Pension & OPEB Health: Shock or "AWE"

Client Chooses "AWE" Now

A proactive client wanted to know the significance of excessive unfunded pension and OPEB liabilities (Other Post-Employment Benefits) for a county school district and state. They choose AWE (exploring Awareness, Will, and the Economy) now; rather than kicking the can down the road and being shocked later.  We created rich context by analyzing state fiscal health for all 50 states, and intersecting that with pension and OPEB health.  The result: a call-to-action — summarized in a 42-slide presentation.

The 4-Quadrant Chart

Illinois, in the upper right corner, is ranked worst, and North Dakota, in the lower left corner, is ranked best. Where is your state ranked?  The 5 worst ranked states are shown in red shading with bold red outlines -- the 5 best, in green. Quadrant C is best; quadrant B is worst.  Quadrants A and D indicate some strength and some weakness. Data Source: Mercatus Center, George Mason University.

Want AWE Now, or Shock Later?

Call us to determine the implications of excessive unfunded pension and OPEB liabilities, or to strategize a call-to-action for your state. Scroll down for more projects.

Equity: Expert Witness Analyses

Expert Witness Analysis for a State Equity Case and for a Local Charter School Case

Our state equity analysis was so fair, impartial, and easy to understand that both sides to the litigation accepted the analysis as fact.  The local charter school vs. district case focused on special education funding and resulted in a funding compromise acceptable to both parties.

Revenue Analysis and Expenditure Analysis

Our state-level case involved both charter school-to-district equity and district-to-district equity.  Our analysis compared charter-to-district funding levels (revenues) and traced differences back to underlying state funding mechanisms and state statutes. The local charter school vs. district case required exploration of a funding formula largely based on expenditures; so, expenditures were analyzed in the context of the state funding formula. 

Fiscal Transparency Can Help You Avoid Costly Litigation

Whether you are the defendant or the plaintiff you can save time and money by avoiding equity litigation.  We can assist you with fiscal transparency, understandable financial facts, and public engagement strategies?  Call us.

Data Management: Collection, analysis & Regulatory Reporting

Three Statewide Finance Modeling Projects

We performed separate projects for two State Departments of Education and one State Legislative Council Bureau, inclusive of every school district and charter school in those states. Project functions included:  Federal Regulatory Reporting, Data Collection, Public Engagement, Finance Modeling, and Transparency.  After more than a decade, all three states were still using the tools, analysis and processes we delivered.

The Multi-Dimensional Finance Cube Illustration

All three state-level projects relied heavily upon the Finance Model Cube illustrated at right; and applied that model to 100% of revenues and/or expenditures.  The conceptual model and related analyses were adopted by, and performed by, our client agencies. Reporting from the model enhanced fiscal transparency, reduced state agency operational costs, and provided districts with a means to better reallocate costs towards innovation.

Transparency Builds Trust

Searchable multi-dimensional data provides rich fiscal context and transparency.  Trust enables innovation.  Call us.

Borg or Optometry?

An Optometrist with 7 Offices in Northern Virginia Faced a Difficult Decision

Each of the optometrist's 7 offices used the same integrated optometry system for most business functions -- and the software product was liked for most functions.  However, a critical reporting need was unmet.  Therefore, he had to make a decision to either find another software product or find a reasonable way to meet his reporting need.

Research, Process Analysis, and Solution

Our client's critical problem was not having adequate electronic reporting for 8 different payment methods for up to 9,000 transactions per month, deposits to 3 banks, numerous insurance company events, for 7 offices. This necessitated excessive manual paperwork in each offce, often generating clerical errors.  Our research revealed that the product's weakness was lack of reporting flexibility, but its strength was reliably capturing sound raw transaction data. Analysis of manual staff processes determined that their excessive paperwork could be eliminated by downloading a transaction file and importing it into an Excel model designed to generate the needed reporting. 

Results

The optometrist kept his comprehensive system.  Once a month detailed transaction data are exported from their system and copied into an Excel Model, which automatically produces monthly reporting for each office and for the total of all offices.  That reporting provides a critical internal control, significantly reduces their auditor's billing, and eliminates excessive paperwork. Borg smiles all around!

Networking & Platforms: Start-Up innovation

A New Start-Up Function

A non-profit wanted to explore offerring a new constituent service for a fee, if there was a sufficient need and adequate market.  We networked our research across various industry clusters to determine if there was a significant unmet need at a sustainable market size.  There was. 

Innovative Network Strategy

Our innovative strategy was to connect the players from different industries — private and public companies — who normally work separately in this service area.  That connection would form a central vertical service/product-based network, filling the gaps across historically industry-based clusters.  The goal was to advance effectiveness and efficiency by leveraging knowledge from all players, and build a single constituent network for knowledge growth and lower costs for higher quality services.  This central network strategy also requires a platform solution.  

Platforms Finally Deliver Technology's Promise, Affordably

It has taken more than 3 decades but the promise of technology has finally arrived in the form of platforms — those systems that provide an extensive suite of applications and various communication tools in one affordable integrated product — like SalesForce or Zoho One.



The Data Analysis "Who"

Sound Bites and Paper Reports Eschewed in Favor of Electronic Modeling to Make the "Who" in Analysis the Decision-Maker

In old school consulting practice a consultant designs an analysis with a single reporting format in mind to answer a few analytical questions, organizes data elements to fit that format, analyzes the data, and leaves the client with a paper report of "his analysis" — hence, the consultant is the "Who." Our alternative?  First, determine the most likely analytical questions your client has now, and explore future likely questions. Then, transform the data formats and structure in a manner that is as responsive to current and future questions as possible, and capture that data into a format specifically designed for information consumption by decision-makers (and the public, when appropriate).  The result:  we give decision-makers the ability to search and aggregate the data in various dimensional views so they can analyze it efficiently and effectively.  Client decision-makers are the "Who" in the analysis.    

Our Team Hears a "Who"

Our university client wanted a K-12 fiscal analysis, detail revenues and expenditures, for 15 major urban cities so they could intersect that data with student performance data and generate the best first Cost/Benefit and Return on Investment analysis in the nation.  Clearly, the client wanted us to be Dr. Seuss' Horton and hear the "Who" — the university researchers, decision-makers, and public.  So, we delivered a highly flexible Excel Model, which met all of their needs and allowed them to be the analysis "Who."

You the "Who," We the How

Analysis is most effective in the hands of content owners and decision-makers.   We organize data and build models to help you answer future questions.  Call us.