Developing a budget forecasting model and budget dashboards at Buena Vista University


Developing a budget forecasting model and budget dashboards at Buena Vista University

January 31, 2023

Rising Higher Education Leaders Fellowship logo

Courtney Berg

Director of Finance & Administration/Controller, Buena Vista University

The views and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of EAB.


Buena Vista University currently does not forecast a budget for more than one year when it is time for the board of trustees to review a preliminary budget. When a forecast is needed, it is a manual process in excel that can take a very long time to prepare due to all the variables associated with revenue. Also, any reports or dashboards created by this information are all done manually within excel. Higher education is becoming more and more competitive and therefore, it is important for colleges and universities to see where their budget may be in one, three, or five years. It is also important so the board can make some strategic decisions when it comes to pricing tuition at the various levels that we have.

Buena Vista University is in the process of securing financing to build apartment-style housing. A forecasting model will help in seeing what future revenue this may have on the budget and help set prices for each room type.


Buena Vista University purchased the forecasting software called Prophix Software LLC. I have been working over 150 hours since July to develop the budget reports and forecasting model that we will be using for the various scenarios needed. Along with the models, we will also be creating dashboards and KPIs to report to the board.

Within the software, we have also created schedules around employee salaries to aid in annual increases and to see how this will impact the budget moving forward in our forecasts.

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Reflection of fellowship:

I enjoyed the fellowship from the standpoint of being able to address an issue on our campus and being able to devote time to help resolve it. I also enjoyed working alongside other individuals on campuses across the U.S. and Canada. I looked forward to seeing everyone every two weeks to discuss topics impacting higher education and how it was being addressed on their campus. It allowed me to gain insight into things I may have never thought about that I could bring back to our campus.

Some of the EAB resources I used are the following:

These helped me form some of the dashboards we will use once the project is completed.

See the fellows' blogs from the capstone projects

Courtney Berg and others participated in EAB’s Rising Higher Education Leaders Fellowship in fall 2022

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