Project facts

  • Client
    Ymere, Housing Association
  • Location
    Amsterdam, Netherlands 
  • Period
    June 2021 – July 2021
  • Challenge
    Build in-house data management knowledge and capabilities, enabling employees across the organisation to take a data-led approach to housing operations.
  • Solution
    A series of eight data management training courses, delivered digitally, to establish a common data value framework, roles and processes – then applied them to Ymere’s own work.
  • David van der Horst, Pim Roessink, Remco Bekker, Ronald Schot, Erwin Lazet, Leonie Klaassen


  • Created a common language for Ymere data professionals

  • Established a shared view of data management challenges

  • Built understanding data management theory and practice

  • Agreed a concrete list of actions to give a flying start 

The challenge

Building in-house data management capabilities, around an agreed common framework and language

For Ymere, data was already a key component of its efforts to maintain its housing stock and improve the lives of its residents. The association already had a strong contingent of experienced data professionals, tasked with putting its plentiful data to work.

But to take the next step – and unlock the real value hidden in its data – the organisation needed these professionals to a common framework, language, and way of working. It lacked a central vision for data management and governance.

Importantly, Ymere wanted this process to enable its teams to build their own capabilities and skills along the way. And the course couldn’t just be theoretical; it had to apply to the association’s work in the real world.

The approach

A tailored training course, delivering theory and practice across four key themes

We delivered a custom curriculum of eight half-day training sessions, based on our library of proven training modules. Each step combined theory, practical examples, and real use cases to enable the delegates to build their own functioning knowledge base. The course focused on four key themes:
First, we focused on creating a common language and overall data management framework. This started with an overview of all the elements needed to derive value from data. It also introduced a vision where all the activities and competences related to data management and analytics ultimately contribute towards business goals.
Next, we covered the key roles involved in data governance, focusing on the data owner, the data steward, and the business process owner. We explored how they interact – with a common operating model acting as a shared compass – and defined lines of accountability that are essential to achieve sustainable change.
Then we examined the specific process of managing data. We looked closely at the sequence of activities to understand the what, why, and how. And we saw why these activities need to be continuous to ensure data is fit for purpose.
Finally, we devoted two sessions to putting frameworks and learning into practice – diving deep to see how they apply to the reality of working in Ymere. Delegates identified points of strength and opportunities for improvement, before pitching ideas using data management to create business value.
This structure gave the participants a solid foundation of theoretical knowledge and practical skills – but also helped them to start using what they’d learned in their daily work.

The impact 

A flying start in data management, with a shared understanding and approach

Although Ymere already had data professionals throughout its organisation, this course established the common ground needed to work in a more data-driven way.
Delegates praised the balance of exercises and valuable cases – as well as the pace of the training, and the working atmosphere established in the online environment.
The potential impact for the organisation is no less impressive. Participants understand the theory and practice of data management – as well as all the puzzle pieces needed to turn data into business value.
Importantly, they also know how to apply these learnings to their work in Ymere. They can take a co-ordinated approach, based on a single agreed language and framework – and a shared perception and vision. And they’re armed with a concrete list of actions to help them get started.