Recently I was asked to provide business analysts with a regularly refreshed feed of Blackboard data from Blackboard’s Advanced System Reporting (ASR). The goal was to give analysts an updated set of data points that enabled quick reporting and visualization.
Blackboard ASR is a statistics database that gives system administrators access to system-level data. Microsoft Power BI is a business intelligence tool that allows regular analysts to quickly put together reports and dashboards. The combination gave analysts the ability to develop and share reports with regularly refreshed data across the organization. A simple example would be a bar chart that shows courses available:
While it’s straightforward to connect Blackboard ASR to a SQL client (Blackboard recommends Dreamcoder), pulling this data into a business intelligence tool was much more challenging since documentation on the topic is sparse. After spending several hours running into dead ends, I successfully connected Blackboard ASR to Power BI. Hopefully these instructions save you time:
How to Connect to Blackboard Data
You can read more on this string here
4. Next enter the database username and password provided by Blackboard
Once you have authenticated using the database credentials provided by Blackboard, you will select the tables to load into Power BI.
Congratulations, you’re now ready to create reports and dashboards the easy way.