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In 2005 I was hired by SchoolDude as a Client Adviser. Growing up in the tech support and implementation side of the business, I gained a unique appreciation for the challenges and opportunities facing facility operations professionals at schools. In 2009 the Dude created a Success Management team, where I was fortunate to lead a small team responsible for engaging clients, assessing their opportunities, and helping to maximize their investment. In 2012 started wearing two big hats - Community Engagement Manager and Chief Data Dude. Today I'm very excited to be managing our Client Support team. My passion lies in leading this team of legendary support professionals, connecting peers in SchoolDude Nation, creating a valuable Community experience, and telling stories with data that inspire success in Facility Operations.
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Looking ahead to 2015 we like to think about what the year has in store- is there anything we can prepare for or anticipate so we can be ahead of the curve? Here are 5 trends we're seeing in the educational operations world:
Mobile Workforce and rate of technology adoption will increaseThe benefits are too great to ignore or brush aside anymore. In Dude Nation the data suggests productivity gains of 25% conservatively when employees are empowered to receive and process work on the go. A focus on wireless infrastructure to support tablets, netbooks, and smartphones is increasing. Customers expect a responsive work force and we see institutions making big strides to meet those expectations.
Facilities receive face lifts Many aging facilities that have been neglected over the years will receive much needed attention. 75% of institutions surveyed have construction plans for 2015. Around 40% of those same respondents say they have renovation projects or plans to repair/replace infrastructure. *District Administration Outlook 2015*
The demand for data driven decisions rises We see it all around us in virtually every sector- decision makers are relying more on data and less on anecdotal evidence or "gut" feelings. In our world where many leaders are battling a "perception gap", of what is being done, data driven decisions become even more important to set expectations correctly. While we may not have control over what is ultimately approved (budgets or projects), we do have control over making decision makers aware of the consequences of their actions or lack thereof.
Increased demand for visibility into operations
In this data driven world, expectations have evolved and transparency is no longer a luxury. Leaders and stakeholders expect visibility and accountability when something goes wrong as well as to defend resources and budgets. Dashboards and automated reports are vital components of your management tool set that will be leveraged on a weekly if not daily basis.
Security improvements will leverage technological advancements
More institutions will invest in technology than staff to make their schools more secure in 2015. 62% of decision makers surveyed by District Administration said technology based security will be receiving new attention in 2015. This includes investments in cameras, security kiosks, bio-metric entry systems and other technology.