Previous Situation:

One of the most prominent unified school districts in California wanted to transform the way they managed, modified, and visualized their annual budgeting reports that are accessed and distributed to all internal employees. With over 40 schools operating under their specific district, initially, the client was creating quarterly reports using a more archaic system that involved all data needing to be manually entered. This creation process led to a large margin of error and potential loss of budget. Not only was this a very unorganized system, but the principle pain point that stemmed from this structure’s inaccuracy and inability to display each school remaining budget through the year caused major loss of funds for multiple departments throughout the entire district. The cause of this loss of funding was due in part to each school not having access to up-to-date budget allocation data. If one school did not make use of their entire allocated budget per year, it would result in that particular school losing that fund deficiency the following year. This school district needed an efficient way to create budget reports that reflected real-time data to prevent this tremendous loss within each school.

Solution

Since one of the main goals of this specific client was to move away from their previous reporting platform, Xelleration, a Speridian company,  introduced the more effective and efficient Microsoft Power BI analytic tool. In order to accomplish this objective, Xelleration conducted an initial planning phase, which focused on preparing the client’s existing reporting data sources, defined requirements, and prepared the Power BI environment.

Xelleration created a customized dashboard where users can effectively pull real-time data from several separate sources, that generating budget reporting that requiring no data manipulation. The two major benefits of this tool are the reduction of error and immediate access to information for all users.

The Power BI platform not only gives them accurate, real-time visuals of their budget, but also permits them to modify, sync and unify a variety of disparate data sources. Unlike other programs, the Power BI dashboard gives the client the flexibility to filter by a specific school, a resource within that school, and an object within that resource, acquiring and displaying all account information instantaneously.

This organized layout provides users granular target filters based on academic calendar year, month, school, and department. The customized filters also allow for users to make amends if funds need to be redistributed between departments. Using this feature, our client can “slide and dice” data and can see where there are available funds that can be moved to different schools or departments in need of additional support from a school’s general quarterly budget.

In addition, the value of visualization that Power BI produced helped our client optimize their budgeting structure, which helped minimize the loss of funding per educational institution within the district each year. Most importantly, this digital platform positively impacts the education system by dispersing funds needed for the continual district and school improvement; resulting in lower teacher to student ratios in the classroom and provides an overall better quality of education and learning environment for all students.

Conclusion/Results

By incorporating Power BI into our client’s methodologies, we have implemented a system of normalizing the application of stunning valuable visuals in conjunction with real-time data to create concise reports and interactive dashboards. Xelleration assisted in transforming the client’s way of having a comprehensive 360-degree view of their own organization’s data at their fingertips; rebuilding the way they modeled and modified their data, in a user-friendly, time-saving analytic structure.

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