Microsoft’s Purchase of BrightBytes’ DataSense: The Value Of Legacy Data In Personalized Learning Analytics

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Corrections made on February 8th.

Perhaps the key in understanding Microsoft latest EdTech acquisition is not on the uniqueness of the analytics technology or expertise, but in the data generation engine.

A press release announces Microsoft decision to purchase DataSense, a data integration platform from San Francisco-based BrightBytes. With their “integration platform as a service” approach, DataSense seeks to provide the data science lifecycle to learning organizations. DataSense promises “higher product adoption, increased customer satisfaction, improved renewal rates” and “increased product offering and value.”

As it is expected that IT managers running on Azure or the Microsoft ecosystem find DataSense easy to set up, it is possible that the number of customers shows some increase. But the real value of the solution is not in its future potential, but in the customer list for which it has accrued heaps of data.

Over the coming months, Microsoft-based school IT operations will enjoy DataSense features available for their existing solution bundle. Many of them already were, given BrightBytes tenure as Microsoft Partner. Among the solutions currently available to schools and learning organizations, Microsoft considered DataSense to be secure and easy to integrate.

The move also signals an interesting pattern in the mergers and acquisitions dynamics for digital technologies, especially those cloud-related. Organizations looking for an exit strategy might want to focus on leveraging the infrastructure of their target buyer. The number of companies bought by Microsoft, Amazon and Google who already use their cloud infrastructure is only expected to grow over the coming years. A reinforcing cycle that concentrates profits as it heightens budgets, market power and acquisition appetites.

Read a press release, “BrightBytes® DataSense™ Platform to Expand Data Integration for Educators as Part of Microsoft Education ” at brightbytes.net.

Corrections made on February 8th. An earlier version of this article claimed Microsoft acquired BrightBytes. In reality the corporation only purchased DataSense. Read more at Microsoft Educaion Blog.


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