Auburn Hills, Mich. – June 8, 2015 –Michigan-based Munetrix, a data aggregator offering a comprehensive suite of reporting, management and forecasting tools designed to meet the financial management and transparency needs of states, municipalities and schools, looked to its Oakland University Incubator (OU INC) roots when it sought to provide Munetrix data and training to OU students as part of a pilot curriculum in the Master of Public Administration program in 2014.
Munetrix’s “Oakland University Edition” municipal and school district data platform successfully completed its inaugural higher education test as part of OU’s MPA653 – Public Budgeting and Finance – during the fall 2014 semester. The course focuses on federal, state and local budgeting and students used Munetrix software and data over the course of the semester to make budgeting assumptions, projections and model forecasts. Post-course student feedback indicated a high degree of usefulness for public sector finance and OU will again be incorporating the Munetrix platform into the course during the fall 2015 semester.
“Our relationship with OU INC has grown into a great relationship with the University as a whole,” Bob Kittle, president of Munetrix said. “Not only do the students benefit from the hands-on approach to municipal and school district finance, we have fostered an environment where internships with Munetrix are a natural progression for many of OU’s students.”
OU INC Executive Director Amy Butler worked with Kittle and Munetrix co-founder Buzz Brown to convince OU Political Science professor and MPA653 instructor, Julie Walters and her OU colleagues of the merits of the simulated program.
“We saw this as an effective way to use the many resources provided by OU INC to help train the next generation of public administrators and non-profit leaders,” Kittle said, adding the student training session on the Oakland Edition of Munetrix was held on-site at OU INC.
Butler also commented on the partnership between OU INC and its members.
“As an incubator for the University, this kind of collaboration is a key goal, where we are helping a local business grow and create jobs while, at the same time, introducing our students to valuable tools that will enhance their career goals and prepare them to meet the talent needs of our businesses,” Butler said. “Because OU INC is a SmartZone, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation also provides funding tools that we can leverage to create these learning collaboratives.”
Walters says the pilot program had positive outcomes for the students.
“The Munetrix version of MPA653 provided students unmatched access to technology tools that will be useful for those pursuing careers in government administration,” Walters said.
Kittle adds that data driven decision making will determine city and school district success into the future and these students will be ready for that.
“There’s a distinct advantage to learning this approach early on through academic programming, rather than through public crises spawned by population and enrollment declines, legacy pension and healthcare costs and unanticipated or unbudgeted infrastructure repairs,” Kittle said. “We look forward to continuing our involvement with OU and OU INC through this course and other opportunities.”
About OU INC
OU INC, a state designated SmartZone business incubator and accelerator. OU INC, a part of SECS, advances the economic strength of the region by transitioning industry and university innovations into commercial successes. It fosters a healthy environment for the growth of new start-up companies as well as providing support for existing companies by leveraging the resources of the university with those resources of its strategic partners. For more information see http://www.oakland.edu/ouinc.
Michigan-based Munetrix is the creator of the Munetrix (municipal metrics) cloud-based local government transparency tool and is among the nation’s largest aggregators of municipal and school district data, allowing subscribers to view public sector financial and demographic data in an easy to understand format and use that data to make meaningful and reliable budgets and financial projections. What is your community’s Munetrix Score? To learn more, visit the Munetrix website.