Home Latest News STN EXPO Session Shows How to Apply Data to Tell a Story
STN EXPO Session Shows How to Apply Data to Tell a Story PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jeanette Reveles   
Wednesday, 27 August 2014 10:00

john-fahey-expoA workshop presented at the STN EXPO last month shared with student transporters how they can utilze department, driver and vehicle data “to tell a story” of safety or efficiencies when working with parents, school boards and even their own employees.

In a self-admittedly "out of the box" presentation, Tyler Technologies consultant John Fahey offered a three-part template on how to apply data information to tell a “story,” get your point across, or solve a problem that may arise. Those three components are:

  • Clarity, or being very clear and concise on what point you are trying to convey and sharing the “noble purpose,” or why it is vital to student safety or the district budget, for example.
  • Finding the actual data in your department that will help you solve the problem or prove your point.
  • Framing your results and findings in the form of a story tailored to your intended audience.

Fahey, also a former assistant superintendent and director of transportation at Buffalo Public Schools in New York, stressed that catering to an audience is very important. He said that for example, data about runs per bus may not mean much to a parent, but may be important in discussions with bus drivers.

He then emphasized the importance of framing your data into a “story,” as a way to capture the attention of your audience.

“As human beings, stories connect to us,” added Fahey, now a consultant with transportation software and GPS firm Tyler Technologies.

Fahey also provided examples on how to apply the template to real-life situations transportation directors may face. For example, he presented a likely scenario consisting of a parent asking the transportation director if he/she is operating a safe program. How can that be proven? The clear point this director needs to convey, Fahey explained, is that his/her program is in fact safe and not just perceived to be.

Fahey then applied data about driver training and safety in a way that addressed the concerns of the hypothetical concerned parent.

“The state requires four hours of driver training each year, but our district provides 10 hours," Fahey responded rhetorically. "We are committed to training our drivers. Your child’s driver went through training, particularly driving techniques and special needs transportation."

Fahey concluded the session by fielding audience questions on how individual challenges might be solved through data and how to use the template to show that a department is exceeding minimum requirements and expectations.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 27 August 2014 10:01