Insights & Analysis

Education, K-12

Academic Achievement Reporting Software for Schools in Michigan

As educator evaluations and student progress continue to be scrutinized, many public schools are investigating and implementing academic achievement reporting software for schools in Michigan and across the United States.

Educators and administrators are constantly and consistently being asked to do more with less. The Munetrix Academic Module 2.0 is the most comprehensive data analytics solution for educators in one suite of apps, harvesting and contextualizing publicly available data and privately generated data in one powerful combination. 

The Academic Module 2.0 provides districts and schools with unique, holistic academic achievement reporting software for schools in Michigan that empowers districts to analyze all of their data with a single log-in and destination, supporting horizontal succession planning, building institutional knowledge, and workflow management all in one place.

Munetrix collects and aggregates the essential data your school district needs to share its impact on fiscal and academic outcomes. We put the data at your fingertips so you can spend more time on what matters — educating students!

Why Munetrix’s Academic Achievement Reporting Software for Schools in Michigan

In our view, the complete data set comprising performance analytics for schools in Michigan include everything from financial metrics to academic performance

Financial performance analytics solutions include modules for budgeting, chart of accounts planning, forecasting, scenario building, debt management, peer benchmarking and capital improvement management.

Academic achievement reporting software solutions for schools in Michigan should include software modules for student achievement data, progress monitoring and MTSS, educator evaluations, student needs assessments, student reporting data, student migration and enrollment trends, and much more! Ours does.

Both our financial and academic achievement solutions for schools in Michigan are fully integrated with state-of-the-industry interoperability that meet or exceed the latest educational and IT standards. You can now easily see how your school is performing — financially, academically, socio-economically, populationally, educationally — with only a few clicks, and in real time!


If your school district administrators and educators are being tasked with “doing more with less” in keeping pace with today’s educator evaluations metrics, contact us to schedule a demo of our easy-to-use and easy-to implement academic achievement reporting software for schools in Michigan today!

Education, Fiscal Health, K-12, Municipal, Opinion

The Truth, the Whole Truth, and Nothing but the Truth

How to Apply Comparative Analytics to Make Better Decisions and Forecasts

American computer scientist Kurt Bollacker once said that, “Data that is loved tends to survive.”

While many of us might find it difficult to “love” data, it is the lifeline of the organizations we run. Data tells us how we’ve performed in the past, what is likely to happen in the future, and how we can alter the path forward, for better or worse. So while we may prefer to ignore data than love it, we do so at our own peril.

In fact, too often, leaders of public institutions like schools, districts and municipalities either willingly or through benign neglect fail to apply a necessary love of data, and in doing so, fail to maximize the potential to make better decisions and more accurate forecasts.

Too many times, it is tempting to believe that you have all of the data you need, when in reality, there is data out there…keeping secrets from you…causing you to “not know what you don’t know”…and as a result, potentially leading you to draw inaccurate conclusions and make under-informed decisions. Not only can leaders fail to see the big picture, they may be looking at the wrong picture altogether.

After the past two years, and the uncertainty of what lies ahead, it’s never been more critical to have the most complete data set possible so that we are making the most informed decisions and the best possible prognostications.

Comparative Analytics and Errors of Omission

The future of planning and budgeting is something called “comparative analytics.” Put simply, comparative analytics refers to the process of examining your own organization’s data and performance against those of your peers and competitors to draw more informed conclusions and to make better decisions. It’s a methodology for avoiding one of the greatest perils to critical decision-making: thinking we have all of the information we need and omitting a potentially decision-changing data set.

The good news: For schools and municipalities, the performance and budgeting data for all of your competitors and benchmarked peers is publicly available. All you have to do is go find it.

If you can view your own historical data and forward-looking projections against those of neighboring entities with whom you may be competing, won’t you be able to make more confident decisions and more strategic allocations of time, treasure and talent? Anything less, and you’re making critical decisions in a vacuum.

To provide just one illustrative example, let’s say you’re examining a school district’s expenditures on instructional investments for the past three years, and the data show that the district is accounting for 10% annual increases in that budget category. Sounds promising. The district appears to be investing in educational outcomes, the chief metric for educational excellence. 

