Since the initial release of Brightspace Data Hub, we have seen incredible usage of our Brightspace Data Sets and continue to hear great stories about how our customers are leveraging the data available through Brightspace Data Hub.
This blog post is intended for those customers looking to get started with Brightspace DataHub, without the full investment in development resources, by leveraging the Advanced Data Sets included with Brightspace Core.
Advanced Data Sets are powerful because they combine data across multiple tables in a single extract – no need to join multiple tables together. Additionally, you can add filters like date ranges, roles, and org units during report generation to be more specific about the data you want to be included in the extract.
To help get you started, we’ll walk through how to generate the Learner Usage Data Set and perform some analysis using Microsoft Excel. The Excel template used in this example is included at the bottom of this post.
Step 1: Download the Data
To generate the Learner Usage Data Set, visit the Data Hub link in your Navbar and click on Learner Usage in the list (If you don’t see the Data Hub link in your navbar, consult your system administrator, or reach out to your D2L Client Success Manager if you are the System Administrator). When you generate the data set, you can easily filter by Department, School, Course, or any other organizational unit that exists in your Brightspace Instance, as well as by role and date range.
Here’s a helpful tip related specifically to the Org Unit Id filter: Defining a ‘Parent’ Org Unit Id will include all of the Org Unit’s children in the extract. For example, you can provide a Semester Org Unit Id and all Course Offerings in that defined semester will be included in the extract.
Once the file has processed, you can download it via the Job Status tab in Data Hub by clicking on the Complete hyperlink. Doing so will download a zipped package to your local device that contains the .csv extract file.
Step 2: Populate the Workbook
Using an application like Microsoft Excel, you can then easily generate visuals and graphs on important usage data (Instructions are included within the Excel spreadsheet). Using the Excel template attached to this post, simply paste your entire Leaner Usage export in the ‘Learner Usage CSV’ worksheet. Next, in the Excel Menu, go to Data and click ‘Refresh All’.
Step 3: Generate the Visuals
Now, navigate to the Charts worksheet of the excel workbook, and you will see the pre-built graphs and visualizations. These are generated using Pivot Charts – an incredibly powerful function included with Microsoft Excel that allows you to easily filter and change data sources.
It’s really that easy. In three easy to execute steps, you can produce visually appealing and meaningful graphs based on learner activity in your institution’s instance of Brightspace that are sure to wow directors and executives, and will assist in better understanding the use of Brightspace.
We hope this example helps you get started, and we’d love to hear more about how you’re using this data to drive better outcomes at your school or organization. Give this example a try, build out some of your own pre-defined Excel templates, and share with your fellow colleagues on the Brightspace Community!
Note: Some institutions will have extremely large sets of data due to usage behaviours within Brightspace. In addition, Microsoft Excel has row limitations. If these two factors exist in your case, the use of this excel template may not work for you.
If you are running into issues pasting your Learner Usage data into the excel template, it may be due to the data set size. It is recommended to utilize the available filters (Org Unit, Role, Date) to reduce the size of the Learner Usage data set or consider using a different Business Intelligence tool that can accommodate large volumes of data.
Also, because of our ability to enhance the data sets through our monthly continuous delivery model, the schema of the Learner Usage data set is subject to change. If an enhancement to the Learner Usage data set is made, the excel template may need to be modified to accommodate the change to the data set.