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Using Basic Metrics for SharePoint and Office 365 Adoption

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Using Basic Metrics for SharePoint and Office 365 Adoption

Asif Rehmani

One of the most popular questions that we get is on seeing how much of SharePoint or Office 365 is being used in an organization. For the purpose of having a quick look at the progress without the need to call outside expert help or the need to deploy advanced tools, some basic metrics will help.

If you are ready to dig deeper into tracking usage on multiple levels with precision, you may want to install VisualSP Help System, a robust plug-and-play add-on application specifically built to drive SharePoint and Office 365 adoption while measuring progress on every activity.

To understand the magnitude and growth of the platforms usage, it is common for companies to track the wrong activities; number of unique visitors to a site is one example.

The basic metrics explained below help give you an accurate picture on the degree of your employees’ engagement into the platforms. They help you see how much the platforms are being used and whether the usage rate is growing or not.

Although the availability of the different types of data will depend on the configurations of your environment, typically, you should have enough useful numbers.

For SharePoint adoption, the basic metrics can easily be generated from the count of unique site owners; whereas, for Office 365 adoption, from the charts in the Admin Center.

Basic metrics for SharePoint adoption

Whether your governance policy allows end users to create new sites or provides a site creation request form, you should be able to see how many sites have been created and at what rate.

These basic metrics are a clear indicator of how much your employees find SharePoint useful and how much they use it in their daily tasks. It is an important barometer because it shows that users are engaged enough to actually take the initiative of creating sites. Usually, a user decides to create a new site only after they have used existing sites and find them not ideal for a team or a new project. This is an indication that users find SharePoint useful and intend to use it even more.

Users who disregard SharePoint seldom go beyond using someone else’s site. And they might be using a site only because someone compelled them to.

Using the SharePoint list feature, you can easily track the number of site owners. The sites creation activities can be quantified and presented visually as charts.

Here is how it works.

If you submit a site request form using InfoPath or PowerApps, the request is counted along with all the relevant data around the site creation such as the name of the site owner and the date of creation. The same activities will be counted if you create a site without the need for validation from the admin.

Using simple scripts, all the data can be sent to a list on the master site. Once you have the data collected on a list, you can easily generate charts and see the number of site owners and the growth of that number over time.

Sure, these basic metrics do not tell the all story about SharePoint adoption but they do give an accurate picture showing whether the overall usage is growing or not.

The basic metrics for Office 365 adoption are a little more generous.

Basic metrics for Office 365 adoption

Conveniently, inside the Admin Center, under Usage, Office 365 has some well laid out charts describing adoption.

If you prefer, in the usage report, you can even enable Power BI to retrieve usage data from the major Office 365 applications, including SharePoint, Yammer, Skype, Exchange, and OneDrive. Once data is gathered, it’s then easier to generate charts for convenient visualization. If you want to learn how to use Power BI effectively, this course explains the steps.

With colorful bars, pies, and lines, you can clearly assess how much the platform is being used and how fast the usage is growing.

Generally, these basic metrics are very useful. They are thorough enough to give you, at the macro level, an overview of the trajectory that your Office 365 adoption is taking. And, they are also very handy in communicating about the findings with executives who are not very technical.

If you look closely at the count of unique site owners in SharePoint and the usage charts in the Admin Center in Office 365, you will be able to tell whether your employees are adopting or abandoning the platforms.

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