The acquisition of iStrategy by Blackboard several weeks ago was a rather quiet move. But don’t let that mislead you; the move was strategic and significant. As the volume of data grows throughout the corporate world, so does the need to analyze the vast amount of collected data, make sense of it, and perform what-if scenarios and other analytics. The importance of extracting business intelligence from collected data is gaining visibility throughout many industries, and education is no exception.
Blackboard’s acquisition of the iStrategy suite of tools, in use at such institutions as the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), underscores this point. Such tools must integrate with existing enterprise resource planning (ERP) tools, as does iStrategy – with Peoplesoft applications (which are now Oracle products), Datatel, and others. Blackboard’s new analytic tools can extract information from multiple ERP solutions into a single consolidated dashboard, presenting a single real-time presentation of business insight and strategic intelligence.
Such a capability is only the beginning. Organizations that can quickly make sense of their operations will be positioned to move quickly into the future.
Those that do not will soon be left farther behind.