Use of Data in Operational and Finance Planning is the Path Forward

Posted by Sarah SingerO

October 16, 2020

The following is an excerpt of Hoonuit’s Insight Report: The Evolving Role of Education Data. The report is a summary of qualitative interviews with more than 100 subject matter experts within the Hoonuit Analytics community and addresses key trends of data use that education agencies will need to focus on over the next 18-24 months. Download the full report.

Education agency leaders are increasingly being challenged to analyze program outcomes against their actual cost and need actionable information to make an informed budget and operational decisions. The answer to that challenge will come through data. The ability to bring together disparate data sources can provide all-encompassing, holistic insights. 

Complete View of All Data, Including Surveys 

Listening to served communities is a cornerstone of public education, and understandably. The rate of surveying has skyrocketed since the onset of school closures. Usage has varied from a quick fix process tool to a more comprehensive fall planning tool. Surveys have become a valuable tool for informing operations in fall 2020-21 scenarios at the state, district, and school levels and monitoring students’ daily engagement in distance learning. 

As education leaders juggle making sense of state guidelines and learning from their community’s distance learning experiences, it’s important to remember that surveys are only one data point. Data aggregation and visualization is necessary for the results to be informative and actionable. Without a clear end in sight to the COVID-19 crisis, and as we move out of spring and into the fall of 2020-21, connecting disparate data will be necessary for the development of new longitudinal data analysis. 

Both operationally and academically, surveys will continue to be a critical data collection method as education agencies potentially fluctuate between distance and in-person learning models. 

Planning for 2020-21 School Year Scenarios 

Education agencies are planning for a variety of learning approaches for the 2020-21 school year. Many of our partner districts are developing more than one contingency plan, and with many risks, trade-offs to each learning model (i.e., distance learning, blended learning, in-person learning, and more), plans must be well informed and supported by data. As public health data fluctuates, access to pertinent data and purposeful resource allocation will be crucial in fluid decision making that is in the best interest of students’ and teachers’ wellbeing. 

Ways Hoonuit can support your district operations during this time include: 

Location Analytics 

Expansive set of interactive geo-spatial tools enables education agencies to understand the geographic context of their data in order to make more informed decisions. Users have the ability to select an area on a map, analyze the data within that selection, and conduct robust what-if scenarios. 

Make smart decisions faster with visualized data and geographic context. Take advantage of our FREE three-month trial offer. Learn more and sign up here.

Enrollment Projections 

Hoonuit’s enrollment projections support reliable budget planning, efficient facilities planning, and fosters proactive staff deployment projections. 

Cost Per Program 

Academic return on investment—is both a mind-set and a decision-making tool. It requires that we formally evaluate all programs, efforts, and strategies using multiple measures, in- cluding effects on student learning, number of students served, and cost per student. 

Per Student Spending 

For more accurate budgeting and planning, Hoonuit helps you connect per student spending to successful outcomes and ensure every dollar is placed where it will make the biggest impact. 


Our platform is system agnostic and can effectively ingest and display disparate data, including survey data, to paint a complete picture of your students, operations, and communities and inform effective plans moving forward. 

Health & Wellness

To make safe and effective decisions, education leaders will need to understand the history and current health status of their educators and students. Data around health and wellness can provide insights that leaders need to make decisions about which learning model best suits the current community health situation and outlook. 

Currently, many schools struggle to consistently track and aggregate student health data and conduct accurate health and wellness analyses. Hoonuit helps education agencies capture key health information and proactively tracking health and wellness trends. Our platform ingests data from outside organizations such as health departments and gives users the ability to visualize that data on a map alongside district and school boundaries. Read more about our health and wellness dashboards and metrics.

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