The phrase “data-driven decision making” is tossed around quite a bit these days. It is another way of saying “stop making uninformed guesses.” The first phrase sounds more sophisticated than the second, but they both pretty much mean the same thing: find out what you can before you start making choices and doing things. I agree with that concept. It is good to be apprised of a situation.

This week, Funds For Learning released its 2017 E-rate Trends Report. Combining funding request data and the results of a national survey of 1,096 applicants, this report is intended to drive an informed discussion regarding this important funding program. The information ranges from the more significant (e.g. the 16% decline in the number of applicants. See page 10.), to the more mundane (e.g. the month of March is favored for the close of the filing window. See page 20.)

One of my favorite aspects of the E-rate Trends Report is the comment section. Applicants were invited to share their thoughts, suggestions, and ideas. All their responses are included verbatim (except for edits that removed personal information.). Rather than listening to what Funds For Learning has to say about the E-rate program, you can hear directly from applicants all across the country. Get ready. They have a lot to say!
 
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The theme behind the Trends Report is data-driven decision making. We want to help applicants, USAC and the FCC make better, more-informed decisions. Please download the 2017 E-rate Trends Report today and then let’s continue the discussion on Twitter (@jdharrington and @ffl).