A lot of exciting things happened at Blackboard Analytics in the last year. We acquired two new companies, expanded our data science capabilities, invested in talented people, and continued to innovate around the use of our original products. All of this has been done as part of an ongoing effort to help our customers extract valuable insights from their data. With these exciting changes to our line of analytics products, has come an opportunity to step back and think carefully about our offerings as a whole.

In order to be more clear about what our products are and how they are related, we used BbWorld 2016 as an opportunity, not only to introduce Blackboard Predict, but also to describe our vision for the entire analytics product line. The changes we have made are subtle, but they clearly communicate our current priorities, afford us the flexibility for future expansion, and demonstrate our commitment to the field of educational analytics as a whole.

Where Blackboard Analytics formerly described our comprehensive set of data management, performance dashboard, and reporting solutions, we are using the term now to describe the entire range of analytics offerings at Blackboard. It is the business unit within Blackboard responsible for product innovation and tool development in the areas of analytics and educational data science.

Our current analytics product offering includes Blackboard Intelligence, Blackboard Predict, and X-Ray Learning Analytics. Here’s a quick guide to our expanded and newly conceptualized line of products:

Diagram of Blackboard Analytics products

Blackboard Intelligence (formerly Blackboard Analytics) – Describes our complete data management, performance dashboard, and reporting solution, consisting of five modules:  Analytics for Learn, Student Management, Finance, HR, and Advancement. We are also offering a growing range of extensions. The core functionality of our Student Management module, for example, can be expanded with information about Financial Aid, Learn Activity (formerly Learn Connector), and Cost of Instruction. Responding to feedback from customers, we have also recently added a Payroll extension to further assist institutions as they work to identify budget planning opportunities.

As a solution, Blackboard Intelligence allows colleges and universities to leverage a pre-built and robust data model to extract data from multiple operational systems, transform it into a single source of institutional information, and quickly begin asking questions and making decisions that will have a significant impact on institutional performance and student success.

Blackboard Predict (formerly Blue Canary) – The latest addition to Blackboard’s analytics offerings, Blackboard Predict is a retention tool consisting of a custom predictive model, a teacher-advisor communication tool, and easy-to-understand visualizations meant to help instructors and advisors identify students at risk of non-persistence. Intensive and proactive approaches to academic advisement have proven to see significant increases in retention and graduation rates. With Blackboard Predict, colleges and universities can make sure that the right students receive the right intervention at the right time.

X-Ray Learning Analytics (formerly X-Ray for Blackboard Open LMS) – Currently only available for Moodle, X-Ray Learning Analytics includes an array of visualizations meant to help instructors optimize their teaching environments. By providing instructors with information about grades and activity, they are able to identify and reach out to students at risk with targeted intentions. Social network analysis and natural language processing help instructors to promote high-quality interaction in discussion boards. It also helps instructors to understand relationships between individual graded items and final course grades so that they can improve assessments and other graded materials.

With these three core analytics offerings – Blackboard Intelligence, Blackboard Predict, and X-Ray Learning Analytics – Blackboard is committed to using data in support of the entire student experience. With Blackboard Intelligence, we are helping institutions to identify ways that they can optimize their performance and eliminate barriers to student success. With Blackboard Predict, we are empowering instructors and advisors to proactively reach out to students at risk and keep them on track for graduation. With X-Ray Learning Analytics, we are giving teachers the tools they need to better understand their learners and cultivate the critical thinking skills required to survive and thrive in the 21st century.

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