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Published: 22 April 2016

Big Data project led by Sustainable Homes, part of Hastoe Housing Group and the University of Surrey, gets go ahead from Innovate UK

• Government Innovation Agency Awarded Knowledge Transfer Partnership with University of Surrey
• Big Data tool could help those building new homes and those maintaining homes to make better business decisions

The government’s innovation agency, Innovate UK has awarded Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) funding to help develop an analytical tool that will help social landlords harness ‘big data’ for decision making. The tool will use data from multiple sources, such as build and land costs, housing need and market rates to enable decisions on where and what type of homes to build. 

The KTP project, in partnership with the University of Surrey, will develop predictive, algorithms-based software that can harness the potential of big data. It will also seek out efficiencies in maintenance and repairs programmes and could even predict when faults are likely to happen.

Andrew Eagles, managing director of Sustainable Homes said:

“We want to help the sector use the power of big data to really get under the skin of where efficiencies can happen in the management of stock. We are working with Innovate UK and Hastoe to fine tune a model that can then be used to help others identify potential savings in their businesses.”

Many efficiencies that are being targeted not only save money but help cut emissions – such as a reduction in van miles that repair teams will have to travel if more visits are planned and fewer ‘reactive’.

Professor Eugene Sadler-Smith from the University of Surrey said:

The University of Surrey is absolutely delighted to be working with Hastoe and Sustainable Homes on this project which is at the cutting-edge of management decision-making research and real-world practice.  An exponential increase in the volume of data that companies are now able to access has the potential to revolutionise organisational decision-making processes both at the operational and strategic levels.  Through this project we will work collaboratively with Sustainable Homes to transform information into management insights and then into impactful business decisions.

The long term vision is to develop the tool into other markets – such as affordable housing in Europe as well as private landlords managing significant numbers of homes in the UK.

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