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Tracking financial impact for higher education – A Power Platform template

Headshot of article author Manas Maheshwari

This Power Platform solution includes app to track financial impact and Power BI reporting to analyze the impact.

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected higher education institutions in substantial ways. Many were not prepared to move operations, courses, and research remotely. Key research projects were impacted or stalled, as faculty and student access to on-campus laboratories and facilities were restricted due to lockdowns or closures for public health. Tracking how the pandemic closures have impacted those research projects became critical for universities, as well as for Federal agencies and sponsors, to report.

Today we’re pleased to offer higher education institutions a new solution that helps them track the impact of any crises and give visibility of the impact at the project level.

One such academic institution was Purdue University. To address this problem Carrie Berger, Associate Dean for Research at Purdue University, approached Microsoft and asked, “What would be the right solution to solve this issue?”

The Microsoft Power Platform empowers everyone to develop applications and solution templates to quickly meet their goals. The Power Platform and education teams partnered with Purdue University to create a Power Platform solution template for tracking the financial impact related to COVID-19 that could also be used to track the impact of any crises or disruption, and we’re making this solution available to other institutions.

Collect data for specific projects and grants.The Power Apps solution is designed to collect data pertaining to sponsored research programs or projects. More specifically, this app enables researchers and faculty members to submit the projected lost effort and loss reason by grant, by employee, and by pay period as shown below. Many academic research departments do not currently have visibility to this project-level detail.

PlaceholderThis solution is deployed at Purdue university and is being used by over 1,100 faculty members to report, calculate, and analyze the impact of the disruption on their research projects and funding.

“We would like to understand the impact of COVID-19 on our sponsored programs, and this tool allows us to do that without enormous effort. This type of data was previously only available by developing models and forecasting the impact. The tool allows for a quantitative assessment prepared by those most affected.” – Ken Sandel, Senior Director of sponsored programs at Purdue 

Purdue University published a press release on how the app has helped them in quantifying the financial impact of COVID-19 on research programs.

With the rich Microsoft Power BI templatized dashboard, head of departments and other senior faculty members can track the productivity loss happening across various departments and type of programs and grants.

Update the impact in the app for specific projects and people.                            

Get the full instructions to implement the Higher Education Crisis Financial Impact Tracker app for your institution.

Watch the Higher Education Crisis Financial Impact Tracker solution video

The solution: This free Power Apps solution uses the Common Data Service (CDS), which empowers you to securely store, integrate, and automate the data for use with other business applications. For example, you can use the supplemental Power BI template provided here, to connect to the Common Data Service and produce interactive reports.

This solution is a sample and may be used with Microsoft Power Platform for dissemination of reference information only. This app is not intended or made available for use as a medical device, clinical support, diagnostic tool, or other technology intended to be used in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease or other conditions, and no license or right is granted by Microsoft to use this app for such purposes. This app is not designed or intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or judgement and should not be used as such. Customer bears the sole risk and responsibility for any use of this app. Microsoft does not warrant that the app or any materials provided in connection therewith will be sufficient for any medical purposes or meet the health or medical requirements of any person.