Bubble Chart Showing Cost Benchmarking of Major Urban Districts

Strategy Consulting firm BCG’s Study of the Philadelphia Schools

It’s often hard to determine which types of charts to use in your strategy presentation.  One way to learn about best practices is to look at the business charts from the top strategy consulting firms.  There is a surprising amount of work product available on-line from McKinsey, Boston Consulting Group, Bain and Company, and their competitors.  Some chart-heavy presentations and reports can be found on the company web sites.

In addition if these firms do work for public organizations (e.g., school districts, public universities, local governments), it could be made public.  Here is an example: a BCG study done for the School District of Philadelphia (SDP).   Here are some chart highlights:Bubble Chart Showing Cost Benchmarking of Major Urban Districts

  • a bubble chart on page 18 shows that spending per pupil, both overall and operations spending, is in-line with comparable districts.  It’s a good example of using a bubble chart to show bench-marking data along two dimensions.
  • a four chart slide on page 19 shows that SDP overspends in two areas–facilities and transportation–and underspends in two others–HR and IT.  They compare SDP costs to other districts with simple bar charts.
  • a 100% stacked bar chart on page 31 breaks out potential savings from school closings into facilities and instructional savings, using two shades to highlight the savings categories.

There are over 50 exhibits and many are charts.  The presentation provides some good examples of using charts to illustrate how to cut costs.