Not so fast. Unfortunately, all that data set provides is an insular, backward-looking reporting of past events — and only the district’s own. Now imagine a scenario in which district leadership could instantly compare their own budget allocations against a neighboring district. Suppose the neighboring district is reporting student achievement data that far surpasses the first district. And then imagine that, through just a few clicks, we can see that the outperforming district is allocating a much larger budget to instructional line items, likely accounting for (at least in part) the better achievement outcomes. Despite the scheduled 10% increases, the spending gap remains large between districts, and so does the disparity in student achievement.

In other words, while District A at first blush appears to be investing in educational priorities, when we look at the big picture, we discover that District B is far outpacing District A in student achievement and taking an entirely different approach to prioritizing instructional spending.

How that might change District A’s assessment of its own budget allocations, and how might that data inform a decision about how to allocate public funding going forward?

Failing to “love” all of the data, in this example, is how an error of omission can quickly lead to errors of commission.

How to Avoid the Most Common “Errors of Omission”

If getting access to the complete set of all available data were difficult, we’d understand why someone might be tempted to take shortcuts or expedite decision making. But practically everything a public employee or leader needs to equip themselves for optimized decision making is publicly available, much of it required by mandate to be made readily accessible. So given that the “secrets” are out there, let’s examine what some of the most common self-inflicted errors of omission tend to be:

(If you would like any of the following reports pulled for your district or municipality and its relevant peers, contact us and we will send you a PDF report within 48 hours at no cost or obligation).

Error #1: Not Going Far Enough Back

The more historical perspective you have, the better you are able to draw conclusions as to what’s driving trends, and what’s likely to change or continue. Too often, data analysts look only one or two years back, when there could be some revelatory trend data hiding in the entity’s more distant past that would prove informative and applicable to the present and the future.

10-year historical analysis

Error #2: Missing the Comparative Intelligence

Looking at your own data only is an error of omission that can, as illustrated above, lead to errors of commission. Here we look at comparative analytics that demonstrate how a sample school district allocates its own budget categorically relative to how all districts within that region do. Now we know if we are overspending, underspending, or misallocating resources, based on how our peers are doing their own budgeting. Look at the disparities and gaps, and consider what that data is trying to tell you.

Budget allocation peer-comparison report

Error #3: Failing to Connect the Dots

How is budgeting data aligned with performance metrics? Isn’t that the key to truly understanding whether our budgeting decisions and forecasts are aligned (or misaligned) with outcomes? With just a few clicks, you should be able to overlay key performance indicators with budgeting inputs to see if you’re getting sufficient return on investment, or whether you need to redirect funds and either double down or reallocate resources.

Overlay data sets to spot trends and performance drivers

Error #4: Not Seeing How Small Data Drives Big Trends

If you’re not examining historically significant data sets, and you’re not comparing both past performance and future forecasting against competitors or peers, you can’t possibly draw accurate correlations and conclusions relative to drivers of big-picture trends. One of the most critical trend data sets for schools and districts, for example, is enrollment. Enrollment data not only reflects success metrics of all kinds, it directly impacts per-pupil funding. The small discrete data points all come together to influence the larger trends we all hold dear and measure ultimate success or failure by. Failure to put the pieces together and see the entire puzzle is perilous, and an unforced error in the modern age.

Data visualizations matched with trend analysis provide a clearer picture yet.

Love the Data that Survives

Perhaps it’s too heavy a lift to expect everyone within leadership at public institutions to truly “love” data. But we do urge that those in positions of critical decision-making at least embrace all that data has to offer…and all that lies in wait to undermine decisions if leaders neglect to listen to the secrets data is keeping from them.

That “loved” data will not only survive, as Bollacker suggests…it will help government institutions thrive.

Unlock the best-kept secrets today! If you would like any of the referenced reports above (or others) pulled for your district or municipality and its peers, contact us and we will send you a PDF report within 48 hours at no cost or obligation.

.

