Our Observations at the 2015 ASBO Intl Trade Show in Dallas – Part 2

hurdleLast week, we touched on our experience at the 2015 ASBO Intl Show in Dallas. We reflected on our observations from years past to this year and how much of a difference there has been in the chatter and buzz about district analytics in education. We had said if at first, folks were scratching their heads about what performance management tools outside the classroom were, they were now assessing multiple companies to figure out which tool or system would be best for their needs.

Interestingly enough, we observed a few similar comments this year about the concerns and issues district leaders face when considering and first using district analytical tools. These comments have lead us to believe that even though these tools are more greatly accepted, there are a few hurdles leaders are experiencing when encountering this new world of performance management. Here are the things we noticed:

  • District leaders are buying tools, but they are not using them – This is interesting info, as it possibly says something about the state of the district culture. The ideas are good, but the follow through and cultural shift are what will bring the investment back in the hands of the district.
  • They don’t know what they bought. People are buying tools without knowing there are alternatives. If this is the case, we recommend:
    • Do a little homework if possible, there are plenty of tools out there that may fit your mission, vision, & culture better than others
    • Make sure you know what you are buying. Some may be flashy or have promises, but look at what will get you the largest R.O.I. to ultimately put money back in the classroom
  • Most business managers are overloaded and don’t have time to do analysis – Again, the idea of these tools sound great, and even though these systems can significantly reduce the time it takes to make important decisions on efficiency and effectiveness, busyness can halt any time for analysis.

Overall though, these observations and concerns take a backseat to the encouraging words and exciting progress we have heard from district leaders across the nation. From hearing about more efficient districts to communicating transparency to board members and the community, district analytics is surely paving a path to more lean, aware, and cost effective districts.

As the curve of districts using performance management tools rises, we hope to keep an eye out for not only the ways we can give insight to leaders in choosing tools, but also continually find ways to help push the district analytics envelope. We’ll do this by providing the most effective, versatile, and user friendly tools and systems to best help district leaders succeed.

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