Forecast5 Analytics: Dynamic Insights for School Districts

Michael English, CEO, Forecast5 AnalyticsMichael English, CEO
For decades, educational institutions have been generating extensive amounts of data from various sources. From financial data housed in accounting systems to student and performance data stored in transactional databases, extracting and analyzing this information has been a resource consuming endeavor for many school districts. Michael English, CEO at Forecast5 Analytics, points out that schools are beginning to use cutting-edge decision support technology to enable administrators to improve their annual planning and resource allocation strategies. Founded with a vision to help school districts harness the power of data, Forecast5 Analytics delivers a suite of tools for data discovery, decision support, and stakeholder engagement. “We offer innovative analytics and budgeting planning tools to help schools to make informed decisions and increase opportunities for students,” says English.

The firm’s business intelligence platform, 5Sight™, leverages public data to create key performance indicators (KPIs) in many areas of schools’ operations. With insights delivered as a series of interactive graphics, administrators can easily compare such items as: student performance against districts within their geography, various data breakdowns of districts with similar demographic metrics, or gain general insights into the performances of different schools. In one example, Forecast5 client Boerne Independent School District used 5Sight analytics to present a compelling story around the need for additional campuses to support their growing enrollment.5Sight provides trend analysis, making it easy for administrators to compare performance benchmarking and identify opportunities to drive financial efficiency in the district.

These insights can also be used in the multi-year financial projection tool, 5Cast™. By combining all the analytics, 5Cast connects financial records from the school district to develop a multi-year financial projection and gives the ability to create “what-if ” scenarios to assess financial outcomes.

We offer innovative analytics and budgeting planning tools to help schools to make informed decisions and increase opportunities for students

The tool creates high efficiency in routine tasks and reporting, allowing clients to spend more of their valuable time simulating financial scenarios. And now, Forecast5 added a monthly budget planning and reporting module, 5Cast Plus, to help spend less time on calculations and more time analyzing and communicating results on a regular basis.

Adding credence to their portfolio, Forecast5’s geospatial analytic platform, 5Maps™, allows a school district to overlay their student population on Google Maps with simulation, along with the service boundaries for their school buildings. By linking location data with traditional charts and visualizations, users can get innovative insights into how they can serve students better and reduce associated costs.

In addition, the firm’s new solution, 5Lab™, breaks down the silos of disparate data found in student information systems, attendance systems, and learning management systems across the school district. With 5Lab, the district can connect data coming from these diverse systems and analyze it through interactive, dashboard views. Clients can piece together their district’s story in a straightforward and meaningful way to then distribute to stakeholders.

English points out that they also have clients who use their 5Share™ collaboration platform, to share data, insights, and best practices. “We have witnessed multiple clients making the best use of data that they shared with each other through our platform to generate millions of dollars of savings in areas like health insurance costs.”

The firm works closely with clients, to further transform districts’ decision-making processes, and implement ideas that increase efficiency and performance in a competitive environment. “We strive to help school districts identify the right areas of investment and improve student outcomes,” concludes English.