In these uncertain times we need some predictive intelligence

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These are uncertain times for sure, writes Peter Lunio of Insight with Purpose, but with a bit of predictive intelligence social landlords get a better sense of the risks ahead

IT feels like whichever way we turn right now we’re surrounded by uncertainty.

In the UK it’s impossible to escape Brexit, with so much uncertainty even this week about the economic consequences never mind the political uncertainty.

Whilst overseas, the ongoing trade war between US-China continues to create doubt in the global markets, and we continue to see a populist tide sweeping over Europe and America.

By some degree, we see that the current degree of economic/political policy uncertainty is at an unprecedented level compared to recent history.

Whilst social housing is often accused of living in a bubble, we too are not immune from uncertainty. The debate is ongoing about the long-term impact of Brexit, welfare reform, government housing policy to name but a few issues that the sector is dealing with.

Uncertain times call for steady heads and a long-term outlook. As board/executives we must strive to instil a level of stability to guide our organisations through choppy waters.

If you look at our recent analysis on Value for Money (VfM) using our IwP VfM Tracker. We highlighted that the long-term performance gap between the different size associations was 25%, and we predicted that this was going to widen to 33% by 2020. With the biggest rate of improvement being delivered by the associations in the 10k-20k group.

Insight with Purpose

Our VfM ratings model has identified eight northern housing associations who we rate as being part of our elite platinum group. If you would like to know how we rate your association drop me an email to

Such predictive intelligence allows us to understand our risk, future performance gaps and enables us to get ahead of the future planning process. It can help to take the emotion out of the room when making tough decisions.

For example, our analysis shows associations that are large and small are predicted have potentially long-term VfM performance issues that need to be addressed. Long-term trends can change of course – even the smoothest roads still have the odd speed bump along the way. But a probabilistic approach is better than just taking the current context and assuming a steady state of return.

In an unpredictable sector in an unpredictable world, IwP long-term projections can provide a bit of certainty in an uncertain world.


Peter Lunio is director of social housing predictive analytics consultancy Insight with Purpose


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