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The Official Blog of Forecast5 Analytics

Jason Schoenleber
WRITTEN BY
Jason Schoenleber

5Sight, Data Visualization, Trend Analysis, 5Cast, Customer Success

School District of Lancaster Discovers New Gains in Pupil Transportation Subsidies with Data Analytics

Posted on Dec 4, 2017 10:04:20 AM

School District of Lancaster is a large, urban school district located in central Lancaster County, PA. The oldest district in the state, it serves a diverse population of 11,366 students across 19 different schools. Like many other school districts, they are challenged to manage the time intensive and complex task of calculating and reporting  the district's transportation costs. Using 5Cast™ to prepare the annual financial forecast report, Matt Przywara, Chief Financial and Operations Officer for Lancaster, identified a 25% net increase in the district's transportation cost.

After discovering the increase, he was able to run a query to identify the specific categories applicable to these line items, which showed that transportation costs nearly doubled over the last 8 years.  The team was determined to not only identify what caused the costs to increase at such a rate, but to seek opportunities for reimbursement from the Department of Education.

The Solution

Matt turned to the Transportation Benchmark Study now available in the K-12 data analytics tool 5Sight™, to visually compare Lancaster's transportation data to surrounding peer districts. Przywara shares, "I saw my district's data as a nuance. The data is complex and difficult to manage from multiple data sets." 

Using the data in the Benchmark Study, Przywara further discovered that his transportation costs were increasing, with subsidy costs dramatically decreasing by 50% over this time period. This confirmed his suspicion of a cost and revenue issue.  He then used 5Sight to analyze Lancaster's trend data.  Matt uncovered the bus routes that derive the subsidy reports were calculated using suburban routing rates and regulations, as opposed to urban - which causes several issues.

The Results

Using 5Cast, Matt analyzed his trend data to identify the gap in his budget.  Supplementing the analysis with 5Sight, he leveraged the visuals in the Benchmark Study to specifically capture where the discrepancy was taking place. The output allowed Lancaster to receive upwards of $1M in subsidy reimbursement from the Department of Education.

Because of their data-curiosity and analytics-innovation, Forecast5 is honored to recognize School District of Lancaster as one of our 2017 Project of the Year recipientsLancaster was recognized at our recent National Client Conference with an award and a donation to their scholarship fund.

To read the full story on how School District of Lancaster Discovered new gains with Forecast5, click here.

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Jason Schoenleber is a Relationship Manager with Forecast5 Analytics in Naperville, where he assists clients with data analysis, and connecting them to the value of the Forecast5 product suite.  Prior to working at Forecast5, Jason worked for 3 years as a Solutions Consultant for Enfos Inc., advising corporate remediation directors on managing their financial debt obligation data through a SaaS platform and template modeling.  He received his Bachelors in Marketing from the University of South Dakota, and is currently pursuing his Masters in Business Administration from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management.

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