BrightBytes states a bold and ambitious mission on its website – to improve the way the world learns. I was curious to learn more about the product/solution, team and founders that came together to achieve this bold mission.
First, the product/solution is Clarity – a business intelligence and decision support platform that leverages the in-depth analysis performed by researchers and statisticians. BrightBytes states that Clarity “makes this research educative, engaging, and actionable, giving educational leaders the data to make informed decisions about students, staff, stakeholders and systems and drive learning outcomes.” Moreover, the company promises: “In just seconds, educational leaders can have evidence-based, research-driven recommendations for allocating their technology resources for maximum impact.” Since there are many data gathering, analysis and decision making support tools on the market, I was curious to learn more about the specific needs being addressed by Clarity. The website provides the following list of features/outcomes:
- Measure the impact federal and state programs and initiatives have on learning outcomes.
- Improve efficiency of spending.
- Decrease risk factors and increase graduation rates.
- Improve the impact of technology on student learning with evidence-based research and analysis.
- Target those initiatives that are proven to have the biggest impact on college and career readiness.
- Measure and communicate the impact of services on student performance and engagement.
- Receive at-a-glance views into what your schools need before they know they need it.
- Form a closer relationship between you and the people you serve.
- Build stronger lines of communication between buildings, schools boards, teachers, parents.
- Drive student engagement.
- Access evidence-based reports that make the case for resources.
- Provide evidence of the efficacy of district level initiatives.
- Access recommendations from districts that look like you.
- Link programs and resources directly to student achievement outcomes.
- Measure and communicate progress on school initiatives to parents and other key stakeholders.
This is a broad set of features for educational leaders addressing the needs of government, service agencies, districts and schools with a focus on technology and learning. This positioning of the product/service is supported by a strong business focus. BrightBytes employs terms such as
Clarity’s strong business focus to the discipline of learning analytics is supported by a team that has a background in learning, technology and business. One of the co-founders is Rob Mancabelli – a contributing expert to The NMC Horizon Report: 2014 K-12 Edition. And another co-founder (and current CTO) is Hisham Anwar, who has a strong background and a decade of experience building and managing global technology strategies and new product portfolios. Hisham tweets on topics such as learning and technology and his profile identifies him as a Social entrepreneur. Improving education through research based data analytics. One of the impressive aspects of Hisham’s background is his strong technology focus and I thought that a technology leader such as Hisham would bring a wealth of knowledge and experience regarding more advanced technology to learning analytics which often suffers from from being behind the times due to its limited market and lower feasibility. I believe that Rob and Hisham have identified a niche market of educational leaders who can make strong use of their product/solution and are also in a position to make the venture financially viable. Moreover, his focus on technology and business (MBA from MIT) and Rob’s background as an internationally known speaker, writer, and consultant on educational innovation provides the company with a balanced background for providing technology, learning and business leadership.