Here’s what people have been saying about Community Insight (UK).
“B3Living is a dynamic Housing Association that operates in the heart of its Community here in Hertford and the key to our success is knowing our communities. The community insight tool has enabled us to extend on ours and others knowledge of our communities with the most up to date information at the click of a mouse.
- A snap shot of the benefits that we have found from the tool are:
- Evidence to support grant applications, there has always been positive feed-back regarding the quality and detail within the reports generated.
- Helps us understand the profile of a community prior to commencing new developments.
- Allowed us to replace anecdotal evidence with fact.
- Supporting us in measuring our Social Impact.
- Encourages our residents to adopt a wider understanding of their communities by use of the easy interactive mapping tool with inviting graphics.
- We support many community and volunteer groups and the reports we provide them have played a key role in them obtaining funding.
- Saved many hours of staff time that could so easily have been wasted searching through an online minefield of data, much of which is often out of date.
- Helps support a culture of value for money as we are able to use resources most effectivly
We have been using the Community Insight Tool from HACT for about a year and every week we find further uses for its application, it truly is the Swiss army Knife of community mapping.”
“Isos has been using the community insight tool for 12 months now and it is rapidly becoming a vital tool in supporting and delivering the vision set out in our Community Investment Strategy . We find the tool invaluable in working with key partners to develop projects both internally and externally. We use the tool in an innovative way drilling down to the themes that effect communities this is an excellent way to make sure our projects meet the needs of the area especially where resident engagement is low.”
Richard Mitchell, Community Investment Manager, Isos
“Here at Knightstone, Community Insight has become the primary tool for understanding the communities our residents live in. When HACT approached us to pilot the tool, we were creating a whole new Community Empowerment team and re-mapping our neighbourhoods. We looked at introducing Geographical Information Systems (GIS) but could not justify the cost and resources required to implement and run an internal GIS system.
Just over one year on, we have a system which meets all our requirements and provides outstanding Value For Money. The continuing development of new features within the tool will only strengthen Community Insight’s value to Knightstone.
Snapshot of what we use Community Insight for:
- Maps of our stock types allow new staff to quickly understand their patches and explore how our 350+ neighbourhoods relate to each other
- It provides detailed 50 page reports which we can share with our Partners
- Neighbourhood Dashboards engage residents to explore where they live, debate the issues and create plans to achieve what matters to them in their communities
- Spatial Analysis allows us to target services and events to the right areas – the neighbourhoods with the highest level of need or areas with high levels of stock concentration
- Draw new stock groups which align to Funding Partners priority neighbourhoods. We can then create customer demographics on all our residents who live in that neighbourhood to support our funding applications.
- The tool allows us to monitor low level nuisance in our neighbourhoods on both a monthly and annual trend analysis basis using data from www.Police.uk
One of the great things about the tool is both HACT and OCSI’s commitment to continue to develop the tool, adding fantastic new features which have been driven by users’ feedback.
Data is the raw material of the 21st Century and Community Insight provides a mine of information specific to the needs of the housing sector!”
Intelligence and Impact Officer, Knightstone Housing
“Sovereign purchased Community Insight to give us a broader view of our communities, enabling us to focus our resources on priority areas.
Since its purchase late last year, interest has been shown by a number of departments at Sovereign, in the reports that Community Insight can produce and the mapping of potential ‘hotspots’. So far:
- Our Development Team have used a Community Insight profile report on a Local Authority district to supplement its application to that Local Authority for Preferred Partner Status, providing the council with a succinct report on the district that, previously, may have been provided by the Council’s Research team to potential bidders!
- Regional Housing Managers have used the reporting function to provide key facts to local councillors in support of controversial regeneration proposals;
- Our Asset Development team are considering using Community Insight to provide them with a ‘social/political’ angle to their NPV (net Present value) model of asset management – to provide the reality to the economics around whether we retain, upgrade or dispose of housing assets;
- The New Homes Advisors have used Community Insight reports as part of the development scrutiny process to help decide whether development sites are worthwhile pursuing; and
- Housing Managers are using the mapping in Community Insight to support our internal priority neighbourhoods’ matrix views of our priority areas for work in the coming year, focusing neighbourhood event targets in housing officers’ work plans.
All this is in addition to its intended use by the Community Investment team to target priority areas for Community Investment work!”
Social Impact Analyst, Sovereign.
“L&Q provides specialist debt advice to its tenants via Pound Advice contracts with 8 Citizens Advice Bureaux across London. The project is so successful that L&Q is looking to extend coverage.
Enfield Borough was initially identified as it houses a high number of L&Q residents but when Community Insight was used it was revealed the majority of these residents actually live within easy access of Tottenham, where an existing Pound Advice partner has a bureau and capacity to deal with more referrals.
Instead, Pound Advice is being developed in South Bucks, where Community Insight highlighted large numbers of tenants with little access to specialist debt advice. Using Community Insight L&Q has been able to target services more accurately, avoid duplication and deliver better value for money.”
Financial Inclusion Programme Officer, Community Investment, L&Q Housing Trust.
“Newydd Housing Association purchased Community Insight principally to try to address the Welsh Assembly Delivery Outcomes in respect of fairness in lettings. The Association was trying to use available data to demonstrate equality in lettings against its own lettings data. However, the publicly available data tended to be limited to areas such as full Local Authority, which was problematical in areas such as the Vale of Glamorgan which is a local authority which is principally a rural, affluent area with pockets of high deprivation. As Newydd tended to be principally letting within the areas of deprivation, the figures were skewed and could not be relied upon to assist with the fairness in letting assessment.
There have been a number of other benefits in Newydd’s use of Community Insight:
- It is used by one of our tenants groups who are looking at the stigma of social housing – the system debunks a number of myths around the deprivation (and reinforces others!)
- It is used in conjunction with Newydd’s tenant insight information to identify hotspots and improve the services provided
- It is used by our Community Partnership team to focus their activities and strategic direction in improving the lives of tenants. One example of this was in one area where unemployment was a big issue – the team were focussing on job clubs and other initiatives to address the issue, but Community Insight’s access data demonstrated that over 50% of residents in the area did not have access to a car. Further investigated highlighted that the bus service stopped at 6pm which meant that one of the main reasons for worklessness in the area was actually transport and access, rather than application form and interview skills!
One other interesting point – we initially struggled to get other staff, tenants and Board Members as excited about the Community Insight and its uses, until we asked them to look on the system at their own neighbourhood in respect of crime, life expectancy and health. Suddenly the usage across the whole organisation has shot up..!
The information provided by Community Insight is invaluable and is clearly improving the service delivered by Newydd Housing Association.”
Housing Director, Newydd Housing Association