The Analytics “Bbuzz”

There seems to be a lot of buzz (or bbuzz) about “analytics” at BbWorld 11! Our session on using analytics was over-capacity and it looks like they moved this one (Introduction to Analytics) to a larger room.

Analytics is Blackboard’s newest platform after their acquisition (December 2010) of iStrategy. The application provides pre-defined and customizable data models for the leading SIS. Blackboard defines analytics as performance measurement, reporting and self-service,as well as decision support. For background, the presenter mentioned a whitepaper on “What Every Leader Needs to Know About Analytics.”

We saw a live (iStrategy) presentation of students taking more than 15 credits who have a low GPA (below a threshold). Next, we looked at the charts in the dashboard view and drilled-down to the data needed. Finally,we saw a page consolidating a large volume of reports that can be tailored for a specific department. As an example, the drop percentage in the English department has continually increased. Then (joking about pitchforks), he was able to identify trends by individual faculty.

Next, we took a look at the new Financial Aid module. There’s also Advancement and Learn Modules in development. Some examples include detecting at-risk student behavior (average time on task), adoption of Bb Learn, monitoring of student learning outcomes, as well as establishing and tracking KPIs. They showed a Learn Module (sample) report on usage patterns by week/day.

Faculty should show interest in (and add their voice) to this coming “analytics” movement!




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