30-Second Preview of Munetrix in Action:

Fiscal Health, Municipal

Data Management and Analytics Software for Municipalities

The Ongoing Evolution of Data Management and Analytics Software for Cities, Villages and Townships

Advanced data management and analytics software for municipalities has evolved beyond mere data visualization—which is, of course, critical—to encompass robust yet intuitive performance analytics solutions as well. For it’s one thing to be able to contextualize data through charts and graphs, but quite another to have software convert that data into actionable insights and intelligence that can inform better decision making.

One component of the complete Munetrix edition of our data management and analytics software for municipalities is a suite of tools that empower cities, villages and townships to perform peer review audits, track progress against their own metrics and manage projects to easily meet compliance requirements. The Budget Builder app, for example, is a powerful tool that allows users to create linear regression budgets in a matter of minutes.

We wrote recently about some features of the Munetrix Municipal Budget Allocation Reporting Dashboard. Whether you are allocating new monies from stimulus or other surplus, or making tough decisions about spending cuts, the best way to make those hard choices confidently is having the most complete set of data available.

Get a Free Demo of Munetrix’s Data Management and Analytics Software for Municipalities Today!

The Enterprise Module of Munetrix’s data management and analytics software for cities offers the most complete range of data visualization software for municipalities available. The full product includes budgeting, chart of accounts planning, forecasting and scenario building to debt management, peer benchmarking and capital improvement management, powerful interdependent apps that collaborate to contextualize and visualize all data sets available, from public API to your city’s internal data systems.

City managers, finance directors and other municipal administrators can get free access to one of the key tools in our data management and analytics software for municipalities with a free report we are issuing to any city, township or village who wants to receive this complimentary report. Learn how your municipality’s budget allocations compare to the average of all others in your region with this free, personalized report created specifically for your particular city, village or township—at no cost or obligation! Click here to receive your free, personalized report within 24 hours.

To learn more about how local governments are using data management and analytics software for municipalities to build better budgets, make better decisions, and inject greater transparency, easier compliance and, ultimately, more community trust, collaboration and teamwork with their constituents, request a no-obligation demo to unlock 30 days of free access to the Munetrix data management and analytics software for municipalities!

Education, K-12

Financial Forecasting and Scenario Planning for Schools in New Mexico

School reform from SB-1 and SB-96 have made financial forecasting and scenario planning for schools in New Mexico more important than ever.

The performance analytics modules in Munetrix’s financial forecasting and scenario planning for schools solution gives New Mexico school districts and educators the ability to find, compare, measure and monitor dozens of key performance indicators (KPIs)—all with a single, easy-to-use interface.

As we enter budgeting season, finance directors, superintendents and other administrators are facing dilemmas and difficult decisions. Whether trying to prioritize the allocation of stimulus or other surplus funds, or processing the challenging demands of budget cuts, it’s decision time.

To help school districts make better budgeting decisions—based on better data— Munetrix is offering a free report to any school district in New Mexico that wants to see how their compare budget allocations against those of all districts in their regions. Click here to see a glimpse of Munetrix’s financial forecasting and scenario planning for schools in New Mexico.

Take a Closer Look at Munetrix’s Financial Forecasting and Scenario Planning for Schools in New Mexico

Download our free resource guides to take a tour of the entire suite of complementary solutions in the Munetrix Enterprise Edition, which includes the Academic and Financial Modules. Or read our piece on how data is a district’s greatest asset in achieving equity in education, as published in District Administration magazine: “Achieving a Culture of Data Literacy.”

Financial forecasting performance analytics solutions include modules for budgeting, chart of accounts planning, forecasting, scenario building, debt management, peer benchmarking and capital improvement management.

Both our financial and academic performance analytics solutions for schools in New Mexico are fully integrated with state-of-the-industry interoperability that meet or exceed the latest educational and IT standards.

Ready to schedule a private, personal demo? Contact us to schedule a personal tour of Munetrix’s financial forecasting and scenario planning for schools in New Mexico solution today!

Municipal, News, Press Releases

Dynamo Metrics Joins the Munetrix Family

It is with great enthusiasm that we share with you the exciting news that Dynamo Metrics, a leading provider of planning and analytics software for government and public sector entities, is joining the Munetrix family! While this announcement will have no immediate impact on our existing relationships with clients, vendors and others, we are extremely optimistic about what this means relative to our ability to better serve municipal governments going forward, with more solutions, deeper resources, and broader expertise.

