FAQ

/Frequently Asked Questions
Contact & Support

General

  • Where does DecisionInsite get its information?

    Data from our clients is central to the enrollment projections we provide, but we also extract information from a variety of community demographic products. For more detailed information, click here.

  • Why does DecisionInsite generate two student enrollment forecasts each year for its clients?

    We generate two student enrollments for our clients as they serve different purposes within a district. The conservative projection is designed with budget planning specifically in mind. The moderate projection is suitable for facilities planning. Many districts find they need both of these and, in some cases, different departments are creating their own projections. DecisionInsite feels that it best serves the whole district by generating both and making them available for analysis through The StudentView System.

  • How does DecisionInsite generate its enrollment forecasts?

    DecisionInsite’s proprietary methodology offers school districts unique advantages and benefits. To learn more, please visit this page.

  • How do Geographic Projections Work?

    To learn more about how geographic projections work, please read this whitepaper.

  • How do I use Opportunity Scan?

    To use opportunity scan, please read this whitepaper.

  • Where can I find the DecisionInsite Reference Guide?

    To see the guide, click here.

 

Working With Us

  • How many users are included in a typical DecisionInsite agreement?

    DecisionInsite believes that a district gains its best value by granting access to as many people as necessary. Therefore we do not limit the number of users.

  • How does DecisionInsite handle school choice in its school-by- grade forecasts?

    DecisionInsite’s methodology was specifically designed to handle the challenges of projecting school enrollment where school choice is practiced. We do not base school projections on attendance areas. Instead, we base school projections upon the pattern of draw to a particular school from any geographic area‚ both inside the district and outside the district. This method is not only more realistic to what actually occurs in a district but also gives our clients the flexibility of closing a school to open enrollment when necessary. There are also reports and analysis tools built into The StudentView System allowing the user to quickly see the patterns of school choice as they are expressed within the district.

  • What kind of system maintenance must a client manage?

    None! This is the beauty of the DecisionInsite StudentView System. There is nothing for the client to manage, no software to keep up with or information to back up. This is all part of the DecisionInsite service and why school districts partner with us. Clients simply log in and explore. And, don’t worry about anyone harming the data, it’s all protected on our servers.

  • How often and when does DecisionInsite generate enrollment forecasts?

    In September, existing clients are notified that the annual forecasting process is beginning. A packet of data requirements is provided to each client. As soon as a district submits its annual student data file, DecisionInsite begins to develop the next year’s forecasts. DecisionInsite can create enrollment forecasts at any point during the year, upon request.

  • How much interaction is there between client districts and DecisionInsite during the enrollment forecasting process?

    DecisionInsite analysts communicate with clients throughout the process. The first step is to build the conservative district-wide forecast. This is posted to our DecisionInsite password protected website and the client is invited to review the numbers. If there is something that raises a question for the client, they will discuss this with the analyst. The goal is to understand the concern and properly account for it and/or make adjustments in light of the new information. After the client is comfortable with the conservative district-wide forecast, the conservative school-by-grade forecasts are generated. Again, there is a communication exchange. When the client is satisfied with the full conservative forecast, then DecisionInsite generates the moderate forecast. Having the client data accessible via the web facilitates easy interaction.

  • What if residential development is occurring within a district? How does DecisionInsite handle this?

    In order to realistically consider the potential impact upon a district of new residential development, DecisionInsite needs to know the amount of dwelling units by housing type and year of expected occupancy. Armed with this information, we are able to apply a student generation rate and project new students in the appropriate year. Some districts have the internal staff to conduct residential development research. When this is the case, they simply pass that information along and it is built into the forecasts. For districts that do not have this internal capacity, DecisionInsite can provide these research services for an additional fee.

  • How difficult is it to conduct alternative attendance area analysis in order to either open or close schools?

    With the DecionInsite StudentView System, alternative scenarios are only a few mouse clicks away. Our unique boundary analysis tool allows district planners to easily generate multiple attendance area scenarios in a matter of minutes. With this powerful tool, planners not only see how many students might be generated in a new attendance area, but also immediately see the potential impact upon existing schools in both the immediate future and future years. What used to take hours is done in seconds!

  • How long does it usually take from the moment a contract is signed until a district has access to the DecisionInsite StudentView System?

    There are several steps taken in setting up a district for the first time. Student and school data is and district boundaries and attendance areas are digitally drawn. All of this occurs before forecasts can be generated. However, once these are done, a client is given access to the system. On average, a new district will have initial access within four weeks. And assuming the student data validation process goes well, initial projections follow within eight weeks of initiation. Additionally, for clients who sign on in late spring or summer, the first projection is most likely not going to be for the immediate fall but for the following fall.

  • How much does it cost for training in the use of the StudentView System?

    Nothing! DecisionInsite does not charge extra for the basic training workshop. Furthermore, since the system is so easy to use, most new users reach full competency in a single day workshop. Training workshops are held throughout the year, hosted by various DecisionInsite client districts.

  • What if I need support in using the system? Who do I contact?

    Need to talk to someone? Click here to find the method that best suits you.

  • How much do DecisionInsite’s solutions cost?

    All of our solutions services are designed to meet the needs of each school district.  From small school districts with student populations of just over 800 students to the large suburban school districts with student populations over 100,000 students, our solutions are based upon the size and scope of the work.