3 Tips for Making the Case for Data Analytics Tools
The seven most expensive words are, “We have always done it that way.” This statement rests on the foundation that without embracing change and the willingness to move beyond what has been historically done, we are risking greater losses than potential gains. In this dynamic environment, it is critical to evaluate the needs of your organization from multiple angles, past, present, and future. The technology and processes that worked at one time may not meet the needs for the current or future environment.
The seven most expensive words are,“We have always done it that way.”
Here are 3 tips to move your organization forward:
1. Conduct an ROI Analysis
Without taking the time to reflect on the current processes and technologies in place, we continue to make decisions that may not be in our best interest. An ROI analysis is key when discussing the implementation of new technology because it sheds light on how new tools can assist in performing tasks at higher efficiency and output levels.
For example, as you are working to put together your monthly financial forecast and budget proposals, consider the time you are investing to complete such tasks and how often you find yourself asking questions such as, “Is there an easier way to find this answer? How do I account for this? What are the implications of this decision?” Tools like Budget Management Analytics (formerly 5Cast Plus) can be leveraged to answer those questions.
2. Be Forward-thinking
To successfully adopt new technology, you must have an intimate understanding of how the tools will support your current and future needs. Consider the variety of variables that will impact your job area, performance, and decision making. This may include:
- Expense pressures caused by mandates
- Fluctuations in funding from state and federal sources
- Board campaign promises
- Labor union demands
- Additional administrative responsibilities
Now consider the frequency of these variables and your ability to prepare and plan for such. Adding an analytics software solution to your toolbox eases the pressure on you and your team to find time to address all these variables, and puts you in a better position to handle the road ahead.
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3. Communicate Value
A common challenge in implementing technology is receiving the buy-in to not only purchase the tools, but to incorporate them into organizational processes and strategies. A great starting point to address this is by identifying the multiple “pain point” areas that the technology can assist with. Incorporate your ROI analysis to communicate the costs vs. the benefits. Develop a strategy on how you want to introduce and train staff, as this will begin the mindset shift to embrace. Finally, share your “wins” — communicate what you have accomplished or plan to accomplish with the tools to spread confidence and excitement across the organization.
The goal is to have technology fit seamlessly into your day, not just fit your day around it. Enabling your organization with school budgeting tools that will lead to higher performance will increase the confidence your stakeholders and community have in your decisions.