Fulton County Schools Launches Digital Balanced Scorecard Database

  • Posted 1/25/2023

    Balanced Scorecard Screenshot
    Screenshot of the Balanced Scorecard dashboard.

    Dr. Emily Bell & Dr. Ryan Moore

    For over 20 years, Fulton County Schools (FCS) has provided a Balanced Scorecard analyzing data and information for parents and stakeholders.

    "We have provided the board and shared with the public a balanced scorecard for 21 years," said Dr. Emily Bell, Chief Information Officer. "However, this is the first year we have provided the board and public a digital Balanced Scorecard."

    The digital Balanced Scorecard makes it easier for parents and stakeholders to get more specific and targeted information about schools in the district. Dr. Bell and Dr. Ryan Moore, executive director of strategy & governance, began collaborating two years ago with an internal team to incorporate the metrics in the traditional BSC into a modern digital Balanced Scorecard dashboard using the Power Business Intelligence platform.

    "Fulton County Schools is truly leading the way in using data to inform decisions and I am proud of our data team's work to help them visualize key metrics," Dr. Bell said.

    The process consisted of collecting 21 years of data and aggregating that data into four topical buckets, 17 links, 50 pages, and hundreds of metrics on a visualized, easily accessible, and easy to navigate dashboard. The four topical data areas include Learning and Growth, which focuses on academic related areas like State Accountability, College & Career Readiness, Assessments, and Student Engagement; Finance, which encompasses Average Per Pupil Allocations, the American Rescue Plan, the General Funds Balance & Budget Variance, Capital Plan, and Grants; Business Process, which includes Facilities, Information Technology, Transportation, Nutrition, and Capital Programs; and Stakeholder Input, which encompasses the Charter System, Human Resources, and the Perception Survey.

    "The BSC represents a comprehensive collection of key metrics that allow data transparency while maintaining student data privacy," Dr. Bell said. "We went to great lengths to protect student data."

    For example, when the end user applies a filter to access a data set that comprises 10 students or less, the results from that data search are obstructed. On all other data sets, the public can see aggregate averages.

    The data team additionally collaborated with key corporate and government stakeholders including Microsoft, the Georgia Department of Education, and the Governor's Office of Student Achievement to validate best practice for student data privacy for this project.

    This modernized digital BSC was presented to the Fulton County Board of Education at the January 10, 2023 meeting. FCS is likely the only school system in Georgia to implement the Harvard Review-cited Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton Balanced Scorecard which provides "a set of measures that gives top managers a fast but comprehensive view of the business." (Kaplan & Norton, 1992)

    For more information, and to access the FCS Balanced Scorecard, please visit https://www.fultonschools.org/bscpublic.

    For more information on the Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton Balanced Scorecard, please visit the Harvard Business Review website.


    FCS Data Team
    FCS Data Team: the faces behind the new digital Balanced Scorecard