Take your SharePoint productivity to the next level with analytics. By understanding which reports are available and how to use them properly, your SharePoint stakeholders can guide, track and analyze usage effectively. The long term benefit of utilizing analytics is necessary for the amount of guessing games around what may be happening in your SharePoint portal.
This post seeks to guide organizations in understanding both the planning stages of their SharePoint implementation and the reports essential for assisting a successful implementation. How is this done you ask? Read on!
Goal Planning in SharePoint Portals and Analytics
Usage reports will help you to understand how your portal design and structure is being utilized by your end users, enabling you to take more educated decisions in the continuing development of your SharePoint implementation. To transform your portal vision and usage, ask yourself the following questions:
- Have you and your business taken the time to set goals and plan an implementation and adoption strategy for SharePoint?
How many organizations have blindly purchased business software in an effort to increase their efficiency without ever thinking about the planning required to ensure that the return on the investment is realized? It’s necessary to set goals within your SharePoint portal in order to know whether your portal is efficient and aligning with key business goals. After setting these goals, an analytics tool can then assist you in reaching these goals by providing valuable metrics on internal usage.
- Are your employees using SharePoint because you’ve set out a list of goals to accomplish?
If not, think about setting up a series of goals for employees to reach within the portal. By identifying who the primary stakeholders should be, you can allocate responsibilities to further organize your portal and increase efficiency.
- How will you know when the SharePoint portal is reaching business goal heights, becoming stagnant, or plummeting?
By utilizing specialized analytics reports, you will gain access into the inner workings of your SharePoint portal. If user adoption rates are low, and interaction is sparse in specific areas, you can then move forward to optimize your portal. Understandably, a SharePoint installation is a significant investment for an organization. This portal should function as the accelerator for the collaboration, communication and productivity efforts of an organization’s teams. An organization should feel confident with their investment. By taking advantage of a powerful analytic tool, they can prove that their portal is running most efficiently.
Delve into SharePoint Analytics
By generating visitor, navigation, content, and search reports, you will have an improved understanding of how the end users utilize your SharePoint portal. Questions to consider which will aid this process include:
- What is the status of your SharePoint site’s overall growth, adoption rate, and productivity levels?
- When are your organization’s periods of increased and decreased usage?
- Why there are slower periods within the portal’s usage stats?
- Which users are dominating the playing field within the portal?
- What kind of content is most commonly contributed?
- What information users are actually looking for within your portal’s search activity?
Get the SharePoint Data needed to Achieve Your Goals
This section matches SharePoint report categories with specific goals an organization may be interested in achieving. This list will help you to understand the reports essential in helping you to identify how your implementation is being used:
- These reports identify key users on your SharePoint portal’s various sites/blogs/ discussions and allow you to pinpoint the star players in specific discussions, topics, and issues. The reports can highlight these influencers not only in SharePoint posts and community discussions, but also in SharePoint Social and Yammer (if integrated into SharePoint).
- Group your audience into segments to identify the more dominate users in terms of activity. This functionality uses Active Directory and User Profiles that are set up in the SharePoint portal.
- Identify whether divisions and specific departments are collaborating, for example, are the marketing and communications departments really working together through the new sub-site created specifically for their collaboration?
- Identifies if company communications, e.g. a newsletter has increased traffic flow, where did the users navigate to from viewing the newsletter?
- Discover if visitor numbers are increasing, both in terms of internal department users and other visitors?
- What sites are users visiting and what content are they navigating to when on these site?
- Find out when and where users are exiting and entering the SharePoint portal?
- Recognize the best performing content, whether it is a document, audio file, visual, or video. In other words, what type of content is really drawing in the crowds? When do you see the most users accessing a specific document?
- Is the content being accessed by the users who would gain the most benefit from the information?
- Is there an internal concern that requires attention from all employees that’s addressed with specific content on the SharePoint site and if so how efficiently are users aware of this? Ex: A new Human Resources policy has been implemented and company executives want all employees to be made aware.
- Which search phrases are dominating your portal?
- What types of results you are generating for Failed vs. Successful searches.
- The number of average onsite searches per visit, which helps you to understand how accessible the content is and whether the content titles are a match to your end users’ searches.
Next Steps on your SharePoint Analytics Journey
Organizations often need to take a step back, and calmly assess their goals and expectations at the point of their SharePoint implementation. The next best step you should take is to start generating reports in order to understand your portal users’ activity and usage.
This understanding is vital in the continuing development of the implementation of the SharePoint portal. Organizations should take the necessary steps to ensure that the portal is meeting the users’ information needs and working to aid collaboration and productivity. One report category at a time, SharePoint users can truly develop a keen understanding of the portal activity in the most coherent and comprehensive manner.
*Original Analytic Report Images courtesy of CardioLog Analytics