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How to Access Benchmarking Data When You Need It

By Net Assets posted 10-18-2018 08:26 AM


Financial Management |

At some point this year, you will be looking for data points that could help with setting your school’s budget, preparing a board report or outlining a strategic plan. The time to prepare is now.

This article was updated on September 23, 2019. 

Independent schools often contact Mary Kay Markunas seeking benchmarks such as percent of total spending on administrative costs, percent of revenues from fundraising and average debt load. The answer, NBOA’s director of research and member resources explained, is NBOA’s BIIS, which provides streamlined data actionable to the business office. Any member school that enters data has access to national data sets that can be broken into different cohorts and comparison groups. “We can’t help you unless you help us,” by entering data, explained Markunas.

In addition, schools that meet the October 11 data collection deadline will be able to use the newly improved NBOA Financial Dashboard to easily access key markers financial sustainability markers, as well as NBOA's Composite Financial Indicator Calculator that helps administrators assess their school’s financial health over time and communicate strengths and challenges with board members.

Still on the fence? Seven reasons to participate:

  1. Comprehensive evaluation of your school’s financial position. BIIS includes reporting tools like the NBOA Financial Dashboard, with 12 key financial indicators, and a Composite Financial Index calculator.
  2. Streamlined data points. With a school’s audit and payroll records, completing BIIS is straightforward and streamlined.
  3. By business officers for business officers, based on member feedback. For years, business officers have shared that other surveys did not meet their needs to better understand their school's financial position. NBOA developed BIIS with a set of clear definitions and calculations to fill that void with standardized and reliable data.
  4. Accuracy. In addition to built-in algorithms, a team of former business officers review every data point to ensure its accuracy. This is standard practice with NBOA's surveys.
  5. Quicker to complete. BIIS collects far fewer data points than other systems, focusing on data that is relevant to and actionable for the business office specifically. With data from past NBOA research efforts already pre-loaded in BIIS, updates are easier.
  6. Powerful compensation and staffing data. BIIS collects data on a broader set of job positions than any other data collection platform, including positions in maintenance, transportation and food service.
  7. Timely and accurate analysis. NBOA's new white paper, "Key Financial Indicators of Vitality for Independent Schools," is the first of many publications based on BIIS data and is now available to members.

Enter your school’s data into BIIS between now and Friday, October 11.



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