Forecast5's Scott Smith talks ESSA, transitioning from eFACTS+, and working with TASBO members.
We talked with Scott Smith, Chief Revenue Officer & Executive Vice President, about Forecast5’s initiatives, his interactions with TASBO members, and their sponsorship with TASBO.
What are some hot topics heading into this year?
We’ve really been focused on ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) and some of the things that our clients need to deliver some of the mandates related to ESSA. Some of the key areas we're helping them in are related to college and career readiness and the data needed to be able to communicate that readiness.
Also, related to ESSA, we’re looking at onsite-based reporting and what districts have to, based on each campus, report their per pupil spending. There can be some challenges in that because not every campus is exactly the same as far as the makeup of the students, the programming, so there are some challenges in being able to communicate why one building might spend more per pupil than another.
Also, transparency is another key area. Many districts are wanting to be as transparent as they can be with their taxpayer base, their community. We're really trying to help them do that through data visualization and communicating their individual stories.
What are some key initiatives for Forecast5?
What we do with clients and with members of TASBO is to help them with what they need to deliver to the public, to their board, or address pain points through those deliverables. If they need a report to produce for the board and be able to communicate their situation that's more visual in nature than using spreadsheets, we're really all about helping them with that. Furthermore, our service enables them to have data at their fingertips to be reactive to questions that might come from the board or the public. But they can also be proactive about communicating their given story and the initiatives that they have throughout the year.
What do you appreciate about TASBO members?
TASBO members are great to work with from the standpoint that they're always looking to learn. I believe they feel like we can help them, and not just because we have a product that might help them, but also, we bring some domain expertise from our team. I think we're really viewed as partners with TASBO members and I appreciate that they look at us that way, as opposed to just having a product. Also, we appreciate that they partner alongside us in developing our products, making sure that they're relevant to the specific needs that they have throughout the year as things like ESSA or as other legislative topics come up.
What are some additional benefits of your relationship with TASBO and the Strategic Partner Program?
Our relationship with TASBO has been great. Going back to about four years ago TASBO had the eFACTS+ program. We found one another and Forecast5 ended up taking over the administration of the eFACTS+ program. What was really exciting about that is we were really aligned in how we were going to be delivering the product to help districts better communicate their story. It's really been a great partnership for us from that standpoint.
They come alongside us to make sure that we're always collecting the right data into the tool to deliver back out to the members. Also, the TASBO folks are great about saying, “here's what you need to do Forecast5 to help our members.” They know that we'll partner up with them on that. And just from a professional development standpoint throughout the year, they will always look to us on how we can help their members. How can we come alongside, kind of the three of us together, Forecast5, TASBO, and then the members to help with those pain points that are needed throughout the year.
Thank you Scott and Forecast5 Analytics for your support for public education!