Frequently Asked Questions

Who uses FutureWorks BI?

A variety of Workforce Development professionals with varying job responsibilities use FutureWorks BI. Organizations that recognize the value of data and strive to be data-driven will use FutureWorks BI to democratize data to empower individuals across the organization with information access. By doing so, everyone can see data through a single version of the truth, a community of practice around data can be fostered and individuals have access to information to support their responsibilities and continuous improvement efforts.

Analysts use FutureWorks BI to conduct data analysis efficiently and effectively. They can spend more time analyzing data and informing their teams and less time trying to get at and transform data they need. FutureWorks BI has application features that are designed to help analysts share their data discoveries with others, increasing their response time and effectiveness when responding to external requests for information.

Administrators and Case Managers use FutureWorks BI to explore data on their own freeing up IT, MIS and analysts to work on more mission-critical tasks. With access to data requiring no special technical skills, they may independently explore data and extract valuable information. The information they receive can direct actions that can positively impact program outcomes.

We highly recommend a 30-minute demonstration where your specific use-cases can be discussed and we can share some of the best practices we've identified among our over a thousand users across 120+ Workforce Development Boards.

How is FutureWorks BI different from case management system reports?

FutureWorks BI presents very dynamic and interactive views of data. FutureWorks BI data views leverage very robust data filtering, slicing and dicing features without the need for users to know how to write complex data queries. Data views provide features for users to create visualizations to aid analysis and sharing information with stakeholders. Since data views are very interactive and very easy for anyone, many analytical questions can be addressed by organizing data in a single data view, making data analysis very efficient.

Case management system reports are static and void of interactivity. A report may answer a single question only to require the creation of more reports to answer questions that arise from the analysis of the initial report. For case management system reports where complex data queries are needed, users must understand the underlying data structure and know how to write data queries that require advanced technical skills.

How is FutureWorks BI different from other Business Intelligence (BI) applications?

FutureWorks BI is commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) business intelligence application for the Workforce Development System. FutureWorks BI users can immediately conduct an analysis of Workforce System data without any data or application preparation typically required from other business intelligence tools. There is no “build” required.

FutureWorks BI is truly self-service business intelligence specifically developed for the public workforce development system and has been developed over 20 years with input from over a thousand workforce professionals. Unlike other BI tools, the warehousing, extracting, validating, transforming, and loading of data are included in the FutureWorks BI application service.

In addition, an application framework that allows users to interact with loaded data is already built and ready for use to conduct complex analyses, including the ability to create visualizations of the data. Other BI tools require users to construct views of data to prepare for analysis. In FutureWorks BI updated data is immediately available, whereas in other BI tools, users must manage data updates.

We use Tableau to create our own dashboards to post to the Tableau public site for our board members. Is FutureWorks BI able to do this?

Users may export any data they discover in FutureWorks BI and use that data to feed Tableau or any other BI tool. FutureWorks BI makes the task of querying data from a Workforce System data warehouse easy for anyone, requiring no advance technical skills, such as Structured Query Language (SQL). This can fast-track feeding data to other BI tools you may use.

In addition, the FutureWorks team is available to help you create custom dashboards in FutureWorks BI. Custom dashboards can be made available from your FutureWorks BI application.

Custom dashboards that require significant design and development work, dashboards designated as publicly accessible or embedded for external public sites are subject to additional service fees. Please share any custom requirements with your FutureWork Systems’ representative.

How can FutureWorks BI improve my WIOA performance outcomes?

When state and local boards make the most of their WIOA data they have the information they need to make informed program and policy decisions. Access to WIOA data where everyone is looking at a single version of the truth and data insights can translate into action steps for improved WIOA performance outcomes. FutureWorks BI gives anyone the ability to analyze WIOA data to explore details behind performance indicators.

FutureWorks BI presents the most current state of WIOA performance indicators, giving your team information where they can confirm data accuracy, inform participant follow-up activities and even see what performance indicators look like in future reporting periods using FutureWorks BI’s Predictive Roster feature.

What data does a state or workforce board need to provide to use FutureWorks BI?

FutureWorks BI requires WIOA data in the Participant Individual Record Layout (PIRL). This is the minimum data required to run the application. Additional data extracted from a case management system may be included as supplemental data.

The PIRL data that feeds FutureWorks BI monthly is in the exact same PIRL format that states must provide USDOL. Since this data format is already being extracted from case management systems to meet federal reporting requirements, state/local boards do not need to do any special data preparation work to get started using FutureWorks BI.

Can we add additional data beyond what is in the PIRL?

Yes. Yes. FutureWorks BI can include supplemental data mined from a case management system or other sources to help you meet specific analytics needs.

We are a local Workforce Development Board. How can we get the data needed so we can use FutureWorks BI?

