In our last entry we posted about the possibilities of tenants using sugru to do quick fixes around the home. 

The piece caught the eye of Inside Housing journo and sugru fan Dan Douglas who called us up to find out more.

Typically for a journalist , Dan asked the question we least wanted:

So, what does your data tell about you about the number of repairs that could be fixed by Sugru?

We made a weak excuse about "not having the data to hand at the moment". However , the truth of the matter is that whilst data and innovation should go hand in hand - they often don't. 

The first problem we've encountered is the way our data is currently held doesn't help us answer the question easily. (We'll do another post on this about the importance of customer driven data.)

The second problem is one innovators may often face:

Sometimes it’s hard to make a purely analytical case for a highly innovative idea because data only shows what has happened, not what might happen.

The solution here is try to generate some data of your own , by a quick series of tests or prototypes.

In the case of sugru we are currently looking at a few tests that could include:

  • Posting out sugru to tenants reporting minor leaks or drips
  • Installing sugru at the relet of a new home and advising the tenant to use it for quick repairs
  • Giving some of it to our repairs operatives to show tenants the potential uses and leave it with them.

All this - while not statistically valid - will give us some data to play around with.  It may help us prove the case for a pilot. Or we might discard the idea completely.

Your historical data may not always support your idea , but that doesn't necessarily mean your customer doesn't have a problem.

Testing your supposition in a real life environment may provide the data that you need.