5Sight Revealed at WCA Annual ConferenceSeptember 20, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEContact: Eric Smith
This article by Mark D. O’Connell, Executive Director of the Wisconsin Counties Association, originally appeared in the September 2012 issue of Wisconsin County magazine.
As we begin the transition from summer to fall, there is much to look forward to. One event I especially enjoy every autumn is the WCA Annual Conference. Two thousand and twelve marks the 74th time county officials from every corner of the state will gather to discuss the important issues facing counties, share ideas, explore the future of county government and meet with old friends. This year, the conference will take place in La Crosse County. Set between bluffs and on the Mississippi River, the City of La Crosse will play host to over 1,000 county officials from September 23-25, 2012.
We are fortunate this year to host not one, but two keynote speakers at our general assemblies. Kicking the conference off, we are honored to have Aaron Thomas share his family’s story of courage and passion at the First General Assembly on Sunday. U.S. Olympian Suzy Favor Hamilton will round out the conference on Tuesday morning at the Third General Assembly. Be sure to attend these events as these two speakers will no doubt be exceptional.
Another highlight of this year’s conference will be an unveiling of a new software package designed specifically for Wisconsin counties from Forecast5 Analytics. With the world constantly changing and evolving, I have often spoken of the importance of strategic, long-term planning. While recognizing this kind of planning is not easy, especially considering tight local budgets and few available county resources, the new 5Sight software may be the resource counties have long needed.
5Sight, designed by Forecast5 Analytics in consultation with WCA staff, uses business intelligence (BI) to provide analytic tools that improve and accelerate county decision-making. Although you may not be familiar with the term BI, you have more than likely experienced it in the past. BI technology is used when booking a flight on Orbitz, researching a car purchase on AutoTrader, or shopping online for a television at BestBuy. 5Sight adapts this technology to improve county planning and forecasting efforts.
5Sight can be used to identify best financial practices, develop comparative information and identify opportunities for efficiencies or growth. 5Sight includes visuals and interactive tables and charts, allowing counties to both “tell” and “see” the story. A fascinating array of scenarios will be on display at the annual conference including items relating to revenues, expenditures and budgeting. These scenarios were engineered to provide historic and industry level performance. Wisconsin counties can apply these tools to basic budget forecasting, as well as to economic development and resource planning. Forecast5 is a featured speaker at the Third General Assembly on Tuesday morning and is not to be missed.
In addition to experiencing new technologies like 5Sight, the WCA Annual Conference is an incredible opportunity to network with your colleagues from around the state, listen to experts in their field on timely county issues, and experience beautiful La Crosse County. I look forward to seeing you later this month as we work together to create a stronger Wisconsin.