Assets, IDA and data

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mark_sweenyThis year has seen the invention, in many guises, of the much-vaunted Assets and Liabilities registers.

Post-Cosmopolitan (and hopefully that will be the last time I ever use that phrase) these became the way that an organisation could ensure that they had easy access to all of the data that would be necessary should the worst happen. It should also prove extremely useful for strategic decision making, compliance and a number of other purposes but primarily – quick access to robust data should the proverbial hit the fan. Simple…

However, the compilation of multiple data sources (database systems, access databases, excel spreadsheets et al) into one large meaningful dataset was never going to be an easy task, particularly when those sources were designed for discrete functions; depreciation, development management, repairs, asset management, legal compliance and so on. Thus the first generation of registers have been, to a large degree, a reasonably successful exercise in collation and compilation.

They have been successful in the sense of they have produced a single view of the data, but there are other criteria derived from the regulatory framework which are now only just being tested as the IDA programme starts to roll out. In particular, how many boards would assert that they are in genuine ownership of the register and can demonstrate that it is ‘regularly reconciled’ and ‘reconcilable’?

Our view is that the next generation of registers will start to look like proper information management systems in their own right with far better analysis and reporting tools as part of a proper business intelligence solution. The question is whether the regulator will have the patience, seeing as they are supposed to be there now.

And finally, in case anybody thought that I had gone off the boil – this all assumes that the base data is correct and has a strong data governance wrapper on it!

Mark Sweeny will be talking, assets, data and risk at the Altair and Northern Housing Consortium’s ‘Managing your asset portfolio conference on 23rd February 2016.

For more information contact Mark Sweeny, Senior Consultant on 07887 512165 | mark.sweeny@nullaltairltd.co.uk