Using data to shape change

Issy Taylor, Group Head of Strategy and Business Development at One Manchester, outlines how they are using data to drive positive change within the organisation and for their customers.

One Manchester is a provider of housing and community services, offering support to people in all stages of life and circumstance. We own and manage more than 12,000 homes in central, south and east Manchester. As a housing association with an interest in improving the places in which we operate, how can we best invest and use our resources to make lasting change? How can we deliver services so they not only meet the needs of our tenants, but improve the local area? These are some of the questions we are seeking to address through our new approach to place-based working.

The place race

Place is the leading strategy among our key strategies (see box below: One Manchester’s seven strategic aims). We have established Our Place approach across our areas, but are now looking at how we make this real. How can the whole organisation embrace the Place agenda to inform our future service delivery, partnerships and investment choices? In order to do this, we are in the process of devising a ‘Big Picture’ of Place. This combines internal service and demand information with external data, local insight and influences. Our Place ‘Big Picture’ will provide an evidence base for investment, delivery and partnership choices that will have the greatest, most sustainable impact in our communities.

This approach will help us understand some of the wider issues affecting our places, as well as providing a more granular sense of neighbourhoods and estates through the use of layered data and heat maps. This information will, in turn, give us insight into the differing needs and activities in each of our place areas and identify evidence-based plans for tailored activity and investment in each (individually or agglomerated),

Box 1: One Manchester’s seven strategic aims
 1. Strategic positioning: One Manchester and customers to contribute to the city’s growth and success.

 2. Transforming services: deliver modern and efficient services.

 3. Place: invest in neighbourhoods to help them grow and thrive.

 4. Social innovation and partnership.

 5. Growth: provide good-quality, affordable homes to rent or buy.

 6. Organisational capacity: maximise in order to deliver promises.

 7. Financial resilience: maximise and protect incomes.

Down to business

We are also undertaking analysis to ascertain the contribution to Place made across our organisation, including our spend with suppliers, investment activity and funding. This includes an economic analysis of how our employees spend their money and the impact on the local area. Together, this will form our financial contribution to Place. One Manchester has invested in and enjoys a good relationship with many of our community groups.

We fund, deliver and partner across our areas to make a difference, however we are not always certain of the impact we are making with our funding and resources. Taking this approach will help us to measure what matters to our customers and communities and ensure we are delivering value for money.

Key indicators

We are in the early stages of determining the indicators within our places that will tell us how a Place is performing and how we deploy our resources and align with other organisations. We know this is an iterative process and it will evolve as our approach matures.

Ultimately, we aim to find out what works, focusing on the vital few key indicators, as well as valuable insight gained through our local communities. The point of the exercise is to make decisions informed by data and to use data to understand the subsequent impact. Focusing on creating the Place big picture will inform and shape our future strategy and enable One Manchester to make informed decisions about partnerships, targeted service delivery and strategic choices.

To discuss this article, contact Jon Slade :

This article is also featured in CT Brief, Issue 47 – Transformation edition

Campbell Tickell is an established multi-disciplinary management and recruitment consultancy, operating across the UK and Ireland, focusing on the housing, social care, local government, sport, leisure, charity and voluntary sectors.

We are a values-based business and firmly place the positioning of our support and challenge on helping organisations to attain change that is well thought through, planned and sustainable. At CT, we want to help organisations create the landscape within which we ourselves would like to exist: fair, inclusive, diverse, engaged and transparent. We build from our values in how we approach all our work as a practice.

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