – For The Want Of A NailTodd Rundgren – For The Want Of A Nail.
(c) Tony Smith, Acutance Consulting www.acutanceconsulting.co.uk 07854-655009


Access a quick list of our Social Housing ICT blog posts here

Could we help you or your organisation? Our contact details are here , get in touch we will be pleased to chat about your problems and help with your organisation issues.

File Under: 360,1stTouch,4Js. , 07854655009 ,365Agile," """" ",,#UKHousing,#HousingDAY, #HomesForBritain,#InternetOfTenants, #Shout,1st Touch,3squared,Accuserv,Acutence,Aareon,Academy,ActiveH,AirWatch,Alignment,ALMO,Anite,Apex,ArchHouse,Archouse,asbestos, Asprey e-state pro,ActiveHousing,Asset Management,Aurora,Average IT Costs,App,Associates,ACL,Abritas,AMS,AX,aspireview,Agile365, BO,BPR,Browser Applications,Business Objects,Business Planning, Business Process Review,Business social networking, Blockwise, Block wise,BI,BancTec,BluTek,Bluebox, Castle,CBL,Cedar Open Accounts,Cx,Change,Cheaper Housing IT,Chics, CHR,Citrix,Civica,Clearview,CMS , CCS IT Keystone CCSIT,Civica Genero,Contractor Systems,CORE,CorVu,Cost Reductions,Covalent,CRM,Crystal Reports,CTI,CTX,Customer Relationship Management,Cashflow, COA,Coactiva,Codeman,Comino,Competitive Dialogue process,complex IT procurements,Component Accounting, Community Reward Services, Consilium, Consolidation, Consultancy,Consultant,Contact Manager,Context,CIH,Chartered Institute Of Housing,Cadcorp,Cerrus Saturn,convergeOne,CACI,CPL, CRS Director, Deeplake,Development Systems,Accuserve,Document Management,Documotive,datasystems , Microsoft dynamics GP 2013, DynamicAI, Dynamic AI, ECMK,EDRMS,England, English,EnterpriseBI,ERP Systems,ERP,Elmhurst,Estatecraft,EDM,ESRI,Exponential-e, Finance, Financial Systems, Financials, Factorwise,Facebook ,Footprint,Fusion, Getting best from,gotonysmith, Grasp,Grip,GeoSolveIT,GIS,GGP,Genero,GCloud,G-Cloud,HouSys,Housing software,HFI (Housing Financials interface),HG,Housemark survey,Housing Blueprint,Housemark,Housing Portfolio Management System, HRA,housingtITguy,Housing Support Pro,HousingSupportPro,Housing Options,Hometeam, Housing Group,hotpixuk, HousingIT,hotpix,Hardware,Hitex,Housing Contact Company,housing predictive analytics, Impact Response,iPayPro,implementations,iRobot,In House,InHouse,In4,InMotion, InMotion2016, InMotion2015, InMotion2016 , Exhibition, conference,Housing Management Consultant,Housing Management Consultants, Infoflow,Information Technology,Informix,inHouse,in-house workforce,Information@Work components, Innovation,Inside Housing,Internet Portal,Internetalia,Information Management Server,IMS, Invu,Ireland,Irish,Inphase , IT Budget,IT Training,iWorld, Innovation Group Apex,ITIL, In4Systems Promaster,IT,Insight, iSupport,iSupportPro, Keylogic,Keystone,Kirona,Kypera,Keypera Hometeam,Keyfax,Ledgers,Linkedin,Locality,Liquid Voice,MD ,Mr Void , MrVoid, Measuring Change,Mebus,Miracle,MISCS,mDesign,mobile functionality,mobile platform,Monopoly board images and pictures, Montal,MS Dynamics,MS Dynamics CRM2011,Miracle Software,MDM,Management,CRM2013,Reporting,MI,M3,MIS,MIS-AMS,Mobysoft, Northgate Codeman,Neighbourhoods and Communities,NPS,NPS Housing,NPS CRM,NPS Job Manager Mobile, Northgate,Notice,NROSH,NINTEX,NINTEX workflow,Natural Forms,Nintexworkflow,NPS ASSIST, OA,OGC Buying Solutions,Ohms,OJEU Limits,OmFax,Omniledger,Open source software,open tender,OpenHousing,Opti-time,Oracle,Orchard,Optitime DRS,Outsource and outsourcing,OpenContractor,ORS,OneServe, PIMMS Data Systems, Paloma,performance management systems,PfH, Pick,PIMMS,pimms4communities, Planned maintenance,People Value,Plus, Peoplevalue,Portfolio Management System, PM,Progress,Promaster,Proval,Pyramid,PRINCE2,prince,Pamwin,PlanForm, Propoints, Pro-Points,predictive analytics for housing, QL,QLX,Quiss,Qlikview, QueryView,Queryview reporting,Registered Providers,Registered Social Landlord,Rent Increase Freezes,Repairfinder,Reporting,Reports,ROCC,RobotAutomation,Rave Technologies (India) PVT Limited, Rocket,RPs,RSL,Reality,ReAct,reidmark,RM865, Saffron,SAP,Scots, "Social Housing IT",Social Housing ICT, Scottish,Scenario, Scotland,SDM,sector,TonySmithHou,Safron,Server Virtualisation,servicing, Servitor,Sharepoint, Simdel,Simdell,SimPro,Sim Pro,Slash and Burn,Social Media,Software,SQL Open Housing,SQL Reporting Services,SQL reporting services,SQL Server,Star rating,Stores and Stock,Strategic Asset Management,Sunguard ,Surveys,Sx3,System alignment,Symatrix Human Capital Management, TonySmithHousing, Systemwise,SM,Sequoa,Serros,SP,Scout,score,Swordfish,Serengeti,SOTI,southview,Sunguard,Service Charges,Spotlight Service, Spotlightservice, SunAccounts, Social Housing Software Applications, Template,Task,Terminal Services, tonys , tonysm , tonysmi , tonysmith, tonysmitht, gotonysmith, tableau Business Dashboards, tonysmithth, tonysmiththa, tonysmiththat, tonysmiththath, tonysmiththatho, tonysmiththathou, tonysmiththathous, tonysmiththathousi, tonysmiththathousin, tonysmiththathousing,Tony Smith That,Tony Smith That Housing IT Guy,TonySmith that housing IT, guy,tonysmiththathousing, tonysmiththathousinguy,tony smith housing guy,sharepoint, share point, SHBVN, Three Star,Today,Total repairs,Tribal,Twitter,U2, tonysmith , tonysmiththat , thathousing , thathousingIT , thathousingITguy, TED,Tagish Casework,TP Tracker,Telecetera,Tagra,Trace, Totalmobile, Total Mobile, UniClass Enterprise,Unidata,Universal Housing,Universalcredit, universal credit, universal credits,UC,Universe,Unrest, UK, United Kingdom ,Ukhousing,UK Housing, Van Stock,Voice and data,Vantage Sentinel,verse one,verseone,vWork,Version One,Visualmetrics,Valueworks,Voluntas, Wales,Welsh,Windows Server,Workflow and tasking,Wheatley,Works Connect,worksConnect, Xmbrace,XML ,XenApp,Xen App ..

