How analytics can improve campus financial management
- In 2012, the University of California System embarked on a plan to save $200 million in spending over a five-year period — and the system hit its goal one year early by using spend technology systems that allow for price comparison and spending metrics almost on-demand.
- These systems allow institutions to compare prices for goods, services and materials while tracking spending performance over specific time periods, while also allowing campuses to factor in costs that are commonly not included in projects like construction or renovation, which can frequently drain budgets.
- More than 100 institutions nationwide are using spend analytics to streamline purchasing, strengthen bidding processes, and to more effectively manage costs associated with human resources and data processing.
California and Florida are two states making the most of spend analytics in their higher education systems, but other institutions can maximize the data to make a stronger case for legislative investment or to more clearly define the cost of doing business in the industry. For public institutions, saving money is the surest way to impress lawmakers and to convince them that budget cuts can be withheld when institutions are allowed to more effectively trim spending in key areas.
For private institutions under the microscope for endowment spending or the lack thereof, these systems can help stakeholders to understand the measure of college operational costs, and the effort to reduce errors in budget predictions and long-term fiscal planning.
- University Business Let the numbers do the talking in higher ed spending