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Community Member

Canvas Data: how are the downloads working?

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Hello,

can you explain what the monthly/daily download will look like exactly?

I was at the CanvasLive, but I am not sure I got this point.

For example: does "monthly download" mean that I will be able to download the daily data but only once at the end of the month? Or will I just get the monthly statistics for each user? And if only Data PRO has everyday online access, does this mean that the free-for-teacher accounts (I assume Data BASICS is for them) will no longer be able to see for example what is in the "Course Analytics" tab now?

Also, I would like to re-check if I got right your answer about the export format (at 11:20 you mentioned "flat files and tab delimited format" - which I looked up in the internet to make sure I understand what that is ;-)): so although Canvas Data will provide its own request tools, I will anyway be able to export both the analytics and the discussion posts for example into an excel sheet? And I don't need to be an admin to do this for the students data - my teacher account will be enough?

Last question: as a free-for-teachers user not belonging to an institution who already adopted Canvas, will I be able to use Canvas Data from the end of October? Whom should I let know about that (I don't have an institutional CSM...)?

Thank you in advance for any answer - and for your ongoing work on improving Canvas & patiently explain it to the larger public 🙂

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Community Member

Hi siglinde​ - thanks so much for your questions - let me see if I can help with some answers!  Smiley Happy  Please see my comments inline below:

can you explain what the monthly/daily download will look like exactly?

I was at the CanvasLive, but I am not sure I got this point.

For example: does "monthly download" mean that I will be able to download the daily data but only once at the end of the month? Or will I just get themonthly statistics for each user? And if only Data PRO has everyday online access, does this mean that the free-for-teacher accounts (I assume Data BASICS is for them) will no longer be able to see for example what is in the "Course Analytics" tab now?

All customers of Canvas Data will be able to download flat files (see below for the explanation of the format) representing a snapshot of your data from Canvas.  BASIC plan customers will get data that is refreshed once a month, and PLUS and PRO customers will get data that is refreshed nightly.  As an example, a BASIC customer would get a snapshot of their data on 9/1/15, refreshed again on 10/1/15 and 11/1/15 and so on.  (Note you can download the files anytime you want during September but it will be the same file from 9/1/15.)  A PLUS/PRO customer would also get the same dataset on 9/1/15, but theirs would be refreshed each night so they would get a new snapshot on 9/2/15, 9/3//15 and so on.

Also, I would like to re-check if I got right your answer about the export format (at 11:20 you mentioned "flat files and tab delimited format" - which I looked up in the internet to make sure I understand what that is ;-)): so although Canvas Data will provide its own request tools, I will anyway be able to export both the analytics and the discussion posts for example into an excel sheet? And I don't need to be an admin to do this for the students data - my teacher account will be enough?

Regarding the format of the exports, Canvas Data takes data from Canvas and organizes it into a schema with Fact and Dimension tables.  The dataset is then spooled to a set of flat files, one for each table in our schema.  For example, we have tables called discussion_entry_fact, discussion_topic_fact, discussion_entry_dim and discussion_topic_dim.  Each of these tables would show up as a separate tab delimited file: think of it as a dump of the table where the columns of data from each table will be separated by tabs. 

Currently the flat files represent the full dataset of all of your Canvas instance, so access to download the flat files are restricted to admins only - in fact, the admin user has to be added to a list by the Canvas Data Admin.   Typically, each school would have a designated admin who gets the download and populates a local database for the purpose of the rest of the school to run queries or reports.   It is on the Canvas Data roadmap to provide teacher and student specific facing data, however our initial release is access to the underlying data itself for an entire Canvas instance.

Last question: as a free-for-teachers user not belonging to an institution who already adopted Canvas, will I be able to use Canvas Data from the end of October? Whom should I let know about that (I don't have an institutional CSM...)?

I will find out who is the right person or group that you would talk to about this.  Will update this thread once I have the answer there for you -

Thank you in advance for any answer - and for your ongoing work on improving Canvas & patiently explain it to the larger public 🙂

Thank you for your interest and questions!

View solution in original post

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Community Member

It is my understanding that the monthly flat-file download will include all data points gathered during the month and will allow for sorting by day, week, or month.