It’s not uncommon for local Workforce Development Boards to not have access to a PIRL data file. This is most often due to the presence of UI wage data in the PIRL. We have worked with many local Workforce Boards who have this challenge. In most cases, your state can provide a PIRL data file to feed directly to FutureWorks BI. We work with you and your state to ensure your FutureWorks BI app can receive the required PIRL data.

Can we analyze outcomes for our American Job Centers (AJC) or Eligible Training Providers?

Yes. FutureWorks BI can allow in-depth analysis of AJC and Eligible Training Provider outcomes, including detailed data of participant services and characteristics. Many Workforce Development Boards regularly use their FutureWorks BI application to share outcome and participant information with offices and providers. This allows everyone to extract valuable information from a single version of the truth.

Do you need any special technical skills to use FutureWorks BI?

No. FutureWorks BI is an entirely self-service business intelligence application. FutureWorks BI provides simple application features that allow users to perform very complex data querying very quickly and without any special technical skills. Users do not extract, transform or load data in preparation for data analysis. They do not need to know a data query language, such as Structured Query Language (SQL).

We are interested in analyzing data for programs other than the core WIOA programs. Is that possible?

Yes. If participants in WIOA Title I and Title III core programs are co-enrolled in any of the following programs, analyzing data from these programs is possible.

  • National Dislocated Worker Grants (DWG)
  • Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA)
  • National Farmworker Jobs Program (NFJP)
  • Indian and Native American Program (INAP)
  • Reentry Employment Opportunities (Adult)
  • Reentry Employment Opportunities (Youth)
  • YouthBuild
  • Jobs for Veterans State Grants (JVSG)
  • H-1B Job Training Grants
  • Job Corps
  • Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP)
  • Rapid Response Additional
  • Incumbent Worker

If you are managing specific grants or state employment and training programs outside of WIOA funding, data can also be included in FutureWorks BI. Please meet with a FutureWork Systems Representative to discuss your specific needs.

We know what we want in a dashboard for our board. Can we build it using FutureWorks BI?

Yes. FutureWorks BI is very dynamic, allowing users to interact with WIOA program data very easily, including creating visualizations of data. FutureWorks BI provides application features to help users share data discoveries and work collaboratively with data.

We offer clients customized service options as part of their FutureWorks BI subscription. These services include custom dashboard design and development. We work closely with our clients to help them determine the most effective and efficient ways to deliver important information to board members and other stakeholders

We care about the required performance indicators, but we are more interested in effectively managing them with more real-time information. Can FutureWorks BI help?

Yes. FutureWorks BI certainly contains data where you can analyze your most current WIOA performance indicators against your performance targets. FutureWorks BI includes data where predicting the outcomes in future reporting periods is possible, giving you the information needed to coordinate action steps, such as conducting participant follow-up activities or collecting supplemental data that may influence outcomes. FutureWorks BI’s Predictive Rosters feature is a powerful tool for proactive performance management.

What is the difference between FutureWorks BI and FutureWorks BI National subscriptions?

Can I export data from FutureWorks BI?

Yes. Data can be exported in Excel. PowerPoint, PDF and PNG export formats are also available.

How long does it take to implement FutureWorks BI?

Implementations can be as quick as a couple of weeks. A detailed implementation schedule is provided upon subscription start. FutureWorks BI is a full self-service BI application service, which translates to a very simple implementation process. We guide clients through each step ensuring a painless process.

There is no implementation process for FutureWorks BI National subscriptions. National subscribers are provided immediate access to the FutureWorks BI National application at subscription start date.

Is training included?

Yes. Initial onsite training is included and highly recommended. Ongoing Web-based training is available, on-demand, and is included as part of the subscription service. For FutureWorks BI National subscribers, initial training is Web-based and ongoing Web-based training is available.

The FutureWorks team conducts ongoing training opportunities throughout a subscription period.

Training event topics cover how to use FutureWorks BI to subject matter topics to help states and boards build greater capacity for using data to drive decisions and support continuous improvement. We have a team with over 20 years’ of experience implementing business intelligence applications in the public Workforce System.

What does FutureWorks BI cost?

There are several factors that determine cost, such as the scope of the data feeding FutureWorks BI, the number of user seats and any customizations. Please contact us for a detailed cost proposal.

FutureWorks BI National subscriptions are sold as individual user subscriptions. Pricing is discounted depending on the number of user seats purchased. Please request a quote.

Please note that all FutureWorks BI subscribers are provided access to FutureWorks BI National as part of their subscription package.

How do states or boards procure FutureWorks BI?

FutureWorks BI is offered as an off-the-shelf Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and is available directly from FutureWork Systems or through approved resellers, such as SHI, Dell Technologies, or Insight.

Is a trial available?

Yes. Trials are available for qualified prospects. Please contact us for more information.