The Killeen Independent School District board of trustees had not yet reached a decision about whether to purchase a special budgeting module after a demonstration of the software at a workshop Thursday morning.
The dashboard, designed by Gibson Consulting Inc., would provide a user-friendly interface that would be updated annually and offer up to five years of historic data to board members.
It would cost $31,190 for the first year of the service.
That price would include a separate analysis by Gibson and would ultimately lower the expense of the audit the company already does for KISD, said board member Susan Jones.
The board seemed torn on the value of potentially purchasing the interface.
“We need to ask ourselves what is the purpose and goal of our dashboard for us,” board member JoAnn Purser said. “We have to figure out what our goal is.”
Some members advocated that it would give clarity through enhanced graphical representations and customized comparison options.
“We are looking for potential outliers and anomalies. We are looking for potential savings,” KISD Superintendent John Craft said. “Bar graphs and line graphs tend to be a little more indicative.”
Craft said that while the granularity presented within the module would be valuable, he wasn’t sure as to the program’s potential impact as a whole.
“I can’t say that this is going to be the driving factor in budget decisions,” Craft said. “It’s good for analysis and looking at the bigger picture, but budgeting will be based on the integrity of the data, regardless of the module.”
KISD Chief Financial Officer Megan Bradley said the district currently uses a much more detailed budgeting system called “Forecast5” and that would likely not use the Gibson module.
Bradley said the need for an additional interface would only be to make details more accessible to board members without a finance background.
“It would be useful to me because I am not a numbers person,” board member Minerva Trujillo said. “But how many people are going to use this?”
Gibson employees said that the online module would not charge per user and would include unlimited viewing.
The board did not make a final decision regarding purchase of the module, but will continue to look at tools like this throughout the budgeting process.
“This ultimately drives conversation and insufficiencies quickly become evident,” Craft said.