Barnes and Noble Education Takes a Dive into Digital with Unizin

Higher Education

Barnes and Noble Education Takes a Dive into Digital with Unizin

May 25, 2017

CHANGES AHEAD FOR B&N? If print is dying, what might the future look like for major textbook sellers? In the case of Barnes & Noble Education (BNED), the next big thing could be data. That started in March 2016, when the company acquired higher-ed startup LoudCloud, which offers OER materials and learning analytics tools.

Now the joint company, BNED LoudCloud, has announced it has entered an agreement with nonprofit Unizin to provide its 22 univeristy members with the company’s predictive analytics software, LoudSight. Unizin members receiving the software include Penn State, Colorado State University, University of Florida, University of Michigan and Ohio State University.

BNED currently operates nearly 1,500 virtual and brick-and-mortar bookstores. But does the deal with Unizin signal a shift towards the digital? According to Kanuj Malhotra, BNED’s chief operating officer of digital, it might. “People don’t think of Barnes & Noble Education as a technology company,” Malhotra said in an interview with Inside Higher Ed, but the deal is “a little bit of our coming-out party.”


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