Sunday, 15 April 2018

Blue lines

If you do the Twitter thing, follow me at @HousingITguy
or LinkedIn here https://uk.linkedin.com/in/tonysmiththathousingitguy


It was interesting to read this week that I have been identified as the biggest blue blob in #ukhousing. I was not surprised, as Greg Campbell, of Campbell Tickell, had outed me at last June's CIH, as a big pink social media blob (on his big line chart anyway!). A move to blue therefore was pretty much welcomed!


Many will know, that I have been active on LinkedIn & Twitter for about as many years as I have worked doing independent consultancy and that provides some additional freedoms perhaps I would not have being a mere employee. On starting out, I wondered what I might gain or learn from Twitter, when I just started out for the first month, with just 11 followers. It took me a while to work out what use socialmedia was and if it was in fact any use to me at all.

I am pleased to say I have connected with a vast number of people (& a few bots too!), covering inside the sector, CEOs, staff, residents & activists, architects and surprisingly the smallest number, ICT & techie folk, considering the type of content I blog about on here.

Never a day goes by, without me learning something, finding something witty or contemplative to appreciate, on social media. I have to say too, when I have met folk in real life, they have always been generous, interesting as their online avatars, maybe a few years older perhaps, in some cases!

It always amazes me too, how many new projects I start, that at the inception meetings, at least one person comes over to me, to say they enjoy following me on Twitter. Also that (apart from my reading glasses), I look pretty similar to my avatar.
Meeting Twitter & social media peeps in real life can be pretty cool
Companies often miss the point of Twitter in particular, in trying to be very corporate, rather than personal. On the occasions when my clients have brought me in to help enhance their Twitter profiles, this is something I have tried to get over to them.

