CEO Notebook

Jeff Shields

Jeffrey Shields, FASAE, CAE

President and CEO
@shieldsNBOA

The BIIS Journey: Get on Board by October 11

From Net Assets NOW, October 8, 2019. Read past issues of CEO Notebook.

Four years ago, when NBOA embarked on the journey to develop a data collection platform, our goal was to offer benchmarking, analysis and tools that added value to the independent school data collection landscape. So, from the beginning, we asked ourselves, what would make BIIS different?

First, it would be designed by business officers for business officers — your colleagues and peers, sitting in your seat, who best understand what financial and operational data schools need and how they need to see it. Second, the scope of BIIS would be intentionally limited and consistent with NBOA’s mission, focused on helping business officers help their schools achieve long-term financial health. And third, BIIS would be easy to use, including data entry, benchmarking and reporting. All of this would allow the forward-thinking business officer to better understand his or her school’s financial position and richly inform a school’s long-term financial strategy.

Today, BIIS offers the following to you and your school in alignment with our original goals:

  • You control the number of data points you enter. Enter data directly from payroll, your audited financials — your draft audit is acceptable too — and a quick phone call to the admissions office. According to our most recent BIIS User Survey, most business officers report their submission took only a few hours to complete. BIIS provides robust compensation data specifically for business and operations staff positions that are not commonly found in other surveys, which you can access if you submit those data points.
  • All data is reviewed and scrubbed by business officers prior to reporting. All the data your school enters into BIIS is not only checked for accuracy by built-in algorithms but also reviewed and scrubbed by a team of former business officers. Accuracy is important, and with all your survey responsibilities, mistakes can happen. If scrubbers note a possible error, you will get an email. This provides additional peace of mind that your data and the data you are reporting out from BIIS are clean and accurate.
  • Customized peer benchmarking with schools that have also provided a complete data set. During the previous reporting period, business officers voiced frustration that when they created a cohort group, some of the schools selected did not provide their data. Now BIIS allows only schools with complete data sets to be selected for benchmark groups.
  • Access to one-of-a-kind reporting tools. The NBOA Financial Dashboard and Composite Financial Index (CFI) calculator are tools exclusive to BIIS. These easy-to-use reports are just part of the ROI that your school receives and will help position you as a strategic partner with your head of school and board of trustees as you discuss your school’s financial future.

You know better than almost anyone at your school that a technology project of this kind is a journey. Thank you to all of the schools that have joined us on this ride thus far. You have helped us continue to improve BIIS, highlight its unique role and most importantly, develop it into a valuable resource that makes your job easier and the financial decisions at your school better.

You still have plenty of time to complete your data entry in BIIS by Friday, October 11. Don’t wait for another school to do it; they may just be waiting for you. Thank you in advance for your support of your national professional association by participating in BIIS. Your strategic partners at your schools may thank you as well, for bringing data-informed insights and vision to crucial leadership discussions.

Jeff Shields

Jeffrey Shields, FASAE, CAE
President and CEO

Jeff has been NBOA's president and CEO since March 2010. Prior to joining NBOA, he spent almost 10 years at the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO), serving most recently as senior vice president and chief planning officer. An active member of the American Society of Association Executives, Jeff earned the Certified Association Executive (CAE) designation in 2002 and was selected as an ASAE Fellow in 2008. He currently serves as a trustee for the One Schoolhouse, Inc., and previously served as a trustee for Georgetown Day School in Washington, D.C.

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Business Intelligence for Independent Schools (BIIS)

BIIS open for data collection August 19 - October 11

Gain access to a powerful set of benchmarking and analysis tools by entering your data into NBOA's signature data collection platform, Business Intelligence for Independent Schools (BIIS). Built by business officers, for business officers, BIIS provides independent schools with a comprehensive look at their financial health, sustainability and staffing compared to similar schools in a national data set.

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