The Calendar Curse: How to Build Strategic Planning into Your Overbooked SchedulePosted on Jul 19, 2017 9:00:00 AM
How do you fit strategic planning into your calendar when it’s so jam-packed with daily tasks…it’s hard to find time to eat lunch?
You know analyzing your revenue stream and expenses is critical to forecasting, but managing the demands of the district’s business cycle can leave little time to compile data, model different scenarios and sift through various outcomes. It’s likely you spend a fair chunk of time scrutinizing spreadsheets and preparing pivot tables to help guide your decision-making process and justify recommendations.
Just as most no longer use a paper calendar, it’s time to change how you approach strategic planning by taking advantage of tools that enable data analysis with just a few clicks of a mouse.
Ever changing requirements
As school districts are increasingly asked to do more with less, the biggest challenge is getting a handle on all the moving pieces so you can make informed decisions. A variety of variables can have a big impact on the long-term health of your budget, including:
- Fluctuations in funding from state and federal sources
- Expense pressures caused by mandates
- School board campaign promises
- Labor union demands
- Additional administrative responsibilities
Analysis on demand
Adding an analytics solution to your toolbox eases the pressure on you and your team to find time to address all these variables. Instead of manually assessing the data, the analytics tool mines and shapes information so you’re better able to substantiate your positions and improve decision support.
You can easily produce outputs and visuals to help your school board and community understand the present state of the district and walk them intelligently through different scenarios for the future, modeling what happens as budget variables change.
Put yourself and your team in a position to better answer questions on the fly. No more “I’ll get back to you on that” because with the analytics tool, you can easily change the scope of the data being considered to look at the situation from a different perspective.
Own your schedule
Instead of reacting to what is happening in the business cycle, you’re able to proactively dig into your data to understand and shape where you’re headed.
Who knows, maybe you’ll actually save enough time so you can go out for lunch!
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
David joined Forecast5 Analytics in 2014 and is responsible for the product management, development, and outreach of Forecast5’quantitative analysis and financial projection engine – 5Cast. He is also assists with the management of 5Cast client relationships and collaboration with other Forecast 5 platforms. Prior to joining Forecast5 Analytics, he worked as a Chief Financial Officer/Treasurer for over 30 years at Township High School District 211, in Palatine, Illinois. During his extensive experience as a CFO, he successfully engaged in the development of several strategic planning projects and long-term capital improvement programs. David received his BA in Business Economics, and has a MA and certification in school business management.