Blackboard Acquires Predictive Analytics Firm

204f302Blackboard has acquired higher-ed predictive analytics company Blue Canary, which helps institutions glean data-driven insights and use them to improve student success.

With the acquisition, Blackboard continues to focus on educational data analytics and aims to bring powerful and holistic analytics solutions to learners, instructors, advisors, and institutions.

Blue Canary was incubated by Clairvoyant LLC, recipient of the 2014 Arizona Technology Council Start Up of the Year Award. Clairvoyant’s experience in higher education and expertise in building data-driven solutions was the driving force behind the inception of Blue Canary. Blue Canary’s product offering focuses on student retention, an issue that continues to be top of mind for institutions worldwide.

Today’s announcement marks the latest investment made by Blackboard in learning analytics solutions to provide learners, instructors, advisors, and institutions with information and insights that can improve student success. Blackboard’s comprehensive analytics advancements include the announcement earlier this year of the company’s acquisition of X-Ray Analytics, a research-based, data analytics technology that is being integrated into Blackboard’s offerings.

“We recognize the importance that educators and institutional leaders place on understanding the data that exists around their learners” said Jay Bhatt, CEO of Blackboard. “That’s why we’ve assembled a robust analytics portfolio and why we continue to invest in the technology and the talent that will advance our leadership in this area. Predictive analytics is the key to helping institutions support more students effectively, whether that support is in the form of a high-touch engagement from an advisor, or in the form of an integrated, student-facing dashboard.”

“We look forward to joining the Blackboard family and advancing a strategy that has an extremely rich analytics offering. Blackboard has the breadth and depth of skills, resources and intellectual horsepower to make an enormous impact on learner retention and to enable the institutions that serve them,” said Mike Sharkey, President and Founder of Blue Canary. “We’re excited to join a team that shares our vision for data-powered decision making in education, as well as our keen focus on innovation and fostering success for learners.”

About Charles Skamser
Charles Skamser is an internationally recognized technology sales, marketing and product management leader with over 25 years of experience in Information Governance, eDiscovery, Machine Learning, Computer Assisted Analytics, Cloud Computing, Big Data Analytics, IT Automation and ITOA. Charles is the founder and Senior Analyst for eDiscovery Solutions Group, a global provider of information management consulting, market intelligence and advisory services specializing in information governance, eDiscovery, Big Data analytics and cloud computing solutions. Previously, Charles served in various executive roles with disruptive technology start ups and well known industry technology providers. Charles is a prolific author and a regular speaker on the technology that the Global 2000 require to manage the accelerating increase in Electronically Stored Information (ESI). Charles holds a BA in Political Science and Economics from Macalester College.