Our next installment features our Senior Data Associate, Filippo Bulgarelli. Read more to hear about his trek to Allovue and how his love for Balance brings value to our customers nationwide.
How did you come to work at Allovue? I first came across Allovue because of the fascinating work they were doing in the education technology and education finance space. At the time, I performed student and school performance data collection and analysis, in addition to my academic research on equitable school funding, and I noticed a lot of similarities between my interest and experience and Allovue’s mission. The more I learned about the company and the team behind it, the more it seemed like a perfect fit.
Describe your background in education. My education background was almost entirely in the student performance and equity space. Thanks to a role as the student representative on the Board of Education in Madison, WI and mentorship and advocacy opportunities in Philadelphia schools, I developed a strong and persistent interest in education policy. Additional coursework in economics and sociology exposed me to the power of data and the importance of its interpretation in support of student growth. Since then, I’ve been fortunate to work with great teams passionate about the power of education data analysis to empower districts to build on best practices in student performance, finance, and equity.
Describe a day in the life of a Senior Data Associate. Honestly, every day is unique. Most often, my day is divided between helping districts get their data into Balance, supporting strategic planning, leading chart of account revisions, and assisting with product development. I interact with our customers on a daily basis, and over time I’ve learned and can almost anticipate their pain points. So the most critical part of my job is using my knowledge of Balance to proactively resolve their concerns and continuously provide value to our customers.
What are the most significant challenges in your position? Keeping things simple. I know how complicated the education finance world is, and I have a lot of innovative ideas about how to create the most thorough analyses and products. However, I realized that when I’m contemplating a new analysis or engaging with a district, I have to keep a singular focus. I used to take an idea and map out every step of the implementation process, think through every statistical method, and highlight every novel visualization and in the end, I’d have this complex web of information that proved more complicated than useful for our users. In the end, it was a lot of wasted time and misdirected energy. I’ve realized that I gain more insight from users testing out something simple than spending months building in additional and often, unnecessary analyses.
What part of your job is your favorite? There are a lot of great moments in my job, so it’s hard to pick just one. Seeing customers realize how simple it is to leverage Manage the first time they log in always brings me joy. Or watching their faces light up when they find money in their budgets for a new initiative or track a purchase order never gets old. I also love being able to show off how quickly we can complete an integration. But perhaps my favorite thing about my job is the phenomenal team that I get to work with and call my friends. They infuse a lot of fun (sometimes literally, via “Friday Fun”) into my daily tasks, and I look forward to each time I get to work and catch up with them.
What is your favorite feature to show districts in Balance? Honestly, my favorite “feature” is the way that each of our products work together to deliver incredible value. No other product allows our customers to visualize the distribution of dollars in their district and understand the implications for equity, like Evaluate. Or, will enable them to track exactly where each dollar goes and for what purpose like they can in Manage, and then leverage Budget to build a more equitable and forward-thinking budget. I love to see the full eyes and dropped jaws when it all comes together for them and how excited they are by the impact of this work.
What do you foresee in the future for Allovue and Balance? Every time I’m onsite or in a meeting with our district partners, I hear feature requests that would facilitate their work and improve the district’s outcomes. I’m most excited to build each of those features, tools, and enhancements into Balance alongside the Allovue team over the coming years. So I not only foresee really happy customers, but a much more intuitive product that responds to our customer’s individual needs, all to the benefit of students nationwide.
If money were not a consideration, how would you spend the rest of your life? I would spend as much time as possible outside; cross-country skiing in the winter, hiking and biking in the summer, and the rest of the time reading and cooking. However, I don’t think I could stop working entirely, so I’d also like to spend time working with foundations, following new research, and investing in impactful small companies across the education, transportation, and urban development sectors.
Tell us one of the items on your bucket list. I’d love to take a road trip across America. There are so many parts of the country that I haven’t had a chance to visit. With so much natural beauty to witness, I’d love to see as much of it as possible.
The passion and knowledge that Filippo brings to Allovue and our customers is what makes our products and customer service second to none!
Filippo knows just about every tip and trick to help you get the most from Balance. Pick his brain at email@example.com