The organizations that need the ability to gather and analyze relevant data span a wide range across public and private sectors. In the federal government, organizations such as the Department of Housing and Urban Development (and the agencies within it) are one of the largest organizations that depend on this information. Each state has its own interconnected network of entities involved in housing, as do commercial businesses like mortgage lenders, property developers and asset management companies.

Ironically, even in this era of ride sharing and house sharing, data sharing remains a challenge. Almost all of the data lives in stove piped systems with many different owners.

For example, a manager running a public housing program might need to harness housing inspection reports, information on nearby employers and rankings of local public schools, but each is owned by a different entity, stored in a different database structure and uses different terminology.

Fortunately, today’s technology enables easier management of all of the data streams. It’s now possible to tap into the disparate databases and pull the data into a single dashboard. This makes it possible to identify data correlations, patterns, risks and opportunities by choosing, blending and visualizing the relevant data.

Not a small challenge, the sheer diversity and quantity of relevant data and the lack of standardization pose significant hurdles. However, as the population grows and the demand for housing increases, those organizations that play a role in providing it must continue modernizing and looking to the future.