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The Official Blog of Forecast5 Analytics

Nora Ferguson
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Nora Ferguson

Education, ROI, Communication, Best Practices

3 Tips for Making the Case for Data Analytics Tools in 2018

Posted on Jan 16, 2018 1:39:37 PM

The seven most expensive words are “we have always done it that way.” This statement rests on the foundation that without embracing change and the willingness to move beyond what has been historically done, we are risking greater losses than potential gains. In this dynamic environment, it is critical to evaluate the needs of your organization from multiple angles; past, present and future. What technology and processes worked at one time may not meet the needs for the current or future environment.

Here’s 3 tips to move your organization forward:

Conduct an ROI Analysis

Without taking the time to reflect on the current processes and technologies in place, we are continuing to make decisions that may not be in our best interest. An ROI analysis is key when discussing the implementation of new technology because it sheds light on how new tools can assist in performing tasks at higher efficiency and output levels.  For example, as you are working to put together your monthly financial forecast and budget proposals, consider the time you are investing to complete such tasks and how often you find yourself asking questions such as, “Is there an easier way to find this answer? How do I account for this? What are the implications of this decision?” Tools like 5Cast™ Plus can be leveraged to answer those questions and help to make the case for investing in decision support tools.

Be Forward Thinking

To successfully adopt new technology, you must have an intimate understanding of how the tools will support your current and future needs. Consider the variety of variables that will impact your job area, performance and decision making. This may include:

  • Expense pressures caused by mandates
  • Fluctuations in funding from state and federal sources
  • Board campaign promises
  • Labor union demands
  • Additional administrative responsibilities

    Now consider the frequency of these variables and your ability to prepare and plan for such. Adding an analytics solution to your toolbox eases the pressure on you and your team to find time to address all these variables and puts you in a better position to handle the road ahead.

    Communicate Value

    A common challenge in implementing technology is receiving the buy in to not only purchase the tools, but to incorporate into organizational processes and strategies.  A great starting point to address this is by identifying the multiple “pain point” areas that the technology can assist with. Incorporate your ROI analysis to communicate the costs vs benefits. Develop a strategy on how you want to introduce and train staff, as this will begin the mindset shift to embrace. Finally, share your “wins.” Communicate what you have accomplished or plan to accomplish with the tools to spread confidence and excitement among the organization.

The goal is to have technology fit seamlessly into your day; as opposed to fitting your day around it. Enabling your organization with school budgeting tools that will lead to higher performance will increase the confidence your stakeholders and community have in your decisions.

Jennifer Hermes, Assistant Superintendent of Business Services at Lake Forest School District 67,  uses data analytics to gain professional development and build more credibility to provide service to her community

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Nora Ferguson is a Marketing Specialist at Forecast5 Analytics in Naperville, IL. Nora is  focused on creating and developing acquisition programs to drive growth and brand awareness. Prior to this role, she was a Community Management Specialist and focused her time on managing Forecast5's social collaboration platform, 5Share. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Marketing and Small Business Management from North Central College and is currently pursuing her Masters in Business Administration from NCC.

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