Forecast5™ Client Spotlight - Celebrating Success StoriesPosted on Jul 27, 2017 11:38:29 AM
There is nothing we love more here at Forecast5 than hearing about how our clients are using our product suite to optimize resources, create opportunities, save money and increase organizational performance. These stories truly inspire our team to keep doing what we are doing. Every month we plan on celebrating a few of the success stories Forecast5 clients have shared with us.
Data Discovery + Collaboration = “ROI Analytics”
We find the success of data analytics is best when there is a high level of engagement and teamwork among peers and staff. The data discovery process thrives off the concept of, “We don’t know what we don’t know.” When coupled with perspectives that are outside our environment and data scope, the ability to be more strategic and identify opportunities for efficiency are improved. An educational service center and its member district demonstrated exactly that.
This New York district was often challenged to utilize data due to the lack of comparative peer group data. Collaborating with the service center, they focused on the concept of “Academic ROI” as the foundation of their data discovery analysis. Leveraging the Forecast5 product suite, they executed the following:
- Used 5Sight™ to identify a peer group of similar districts and built a comprehensive analytical story that included enrollment, student demographics, student achievement, staffing and financial insights.
- Discussed findings and identified multiple actions that the district could take to significantly improve efficiencies, student achievement and ultimately “Academic ROI”.
Not only did this partnership enhance the district’s skill set in using the tools, but the results and insights were so impactful that they were presented to a national audience alongside Forecast5 at the 2016 ASBO International Conference.
Answering the age-old question, “Where can I make budget cuts?”
Eliminating items from the budget is not a new or easy task to handle. It often requires us to prioritize resources, often neglecting one initiative to support another. To top it off, it historically is a very time intensive task; requiring a detailed comparison of spreadsheet data. Located in the Midwest, this district was faced with just that. The question became, “Where can I cut $600K from the budget?
Turning to 5Sight, the Chief Financial Officer began to analyze visuals focused on staffing levels across elementary, middle and high schools. With the ability to compare their district’s student to teacher ratio to regional peers, it became clear on what items in the budget could be reduced. The insights gained not only led to an informed decision, but enhanced communication and transparency to the board, staff and community.
Aligning Spending to District Initiatives
Have you ever found yourself trying to identify and compare disparate pieces of data to justify a budgeting decision? Not only is this task cumbersome to produce, but it needs to be able to answer key questions – 1) Are my investments producing a rate of return? 2) How do I compare to my peer groups? 3) How is my data trending over time? 4) How can I communicate my findings?
A Washington school district needed to prioritize an effort to manage utility costs. To lead this effort, they made an investment to hire a new Energy Manager. To determine if the various efforts and investments were producing a rate of return, this district turned to 5Sight and the Forecast5 Customer Success Team for support.
Together, they collaborated and created multiple analytics across different peer groups to measure comparative spending on utilities. Results indicated that they were trending as the lowest spending district, validating their assumption and providing evidence that their investments were paying off. Having this data allowed the district to justify their spending and confidently communicate findings with stakeholders.