What brings us so much optimism about Dynamo Metrics joining Munetrix is that Dynamo Metrics provides a distinct but complementary solution set and domain expertise that will only enhance what we are able to offer the communities we serve. Founded in 2014, Dynamo Metrics shares our mission of making data-driven governance easy, so communities can better communicate with their constituents, delivering a culture of community through trust, transparency and compliance.

Co-Founders Nigel Griswold and Ben Calnin, who are joining our management team, founded the company on the premise that better data drives better decision making. For nearly a decade, they’ve been working with local governments to deliver metrics, insights, and reports that help demonstrate impact, increase collaboration, and support strategic decision making. To learn more about the company and its team, please visit www.dynamometrics.com.

Buzz Brown, CEO of Munetrix, commented: “We appreciate the value Dynamo Metrics and their team brings to the Munetrix family. We see tremendous opportunities to create unique insights for customers using the robust property-level Dynamo Metrics solution. Together we will help leaders improve communities through neighborhood revitalization and other programs using comprehensive, easily digestible data and tools that help to analyze where to make investments that will be most rewarding.”  

Nigel Griswold and Ben Calnin, co-founders of Dynamo Metrics, added:  “Partnering with Munetrix will allow us to accelerate the growth of Dynamo Metrics and better serve our customers, through a broader platform and enhanced resources and investment.”

Dynamo Metrics provides software that delivers insights about neighborhood health that helps municipalities target, maximize and communicate the impact their work has on the community, down to the parcel level, adding a more granular level of specificity to the data and insights Munetrix has been delivering for more than a decade.

We will be sure to keep you updated as exciting developments emerge, such as new products and services or additional data and integrations that will be available to you and your peers going forward.

Education, K-12, News, Press Releases

Munetrix Named 2022 CODiE Award Finalist in Three Catgories

Solution for Schools Named Finalist in Categories for Administration, Data Management, and Education

We are proud to announce that the Munetrix School Edition was named a 2022 SIIA CODiE Award finalist in three categories: Best Administrative Solution, Best Data Management Solution, and Best Emerging Education Technology Solution for Administrators. CODiE finalists represent the best products, services and people in the education and business technology industries.

The Munetrix School Enterprise Edition is a comprehensive, all-in-one solution for school districts looking to create a district-wide culture of community through trust, teamwork and transparency. From financials, human resources and business processes to educator evaluations and student progress reporting, the Munetrix Enterprise Edition features easy-to-adopt and easy-to-use modules that facilitate simpler and more robust forecasting, planning and performance management. The product is a comprehensive suite of powerful, interdependent solutions that takes multi-level, complex data sets and makes them simple to understand, report and act upon, including: achievement and growth data, student reporting, needs assessment, educator evaluation, and progress monitoring, as well as financial budgeting, forecasting and modeling.

The SIIA CODiE Awards, the long-running, premier awards program for the software and information industries are produced by the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA), the principal trade association for the software, education, media and digital content industries. Munetrix was picked as a finalist across 47 education technology categories, including new categories in education and leadership.

“The 2022 CODiE Award finalists highlight the products and people who drove their industries forward through innovative products and leadership in these uncertain times,” said SIIA President Jeff Joseph. “These honorees continue the proud tradition of CODiE Award finalists of recognizing the most impactful products, services and leaders of their time, setting a foundation for the next generation of innovators. Congratulations to all who received this well-earned acknowledgment.”

Accolades and Gratitude

Judge feedback included statements such as, “The sheer volume of data that can be used in a district’s customized application of Munetrix is astounding!,” “The Munetrix platform, specifically the Financial Module is impressive…very easy to navigate and esthetically pleasing, and is very robust in the amount of features and functionality it can provide,” and, “Overall, the Munetrix School Enterprise Edition features some incredible opportunities for sharing and disseminating information among stakeholders at an educational institution.”

Munetrix CEO Buzz Brown said, “We’ve worked hard as a company and in collaboration with educators and administrators to make our school product as robust and intuitive as possible. This year, we made significant enhancements to the Financial Module, complementing the feature-rich Academic Module that we relaunched the year prior. This recognition of our industry peers by such a prestigious organization is most welcome, but hard-earned.”

