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The Official Blog of Forecast5 Analytics

Jason Rader
WRITTEN BY
Jason Rader

Big Data, Education, Forecasting, Technology

The Big Data Era In Education Has Arrived

Posted on Nov 29, 2016 12:00:00 AM

This year, Michigan’s Department of Technology, Management and Budget (DTMB) announced the School Aid Budget will now include $1.5 million in funding to provide reimbursement to districts on subscription costs for approved data analysis tools. With this exciting announcement, it has become apparent that the big data era in education to help drive decisions is here!

While big data and analytics have slowly crept into the world of public education, this is just one of many examples where governments see the value in guiding decisions through data driven analyses.  For years, public schools have experimented with leveraging data for operational decisions, but with Michigan’s government leaders allocating reimbursement to districts on a per-pupil basis, this shows an example of the dedication to better informed decisions derived from data.

Learn more. Read "Analytics: The Paradigm Shift in the Public Sector"

Every year administrators have access to more data in order to make decisions. However, the large volume of raw data makes it very easy to become overwhelmed. With the tools in the marketplace today, administrators can analyze large amounts of data in a simple, strategic way resulting in effective decision making.

In the current times of financial strain and shrinking budgets, it is extremely difficult to make strategic decisions without the right data and tools.  Years ago, it would take weeks of work in Excel spreadsheets and paper analysis in order to attempt to analyze financial data – and hope to find early warning indicators of financial stress.  Today, this type of analysis comes in the form of a few clicks of a mouse.

Gone are the days of guessing what other peer school districts are doing or asking taxpayers to invest in the district’s expenses. With today’s technologies and platforms, districts can validate who their peer district benchmarks are and show taxpayers how they can invest in ideas rather than expenses.

While the recent era has been defined by limited resources and financial strains, the right tools can drive decisions in order to meet each district’s unique challenge.  This will result in maximizing resources while creating long term stability.  The big data era in education is here, and it will make a difference.


Approved vendors to provide data analytics services for the Michigan School Districts must meet all of the following criteria:

(a) Analyzes financial data.

(b) Analyzes academic data.

(c) Provides early warning indicators of financial stress.

(d) Has the capability to provide peer district comparisons of both financial and academic data.

(e) Has the capability to provide financial projections for at least three subsequent fiscal years.

Free Download | The Five Year Financial Projection eBook

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Jason Rader is Vice President of Sales at Forecast5 Analytics, Inc. – a technology company focused on software development and data analytics for the public sector.  Jason has spent the past 15 years establishing long-term strategic relationships as well as helping companies expand revenue and company growth year in and year out.  His diverse marketing and sales experiences have allowed him to offer companies growth from digital presence down to the bottom line.

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