If I see anything that I think is interesting, from an opinion or a news viewpoint, I am open to share. That might well align with my views, the sector or its customers, or not. Getting opinions & news out there however, is part of driving change in the sector, hearts, minds and action on the ground.

One other trick is to seek out some people constantly posting interesting content. Start with me (Natch!), but there are plenty of others that will make interesting reading.  A swift 'like' or 'retweet' is good, but adding your own opinion, so much better. Even if on occasion you may disagree or have an opposite experience to share. It all adds to the vibrancy of social media. Remember too that you can always switch off & walk away before your blood starts to boil!
My big blue #UKhousing blob - cute eh?
Also, one aspect of being more personal than corporate on Twitter in particular, I have shared feelings with so many others, on favourite pubs, bike rides, photography, food, wine & drink, music, interesting books & places, openings & insights to which I would never have had or experienced. So thank you to every single one of my 17k or so followers, let's keep sharing and doing our best to make UKHousing a better, happier place.

Read the full excellent article, about listening to your stakeholders, on social media, from Ben Lowndes of the Social Communications blog right here.

Related Post: Should we be thinking 'Channel Shift' or 'Omnichannel' ? 



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I would be pleased to connect with you on LinkedIn - http://uk.linkedin.com/in/tonysmiththathousingitguy Message me with any issues or queries, you would like to be explored in this blog. We generally receive a couple of suggestions each month.

Massive Attack - Blue LinesMassive Attack - Blue Lines.
(c) Tony Smith, Acutance Consulting www.acutanceconsulting.co.uk 07854-655009


Access a quick list of our Social Housing ICT blog posts here

Could we help you or your organisation? Our contact details are here , get in touch we will be pleased to chat about your problems and help with your organisation issues.

