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Just like the sun generates energy that can be harnessed for electricity, Canvas generates data that can be harnessed for insights about teaching and learning. And with our new data optimization service—appropriately named Canvas Data—it’s never been easier to harness (see also: access and analyze) your LMS usage data.

Canvas Data Solar Panels

Here’s how it works. Canvas Data parses and aggregates more than 280 million rows of Canvas usage data generated daily. This includes activity related to accounts, courses, enrollments, page views, logins, and interactions among users and content. Once extracted, data from your Canvas instance is purposefully optimized for easy integration with any ODBC-compliant analytics tool (e.g., Crystal Reports, R, Tableau, and even Excel spreadsheets).

So, you can use the analytics tools you know and prefer to generate custom reports and data visualizations. These will help you answer questions about how students navigate courses, when they communicate with instructors, which courses and users are most active or inactive, and much more.

Being able to see how students interact with course content, instructors, and each other makes it easier to understand the complexities of online teaching and learning. And ultimately, to improve course design, target interventions, and increase student engagement.

We could have done what other LMSs do, which is to provide canned reports and dashboards,but we chose instead to enable schools to easily combine their Canvas data with data from other trusted institutions, as well as with other key systems across campus such as the SIS. This comprehensive access to new information for research and intervention is supported by key partnerships with Civitas, the education analytics company, and Intellify, the learning intelligence service provider.

Currently, more than 30 Canvas schools, including the University of Central Florida and Utah State University, are participating in the beta version of Canvas Data. Full availability for all subscription-service Canvas institutions will be available later this year. Basic access to Canvas Data will be offered at no additional cost and will include a monthly, flat file download. Premium services, including either a daily, flat file download or hosted online access, will be offered for an additional fee.

So, get ready to power your strategic analyses with Canvas Data. Like the sun’s energy, your LMS data is renewable, low-maintenance, and ready to be harnessed.



Keep Learning, 
Linda Feng
Senior Product Manager, Student Integration Systems and Analytics