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Hi awilliams​ - it is true that the data from the download will allow for sorting by day, week or month, however each monthly dataset will be a complete snapshot of the data from your Canvas instance - in other words, it will contain the cumulative log of assignments, submissions, discussion posts, conversations and page views since your school or institution started using Canvas.  We do have plans to incorporate an incremental snapshot which will give you a delta of just what has changed since the last snapshot.  Hope this helps, Linda

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Community Member

Hi siglinde​ - thanks so much for your questions - let me see if I can help with some answers!  Smiley Happy  Please see my comments inline below:

can you explain what the monthly/daily download will look like exactly?

I was at the CanvasLive, but I am not sure I got this point.

For example: does "monthly download" mean that I will be able to download the daily data but only once at the end of the month? Or will I just get themonthly statistics for each user? And if only Data PRO has everyday online access, does this mean that the free-for-teacher accounts (I assume Data BASICS is for them) will no longer be able to see for example what is in the "Course Analytics" tab now?

All customers of Canvas Data will be able to download flat files (see below for the explanation of the format) representing a snapshot of your data from Canvas.  BASIC plan customers will get data that is refreshed once a month, and PLUS and PRO customers will get data that is refreshed nightly.  As an example, a BASIC customer would get a snapshot of their data on 9/1/15, refreshed again on 10/1/15 and 11/1/15 and so on.  (Note you can download the files anytime you want during September but it will be the same file from 9/1/15.)  A PLUS/PRO customer would also get the same dataset on 9/1/15, but theirs would be refreshed each night so they would get a new snapshot on 9/2/15, 9/3//15 and so on.

Also, I would like to re-check if I got right your answer about the export format (at 11:20 you mentioned "flat files and tab delimited format" - which I looked up in the internet to make sure I understand what that is ;-)): so although Canvas Data will provide its own request tools, I will anyway be able to export both the analytics and the discussion posts for example into an excel sheet? And I don't need to be an admin to do this for the students data - my teacher account will be enough?

Regarding the format of the exports, Canvas Data takes data from Canvas and organizes it into a schema with Fact and Dimension tables.  The dataset is then spooled to a set of flat files, one for each table in our schema.  For example, we have tables called discussion_entry_fact, discussion_topic_fact, discussion_entry_dim and discussion_topic_dim.  Each of these tables would show up as a separate tab delimited file: think of it as a dump of the table where the columns of data from each table will be separated by tabs. 

Currently the flat files represent the full dataset of all of your Canvas instance, so access to download the flat files are restricted to admins only - in fact, the admin user has to be added to a list by the Canvas Data Admin.   Typically, each school would have a designated admin who gets the download and populates a local database for the purpose of the rest of the school to run queries or reports.   It is on the Canvas Data roadmap to provide teacher and student specific facing data, however our initial release is access to the underlying data itself for an entire Canvas instance.

Last question: as a free-for-teachers user not belonging to an institution who already adopted Canvas, will I be able to use Canvas Data from the end of October? Whom should I let know about that (I don't have an institutional CSM...)?

I will find out who is the right person or group that you would talk to about this.  Will update this thread once I have the answer there for you -

Thank you in advance for any answer - and for your ongoing work on improving Canvas & patiently explain it to the larger public 🙂

Thank you for your interest and questions!

View solution in original post

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Hello Deactivated user​ and merci for your detailed reply.

Since I am a FFT user (i.e. no institutional Canvas platform and therefore no admin), does that mean that I will have NO way to export my Canvas Data course analytics? Or is it possible to write at least to a Canvas.Instructure admin to ask him to send me file? I would need this only once, after the 12 weeks course has been completed, to then further analyze the data for research purposes...

I am looking forward to your reply about the release date too. Thanks again 🙂

(by the way, this conversation may be interesting for the Canvas Focus Group: Canvas Data​...)

Highlighted

Hi siglinde​ - so due to the fact that Free for Teacher accounts are limited to a shared instance of Canvas, we will not be able to provide Canvas Data to users who have individual FFT accounts.  The Canvas Data extract is currently designed for admin access to data covering an entire instance of Canvas.   Having said that, it is on our roadmap to use Canvas Data to surface data back to Canvas for teachers and students -- so going forward you can expect to see newer analytics-type information available within your current Canvas experience. 

Apologies for the confusion and please let me know if you have any other questions - thanks, Linda 

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Thank you for the reply. These are bad news for the research on sign language MOOCs that is going on now.

I hope in the meantime Instructure will consider to have at least a pricing plan that allows individuals to purchase one-time data download after a completed course...

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