.

The SIIA CODiE Awards are the industry’s only peer-recognized awards program. Finalists are determined by industry experts. CODiE Award winners will be announced during the virtual winner announcement celebrations June 8 and June 9, 2022.

Details about each finalist are listed at https://siia.net/codie/codie-finalists/.

About the SIIA CODiE™ Awards

The SIIA CODiE Awards is the only peer-reviewed program to showcase business and education technology’s finest products and services. Since 1986, thousands of products, services and solutions have been recognized for achieving excellence. For more information, visit siia.net/CODiE.

About Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA)

SIIA is the only professional organization connecting more than 450 data, financial information, education technology, specialized content and publishing companies. Our diverse members provide the critical data, content, and information that drives the global economy, informs financial networks, connects learners and educators, and drives innovation. Learn more at siia.net.

Education, K-12, News

Continuous Improvement Planning and Reporting for Schools in Michigan

The Michigan Integrated Continuous Improvement Process and Reporting for Schools in Michigan (MICIP) is “a pathway for districts to improve student outcomes by assessing whole child needs to develop plans and coordinate funding,” according to the Michigan Department of Education.

The Progress Monitoring app from Munetrix supports school districts in Michigan and other states nationwide in implementing the state-required K-12 Multi-Tiered System of Supports. Munetrix Project Tracker MTSS workflow templates empower district leadership to manage the MDE MTSS requirements and upload key documentation in one online storage space to build institutional knowledge and horizontal succession planning.

Prioritizing continuous improvement planning and reporting for schools in Michigan, the Munetrix Academic Module enables administrators to easily manage and track facilitation of MTSS programing, implementation and communication across the school or district with pre-built templates for MTSS program administration, data meetings, and management of their teams. Learn more about the Academic Module’s solutions for continuous improvement planning and reporting for schools in Michigan by clicking here.

The Academic Module’s Solutions for Continuous Improvement Planning and Reporting for Schools in Michigan

Another feature in the product suite—the Needs Assessment app—supports horizontal succession planning and maintains institutional knowledge in one comprehensive platform. Users can easily set filters to evaluate the district and individual school building data over multiple years to make comparisons and assess changes, allowing administrators to effortlessly identify student achievement gaps and trends across multiple assessments for the district, school and subgroups to identify areas of need to target continuous improvement strategies.

Academic performance analytics solutions for schools in Michigan include software modules for student achievement data, progress monitoring and MTSS, educator evaluations, student needs assessments, student reporting data, student migration and enrollment trends, and much more!

Want to learn more? Contact us to schedule a personal tour of Munetrix’s solutions for continuous improvement planning and reporting for schools in Michigan today!

Fiscal Health

Municipal Budget Allocation Reporting Dashboard

The Munetrix Premium Edition for Municipalities features a comprehensive and intuitive municipal budget allocation reporting dashboard. Whether you are allocating new monies from stimulus or other surplus, or making tough decisions about spending cuts, the best way to make those hard choices confidently is having the most complete set of data available.

City managers, finance directors and other municipal administrators can get free access to one of the key tools in our municipal budget allocation reporting dashboard with a free report we are issuing to any city, township or village who wants to receive this complimentary report. Learn how your municipality’s budget allocations compare to the average of all others in your region with this free, personalized report created specifically for your particular city, village or township—at no cost or obligation!

Your free municipal budget allocation report will be customized to your specific municipality, comparing your budget allocations against the average of all others in your region, allowing you to: 

  • Compare your allocations against the regional average
  • Determine where you might be over-spending or under-spending, based on your peer averages
  • Make better-informed decisions about where to apply budgets or where to cut without losing pace with other cities, villages and townships in your region
  • Use data to create a culture of community through trust, teamwork and transparency
  • Measure what you treasure

Get a Free Demo of Munetrix’s Municipal Budget Allocation Reporting Dashboard Today!