File Under: 360,1stTouch,4Js. , 07854655009 ,365Agile," """" ",,#UKHousing,#HousingDAY, #HomesForBritain,#InternetOfTenants, #Shout,1st Touch,3squared,Accuserv,Acutence,Aareon,Academy,ActiveH,AirWatch,Alignment,ALMO,Anite,Apex,ArchHouse,Archouse,asbestos, Asprey e-state pro,ActiveHousing,Asset Management,Aurora,Average IT Costs,App,Associates,ACL,Abritas,AMS,AX,aspireview,Agile365, BO,BPR,Browser Applications,Business Objects,Business Planning, Business Process Review,Business social networking, Blockwise, Block wise,BI,BancTec,BluTek,Bluebox, Castle,CBL,Cedar Open Accounts,Cx,Change,Cheaper Housing IT,Chics, CHR,Citrix,Civica,Clearview,CMS , CCS IT Keystone CCSIT,Civica Genero,Contractor Systems,CORE,CorVu,Cost Reductions,Covalent,CRM,Crystal Reports,CTI,CTX,Customer Relationship Management,Cashflow, COA,Coactiva,Codeman,Comino,Competitive Dialogue process,complex IT procurements,Component Accounting, Community Reward Services, Consilium, Consolidation, Consultancy,Consultant,Contact Manager,Context,CIH,Chartered Institute Of Housing,Cadcorp,Cerrus Saturn,convergeOne,CACI,CPL, CRS Director, Deeplake,Development Systems,Accuserve,Document Management,Documotive,datasystems , Microsoft dynamics GP 2013, DynamicAI, Dynamic AI, ECMK,EDRMS,England, English,EnterpriseBI,ERP Systems,ERP,Elmhurst,Estatecraft,EDM,ESRI,Exponential-e, Finance, Financial Systems, Financials, Factorwise,Facebook ,Footprint,Fusion, Getting best from,gotonysmith, Grasp,Grip,GeoSolveIT,GIS,GGP,Genero,GCloud,G-Cloud,HouSys,Housing software,HFI (Housing Financials interface),HG,Housemark survey,Housing Blueprint,Housemark,Housing Portfolio Management System, HRA,housingtITguy,Housing Support Pro,HousingSupportPro,Housing Options,Hometeam, Housing Group,hotpixuk, HousingIT,hotpix,Hardware,Hitex,Housing Contact Company,housing predictive analytics, Impact Response,iPayPro,implementations,iRobot,In House,InHouse,In4,InMotion, InMotion2016, InMotion2015, InMotion2016 , Exhibition, conference,Housing Management Consultant,Housing Management Consultants, Infoflow,Information Technology,Informix,inHouse,in-house workforce,Information@Work components, Innovation,Inside Housing,Internet Portal,Internetalia,Information Management Server,IMS, Invu,Ireland,Irish,Inphase , IT Budget,IT Training,iWorld, Innovation Group Apex,ITIL, In4Systems Promaster,IT,Insight, iSupport,iSupportPro, Keylogic,Keystone,Kirona,Kypera,Keypera Hometeam,Keyfax,Ledgers,Linkedin,Locality,Liquid Voice,MD ,Mr Void , MrVoid, Measuring Change,Mebus,Miracle,MISCS,mDesign,mobile functionality,mobile platform,Monopoly board images and pictures, Montal,MS Dynamics,MS Dynamics CRM2011,Miracle Software,MDM,Management,CRM2013,Reporting,MI,M3,MIS,MIS-AMS,Mobysoft, Northgate Codeman,Neighbourhoods and Communities,NPS,NPS Housing,NPS CRM,NPS Job Manager Mobile, Northgate,Notice,NROSH,NINTEX,NINTEX workflow,Natural Forms,Nintexworkflow,NPS ASSIST, OA,OGC Buying Solutions,Ohms,OJEU Limits,OmFax,Omniledger,Open source software,open tender,OpenHousing,Opti-time,Oracle,Orchard,Optitime DRS,Outsource and outsourcing,OpenContractor,ORS,OneServe, PIMMS Data Systems, Paloma,performance management systems,PfH, Pick,PIMMS,pimms4communities, Planned maintenance,People Value,Plus, Peoplevalue,Portfolio Management System, PM,Progress,Promaster,Proval,Pyramid,PRINCE2,prince,Pamwin,PlanForm, Propoints, Pro-Points,predictive analytics for housing, QL,QLX,Quiss,Qlikview, QueryView,Queryview reporting,Registered Providers,Registered Social Landlord,Rent Increase Freezes,Repairfinder,Reporting,Reports,ROCC,RobotAutomation,Rave Technologies (India) PVT Limited, Rocket,RPs,RSL,Reality,ReAct,reidmark,RM865, Saffron,SAP,Scots, "Social Housing IT",Social Housing ICT, Scottish,Scenario, Scotland,SDM,sector,TonySmithHou,Safron,Server Virtualisation,servicing, Servitor,Sharepoint, Simdel,Simdell,SimPro,Sim Pro,Slash and Burn,Social Media,Software,SQL Open Housing,SQL Reporting Services,SQL reporting services,SQL Server,Star rating,Stores and Stock,Strategic Asset Management,Sunguard ,Surveys,Sx3,System alignment,Symatrix Human Capital Management, TonySmithHousing, Systemwise,SM,Sequoa,Serros,SP,Scout,score,Swordfish,Serengeti,SOTI,southview,Sunguard,Service Charges,Spotlight Service, Spotlightservice, SunAccounts, Social Housing Software Applications, Template,Task,Terminal Services, tonys , tonysm , tonysmi , tonysmith, tonysmitht, gotonysmith, tableau Business Dashboards, tonysmithth, tonysmiththa, tonysmiththat, tonysmiththath, tonysmiththatho, tonysmiththathou, tonysmiththathous, tonysmiththathousi, tonysmiththathousin, tonysmiththathousing,Tony Smith That,Tony Smith That Housing IT Guy,TonySmith that housing IT, guy,tonysmiththathousing, tonysmiththathousinguy,tony smith housing guy,sharepoint, share point, SHBVN, Three Star,Today,Total repairs,Tribal,Twitter,U2, tonysmith , tonysmiththat , thathousing , thathousingIT , thathousingITguy, TED,Tagish Casework,TP Tracker,Telecetera,Tagra,Trace, Totalmobile, Total Mobile, UniClass Enterprise,Unidata,Universal Housing,Universalcredit, universal credit, universal credits,UC,Universe,Unrest, UK, United Kingdom ,Ukhousing,UK Housing, Van Stock,Voice and data,Vantage Sentinel,verse one,verseone,vWork,Version One,Visualmetrics,Valueworks,Voluntas, Wales,Welsh,Windows Server,Workflow and tasking,Wheatley,Works Connect,worksConnect, Xmbrace,XML ,XenApp,Xen App ..