Intelligence 2017 Q1 Planning

Discussion created by rscherer on Feb 10, 2017
Latest reply on Feb 17, 2017 by rscherer

At the inaugural Blackboard Analytics Symposium last week, we communicated a commitment to value-added development of the Intelligence suite of modules, as well as a plan to get there and keep you informed along the way. As one part of this commitment, you can expect to see a Quarterly Planning announcement posted here at the start of every quarter to share our priorities and progress.


A quick note for our community contributors: this announcement describes work that is committed for the current quarter. To contribute to a future quarter’s development (Q2 planning is ongoing now!), please make sure to check out the exclusive Blackboard Analytics Community Ideas area, where you can submit your thoughts for upcoming delivery and comment and vote on other ideas from the community.


Now, let's talk about the next steps for Intelligence:


In this quarter, we focus on development of client-initiated requests, cap off a new data source integration project, incorporate unique-to-Blackboard research-driven insights, and lay tracks to broaden our picture of student engagement and activity.



This graphic describes planned development effort in the current quarter by module, as well as relative scope in each area. We have categorized development work into seven areas, aligning to modules (Advancement, Analytics for Learn, Finance Management, HR, Student Management / Financial Aid, or ‘All Modules’) and resource development to support user experience (‘Experience’). Development areas are color-coded for reference per the key below the graphic.


Q1 Delivery:

Research-Based Insights (Course Archetypes Dimension) In this quarter, we are thrilled to be able to represent unique-to-Blackboard Data Science insights as a dimension in the Analytics for Learn data model. Dr. John Whiter’s research enables us to categorize courses into distinct archetypes on the basis of student tool activity, which has implications for volume of student engagement (time) in the course.

Modules: Analytics for Learn


Report Development With a value of parity across ERPs in mind, we are developing SSRS reporting for Colleague users to match recently-released reporting: Enhancements to Student-At-A-Glance and new Financial Aid Melt reports.

Modules: Financial Aid


In Development:

New Data Sources (National Student Clearinghouse) With the first development iterations complete, we’ll cap off work to incorporate National Student Clearinghouse data into our Student Management module with client development partnerships to validate use cases this quarter. NSC data will be invaluable in augmenting our picture of Student Success, enabling us to answer questions about student outcomes after application, transfer, or graduation.

Modules: Student Management


Usage Reporting This area was born from a desire to better understand module adoption and usage. This information will drive feature prioritization and lay groundwork for continued delivery in usage reporting across all modules. This quarter's development effort will provide internal reporting which will inform and improve support provided by Managed Hosting to hosted institutions, and future iterations will be exposed to the user community for adoption and usage tracking.

Modules: All Modules


Community Resources This area emerged from the Customer Advisory Board, prioritizing the formation of a community space and communication plan, and planning resources toward documentation and experiential changes.

Modules: All Modules


In Research:

Research (Transact) Transact offers incredibly robust transactional insights into student engagement with facilities, resources, and expenditure. We have two efforts ongoing this quarter: (1) Partnerships to determine valuable ways to incorporate these data into our suite of modules and build proofs-of-concept, and (2) Architectural and design research to plan how these data may be integrated in a sustainable way. Research efforts this quarter will enable us to enrich a picture of Student Success in upcoming development iterations.

Modules: Student Management


Research (Rubrics) Representation of Learn’s Rubrics functionality is a highly-user-requested feature that contributes to a picture of Teaching and Learning and enables assessment of content, courses, and programs. Technical planning this quarter will ground previously-captured user needs in a defined solution to include Rubric data in a near-term release.

Modules: Analytics for Learn


Research (Activity Aggregation) In this quarter, we research ways to improve upon the holistic Analytics for Learn experience, exploring the use of an alternative method to capture and aggregate user activity data. This alternative method is expected to improve overnight refresh performance, and opens doors for incorporation of Bb Student and Collaborate data into the broader picture of student activity.

Modules: Analytics for Learn



Support and Fixes describes time allocated to maintain consistency and reliability of technical user experience with Blackboard Intelligence. (A statistic we cited from the Blackboard Analytics Symposium: we’ve maintained a single-digit bug count across all products, with the “age” of those bugs being less than 30 days at all times!)

Modules: All Modules




Thoughts? Suggestions? Share your comments below, and visit the Ideas area to create and vote on ideas from the Community!