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Microsoft Acquires Education Data Management Platform DataSense

Microsoft says the integration Platform-as-a-Service is popular among education-focused solution providers.

Microsoft on Monday announced the acquisition of DataSense, a platform for collecting and managing data within schools that’s used by education-focused solution providers.

Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft did not disclose terms for the acquisition of DataSense, which Microsoft has bought from data analytics firm BrightBytes.

[Related: Microsoft Buys Social Learning Startup Flipgrid To Gain Share In Education Market]

DataSense is an integration Platform-as-a-Service (IPaaS) solution that enables improved collection and management of education data, as well as enhanced control of access to data within Microsoft's Azure cloud platform, Microsoft said. DataSense ultimately helps to "drive the best possible learning outcomes" for students, Microsoft said in a blog post, calling DataSense the "leading IPaaS solution for both education solution providers and school districts across the U.S."

Microsoft said the acquisition is its latest effort to help educational institutions with migrating to the cloud, while enabling simplified data management as well as improved data security and control for schools.

"We believe this school-controlled, secure starting point in Azure will make it easier to use analytics to help improve student outcomes, while also servicing the typical data transfer and management needs of a school or district IT team," Microsoft said in its blog post.

Microsoft said it will begin integrating DataSense's technology into its products for schools "in the coming months."

The acquisition is further evidence that Microsoft is "doubling down on investments" that both solve the problems faced by educational institutions and further extend Microsoft platforms within schools filled with new generations of potential users, said Ric Opal, principal at Oak Brook, Ill.-based SWC Technology Partners, a BDO USA LLP company.

"They're solving a problem that exists that's important, but they're also setting up all the foundational elements such that they will win the hearts and minds of future buyers and users of tech," Opal said, citing other acquisitions spanning from Minecraft to LinkedIn/Lynda.com to GitHub.

All of these offerings now under Microsoft’s umbrella follow students through their academic journeys and up through their careers, Opal told CRN. “You do really start seeing the puzzle come together.”

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