Your SharePoint analytics journey has lifted off from the launching pad! Now it’s time to dive deep to explore some of the most important metrics you should be monitoring when assessing your SharePoint portal. As previously mentioned, this post is a part of our Web Analytics Journey Series that aims to give a holistic perspective on how analytic reporting can assist you in optimizing your SharePoint portal and achieving your goals.
Know Who’s Who in Your Portal
This post is focused on the types of visitor reports you can produce to measure who is interacting within your portal, as well as how. Knowing exactly who is entering your company’s portal or navigating through your website is essential if you want to make informed business decisions based on powerful metrics.
Dive Deep for Data Driven Visitor Insights
SharePoint basic reporting provides only a bundled together, aggregate view of your visitors and their interactions within the SharePoint portal. This limits the ways in which you can track visitors by only offering reports like Visitor Bounce Rate, Browsers, Unique Visitors, Visits Audit Log, Who is Online, and Localization. But what if you want a more granular, specially detailed look at your visitors? That’s where platforms like CardioLog Analytics can offer the added benefit of offering all of these previously mentioned reports, and a myriad of other reports that drill deep to gather powerful insights regarding your portal visitors.
Visitor usage reports that take a person centered approach will take you to a new level of richly detailed insights. Advanced visitor reports can enable you to see not only the unique trends in the use of your site, but also provide you with a comprehensive list of actual visitors. There are a wealth of visitor reports that could be highlighted in this post, however for these purposes only 4 of the most essential categories will be highlighted:
- Visitor Profiles – Comprehensive visitor profiles allow you the flexibility of segmenting your visitors according to any criteria.
- Visitor Collaboration – Learn what reports you can use to measure how your visitors are collaborating with each other within the portal.
- Visitor Adoption – What kind of activities are your users engaging in once they have entered the portal? How often are they entering the portal? Attain the answers to these questions with reports that signify your user adoption rates.
- Inactive Users – Where do your visitor weak spots exist?
All of these reports culminate to provide you with a comprehensive and detailed perspective on what is going on within your SharePoint portal.
See the Big Picture
Take a step back for a moment, and imagine a large enterprise that employs multiple SharePoint farms, and has thousands of SharePoint portal visitors. They have invested a considerable amount of time and money implementing and up keeping their SharePoint portal, but how do they know if their employees are finding the portal useful? How do they know if they’re using the tool at all?
By creating customized dashboards with a variety of segmented visitor reports, they can then tailor their SharePoint portal to better suit the needs of their users, making their experiences navigating through the portal as seamless and relevant as possible. If this story resonates with you, you’re not alone. Many enterprises face this challenge when managing their SharePoint portal. By stepping up to the plate with a powerful analytics tool, even you can gain a thorough understanding of your portal visitors and their activity.
Visitor Profile Reports: Get To Know Your Visitors
Creating insightful visitor profile reports is easier than you can imagine, as reports can be automatically built to deliver a comprehensive profile of each visitor entering your portal or website. By integrating Active Directory, SharePoint profiles, and other user sources, you can take advantage of existing data sets to enhance your SharePoint visitor reports.
One of the primary benefits of this feature is in making your reports more engaging. Rather than just providing numbers, this special feature gives you the power to create powerful visitor segments that can break down reporting into items such as region, department, job title, and even age and gender.
A visitor profile can depict their entire behavioral history on your site, whether during the previous sessions or on their current visit. Your ability to track their movement through the portal is enhanced by collecting and storing data on any aspect of your visitor’s behavior on your portal or website. This can include how they arrived at your site, the amount of time they spent on your site, the trend of their visits, the pages and documents they look at most, the online searches conducted, total number of conversations they have made, and more.
Visitor Collaboration: Encourage Teamwork in Your Portal
Identify whether divisions and specific departments are collaborating within your SharePoint portal with reports that segment by department. For example, are the marketing and art direction departments working together on a sub site created specifically for their collaboration? Are employees taking advantage of the new HR sub-site created to educate them on their insurance benefits?
By monitoring these usage levels, you can get an idea of which groups are collaborating for their intended purposes, and which groups may need encouragement or training. After all, one major goal that can be achieved by collaboration in the portal is increased efficiency. Increased efficiency can only be attained if the appropriate users are accessing the portal on a regular basis, with the proper tools for navigating through the portal as easily as possible.
Who’s Visiting Your Portal the Most? The Big Fish in the SharePoint Sea
The possibilities are endless when you can identify who is visiting your portal the most, as well as the least. You can track the Visits per Visitor by creating reports that show the average number of visits per unique visitor for a specific SharePoint page or site. This can also be segmented by department as well. With this powerful data, you can then understand who is taking advantage of your SharePoint portal, and who may need some encouragement or additional training. If your visitors are accessing the portal on a regular, consistent basis, you can be sure that you’re gaining a considerable ROI on your portal investment, and that your users are gaining the information they need. On the contrary, if you notice that your portal visitor adoption is low across the board on specific pages or sub-sites, you can then focus on which content needs to be updated or altered.
Once you have an idea of how often your visitors are accessing various sites and sub-sites, visitor activity reports can assist you in understanding the various paths visitors take once they are in the portal. Visitor activity reports are helpful by offering a timeline that enables you to see their online behavior at a glance and in real time. A Visitor Activity report can include a complete audit log of user activity, grouped into individual visits (sessions) which can be sorted by date and time. This data can even include page views, new traffic sources, completed goals, IP address, OS, and browser type.
This post has focused heavily on active users, and users who are engaging heavily within the portal. But, what about those who aren’t? Gaining insight into who your inactive users are is a key step in learning where weak spots exist within your portal and the greater organization. If you notice a high amount of “Inactive Users” from a specific department, you can organize a training session for them based upon this information. With all that time and money invested into your SharePoint portal, every single employee should be maximizing their opportunities. By identifying those who aren’t, you can get them on the right track with training and guidance to find out what’s holding them back.
Your SharePoint Analytics Journey Road to Success
It’s important to remember that analytics can act as catalyzing piece in your SharePoint puzzle. They give you the data and insights to be able to make informed business decisions regarding your portal, but it’s up to you to utilize this data for its all intended purposes. These changes will not occur overnight, but with consistent reporting, monitoring, and optimizing, analytics will prove to be the key to your SharePoint portal success. Creating focused reports on your visitors is necessary for increasing your visitor adoption rates, because after all- they know your portal best.
*Original Analytic Report Images courtesy of CardioLog Analytics