When Big Data pays

Civitas Learning parses Big Data from more than 3 million student records.

Big Data can mean big business.

In February, the technology research company Wikibon released a report predicting that the Big Data market would value $18.1 billion by the end of this year. That’s a growth of 61 percent since 2012.

From corporations to health and government agencies, there are few sectors not exploring the capabilities of Big Data – education included.

Last week, the ed-tech start-up Civitas Learning closed its most recent round of funding with $8.75 million from investors, including Austin Ventures, First Round Capital, Floodgate, Felicis Ventures, and New Markets Venture Partners.

“We’ve got one less excuse, and an awfully big opportunity to do a lot of good with this capital and a team that’s thrilled to get after that,” said Charles Thornburgh, CEO and founder of Civitas Learning, in a video announcement.

The Austin-based company uses a cloud-based analytics platform to provide real-time suggestions to faculty, administrators, and students by aggravating information from student enrollment data, financial aid profiles and learning management systems.

So far, the platform is in use at six institutions, parsing data from more than 3 million student records and 15 million course enrollment records to offer recommendations on decisions like selecting a degree, identifying at-risk students and determining the need for staffing changes.

See Page 2 for what Civitas Learning plans to do with the nearly $9 million in  funding.

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