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Traci Burgess: Mission-Driven Leadership

The most effective leaders are thoughtful, “big picture” individuals. They are conscious of business from the ground to 10,000 feet. This has proven to be one critical attribute of Traci Burgess, CEO of Brightbytes. Burgess’ ambitious mission to improve the way world learns is largely informed by her own experiences in the classroom. An education visionary, Burgess recognized the same challenges across every classroom for decades. She saw more and more data, and fewer educators able to use that data to drive decisions. Burgess is now leading educators into new territory to address these issues across evolving technologies.
Improving Learning on a Global Scale
Traci Burgess has spent her career primarily in education. Her early love for mathematics led her to pursue a career as a math educator. When she saw barriers in the classroom, she didn’t ask why it was happening, she asked how could it be solved. She knew that she could help drive new solutions, so she pursued a new path that helped students and educators on a larger scale. Burgess made the move from a K-12 classroom teacher to leadership roles in education sales and publishing, and eventually, into educational technology.
A seasoned veteran with over 20 years building and executing scalable operational strategies to optimize student achievement, Burgess dramatically increased market share and school outreach as the Chief Operating Officer at Think Through Math. She has also served as the Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Catapult Learning, and the Vice President of Sales at Blackboard and Thomson Learning. Her role at BrightBytes has allowed her to lead efforts specific to data challenges.
BrightBytes: Empowering Educators to Use Big Data
From complex integrations to actionable analysis, BrightBytes is the leading end-to-end data solution for education organizations. The BrightBytes solutions efficiently unify education data and combine top research and advanced analytics, delivered across easy-to-understand, intuitive dashboards, so educators can turn big data into big benefits for students. In an industry overwhelmed by DRIP (Data Rich, Information Poor) conditions, the solution provides educators across schools, districts, and at the state level, data interoperability and research-driven analysis. The solution makes data actionable because educators not only see the data in an educative and engaging format, they also know what actions to take to address any gaps or challenges across personalized reports and dashboards.
Collaborators Sharing a Common Passion
Burgess believes that strong leadership is about more than deep knowledge about the product and the market. A great leader understands that ultimately, people determine the success of any venture. With this top of mind, Burgess has cultivated a collaborative, agile team of highly experienced individuals to ensure success. Comprised of a diverse group of data analysts, researchers, education experts, designers, and system dynamics modelers, each individual works tirelessly to create cutting-edge tools that truly improve the way the world learns. Burgess expressed, “The team has a keen sense of the challenges that educators experience every day. As a result, every member connects with our customers and deeply understand their needs. Many of our team have either been previous educators or have been connected to education in some capacity.” She maintains that the team is successful due to the company’s mission-driven attitude and every colleague’s deep respect for one another. As Burgess continues to lead efforts to provide powerful data solutions, she plans to strategically grow the team and guide everyone to achieve long-term and short-term goals.
Integrated Platforms Providing End-to-End Data Solution 
BrightBytes’ unparalleled value is a result of the two unique, yet complementary data platforms, DataSense™ for data integration, and Clarity® for data analytics. Together, these platforms constitute a first-of-a-kind solution that employs an intricate four step data management cycle that includes effective data integration, advanced research-based analysis, engaging user experience, and actionable insights.
The DataSense platform allows education organizations and ed tech partners to effectively capture, clean, and integrate disparate data into a centralized location and enables bi-directional flows between applications. DataSense solves the growing challenge of data integration by providing one central, online medium to unify all data, utilizing purposeful data from software applications and preparing it for state reporting.
Alongside DataSense, a decision support platform, Clarity, allows educators to better understand data and improve student learning outcomes. The platform employs advanced analytics, including machine learning, psychometrics, and predictive analytics to organize and visualize actionable data across research-based frameworks to drive student learning. Each of Clarity’s modules offers insights to address common education challenges, such as financial transparency, technology learning, graduation and postsecondary enrollment rates, digital security and privacy, and more. Educators can access role-specific results across intuitive, easy-to-understand dashboards and reports.
Prestigious Recognitions
As a result of Burgess’ keen leadership, and her team’s dedication to education data solutions, BrightBytes has earned a reputation as a leader in the industry. Currently in 1 in 5 schools across 47 states, millions of students have experienced the positive impact of BrightBytes. The product has been recognized for over thirty awards, including multiple CODiE Awards, and consecutive US Microsoft Education Partner of the Year titles. With more than 90% renewal rates, it’s clear that BrightBytes is celebrated as a both an education data management expert and a leading ed tech partner.
Vision of Reaching Great Heights in the Educational Sector 
Burgess plans to continue to solve data challenges for educators. BrightBytes is set to expand their product lines and sales teams across the US and internationally. By building strong partnerships with leading research organizations, the team continues to leverage content and direction from true experts. This research-driven approach further enhances product offerings as additional analytics needs arise in the education space. Given that accountability levels in K-12 have reached an all-time high, more and more educators are looking to utilize data to make decisions. BrightBytes not only solves for many of these needs through their solutions, but also strives to support district leaders with challenges on the horizon.
Source :-The 30 Most Influential Business Leaders in Tech 2018