The Munetrix Premium Edition for Municipalities offers the most complete range of data visualization available. The full product suite features apps for budgeting, chart of accounts planning, forecasting and scenario building to debt management, peer benchmarking and capital improvement management, powerful interdependent apps that collaborate to contextualize and visualize all data sets available, all in one intuitive and accessible dashboard!

Continue reading to learn how local governments are leveraging tools like the Munetrix municipal budget allocation reporting dashboard to achieve greater transparency, facilitate mandated compliance and, ultimately, build community trust, collaboration and teamwork with their constituents.

Fiscal Health, Municipal, Opinion

Look at the Bigger Picture to Facilitate Better Budgeting

Better Data Makes for Better Budgeting for Municipalities

Whenever city managers and finance directors go into a budgeting exercise, they face dilemmas and difficult decisions. Whether trying to prioritize the allocation of stimulus or other surplus funds, or processing the challenging demands of budget cuts, tough calls need to be made.

The problem we see is many are forced to make difficult decisions with limited data and incomplete information. Placing unnecessary blinders on your budgeting can lead to incorrect conclusions and potentially misplaced allocations of resources.

It is, however, possible to remove the blinders that have shackled the hands of budgeters and forecasters for years, allowing them to make the invisible visible.

To help facilitate and illustrate this methodology for finance directors, we are, for a limited, time offering a free report to any municipality that wants to see how their budget allocations compare to those of all others in their regions.

.

Data as Competitive Advantage

Let’s face it: Even neighboring cities and townships are in competition. Municipalities are competing not only for population and tax bases, but for visitors, shoppers and recreationalists as well. 

Most often, the competition is right next door. Sometimes it’s within a reasonable commute. But make no mistake, population flight and lower pedestrian traffic are very real and likely to remain (at least to a degree) for the foreseeable future. 

With so much at stake, it’s imperative that municipalities make the most of their strategic decisions—budgetary or otherwise. It’s no longer enough to look internally and self-assess. To do so ignores the data set of competitive forces…the ones pulling at our residents and guests.

But what if you could not only zoom out from your own spreadsheets and historical data and look at the bigger picture? By this, we mean the much bigger picture of the entire region, to access more information, better intelligence, and greater insights on the drivers of success, resident migration and the flow of expenditures and investment. How might that change minds and budgets?

(To access your municipality’s comparison data like the one illustrated above, click here to receive a free report customized specifically to your city, village or township.)

What we’d see is not only our data, but our own data relative to the entire region’s—not just a neighbor or two. How do our city’s budget allocations differ or align with where our competitors are spending their dollars? It would make visible the answers to these questions, which would otherwise remain invisible:

  • If we have to cut spending, are we cutting in the right areas?
  • If we are able to invest stimulus dollars, where are the areas that we need to play catch-up with our peers?
  • Are we over-spending or under-spending, compared to our peers throughout the region, in areas like salaries, facilities and infrastructure, administrator compensation, etc.?
  • How do we know when enough is enough, or too much is too much?
  • Are we winning or losing the various battles for residents, tax payers, merchants, shoppers and federal investments?

It’s one thing to have “a sense” that particular line items need bolstering or trimming, and quite another to have access to regional averages that keep no secrets as to how your city or township is stacking up against the competition.

No longer is it prudent to play a hunch. It’s time to play to win.

Get Your Municipality’s Free Report to See How Your Budgeting Stacks Up Against the Competition

We feel so strongly about the power of performance analytics and data visualizations presenting the complete picture that we are offering a free report to any municipality that would like to evaluate its own budget allocations against the average of its regional peers. 

Your personalized report, customized to your specific city, township or village, will include your version of the above data, along with a breakdown of all spending categories, delivered personally to your inbox in an easy-to-read PDF:

Simply click here to access your city’s Budget Allocation report, at no cost or obligation. You will receive the report within 24 hours, along with access to a live human who will be available to answer questions or help you contextualize your data.

Before long, the invisible will be visible to you. And you will be entering your next budget planning session armed with greater insights, broader intelligence, and informed confidence. Say hello to easy!

Peter Solar is Director of Client Partnerships with Munetrix, a performance analytics and data visualization solution provider serving school districts and municipalities across the country. He can be reached at psolar@munetrix.com.

1 2 3 9 10