Microsoft 365 Usage Analytics: Measuring User Adoption

Power BI on a laptop

Interested to know whether users are adopting the various applications and services since rolling out Office 365? Microsoft have made this extremely simple with a free interactive app called ‘Microsoft 365 Usage Analytics’.

What does Usage Analytics do?

Microsoft 365 Usage Analytics, previously named ‘The Office 365 Adoption Content Pack’, takes service usage data and user metadata to provide a host of analytics for measuring levels of user adoption across your cloud services such as SharePoint, Exchange, Teams and Skype for Business etc.

This is particularly useful as it allows you to gain visibility of your overall adoption success (through users’ behaviour) and helps you to determine whether more user-training or company policies are required. By using this tool, you can easily answer questions such as:

  • Which Office 365 applications are the most and least popular?
  • Which users aren’t using certain apps?
  • How is our progress for transitioning from Skype for Business to Teams ?
  • How well adopted is SharePoint?
  • How much cloud storage are we using?
  • Do different regional offices have different ways of working in Office 365?

Whilst the usage reports in the Admin Centre are a nice way for admins to gain an initial understanding of their users, this may not be enough if you want to delve deeper into your data and drill down by factors such as activity by department or region etc. which Usage Analytics allows you to do. Also, you may not want to share the usage data in the Admin Centre by giving admin access to certain users.

As Usage Analytics uses Power BI, you can share the reports with other users within the organisation -as long as both parties have Power BI Pro licenses.

Where to find it

Microsoft 365 Usage Analytics is available as a free app for Power BI.

Power BI is available in two versions: free and Pro (which costs £7.50 per user per month). To share the usage analytics report, both the person sharing the report and the recipients require a Pro licence to share and view the results.

Find out how to enable Usage Analytics with Microsoft’s guide here.

Dashboards and reports

Usage Analytics includes various interactive pre-configured dashboards within Power BI.

Adoption

Adoption allows you to see an overall picture of adoption trends. By using the ‘Adoption Overview’ report, you can see how adoption of the various services within Microsoft 365 has changed over time.

Adoption overview in Microsoft 365 usage analytics

As you can see below, you can choose Office 365 overall or a product such as Teams, SharePoint, OneDrive etc. and look at the data for various metrics such as:

  • Enabled Users
  • Active Users
  • Returning Users
  • First Time Users
  • Cumulative Active Users

Adoption overview by product

Communication

Communication gives you an insight into how your users are communicating, whether this be email (Exchange) or instant messaging using Teams or Skype etc.

You can pick any chart within a dashboard and expand it. The example below shows communication activities for Teams vs Skype for Business (SFB) between June 2018 and April 2019. This is a great example of how users have pivoted away from using Skype for chat messaging (peer-to-peer) to Teams chat messaging. The reason for this rapid decline is because Microsoft will be completely replacing Skype for Business with Teams in the near future—integrating the features of Skype into Teams for a more holistic digital workplace solution.

Insights like this allow IT admins to monitor whether users are listening and acting upon the internal communications and instructions from the business (e.g. informing users that they should switch communication channels in-line with new company processes).

Comparison of communications over Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business

Collaboration

‘Collaboration’ surfaces the data on how employees are choosing to collaborate with each other. This will allow you to understand if they are opting to use SharePoint or OneDrive for file sharing and collaboration.

OneDrive for business: active users by activity type

Adoption by region

Because the usage data is linked to Azure Active Directory (AD), you can gain insights which relate to information stored in AD such as user location. The ‘Adoption by region’ report shows you a Bing map, with the adoption information presented spatially. If your organisation has multiple offices across regions, countries or continents, you could compare them to see how users are using Microsoft 365 apps differently across geographies.

Bing map showing usage analytics data

Access from anywhere

Because Microsoft 365 uses the power of the cloud to enable your users to work from anywhere at any time, they may be working on a whole host of different devices—whether that be personal or company devices. This means users may be using a variety of operating systems (e.g. Windows, Android, iOS, Mac etc.) and devices (e.g. Windows PC or an iPhone etc.) to do their work.

Usage Analytics allows you to get these insights for the various Microsoft 365 products such as Microsoft Teams (as in the example below).

Chart showing the various clients used to access Microsoft Teams

Storage

Storage allows you to see how much cloud storage is being used by user mailboxes, OneDrive accounts and SharePoint sites etc. You can drill down and look at usage by specific criteria such as SharePoint team sites or similar.

Assigned licenses

The assigned licenses report gives you a complete overview of how many users have been assigned licenses under a Microsoft subscription. The charts break down the numbers of users by the various licences—including the larger paid licenses such as Microsoft 365 E5 and also free licenses such as Microsoft Flow Free.

Usage by product

Each product (e.g. Exchange, OneDrive, Yammer, Teams, SharePoint, Office 365 Groups) has its own usage report. Each of these reports tells you more about how your users are using these products—giving information on numbers of enabled/active users and their activity.

User-activity by product

Each product also has its own user-activity report. This allows you to filter by user attributes from Azure AD to gain insights into user-activity within a product. For example, for the Microsoft Teams report, you could filter by Department, Location or Company to look at user activity within this segment. The report lists all your users in a table, showing their AD display name against product activity data such as ‘total chat messages within Teams’ or ‘total call participation within Teams’ etc.

This means you can gain very targeted user-activity insights – pinpointing specific users who may need further training on a product that they’re clearly not using (and perhaps should be).

Editing and creating reports

Many IT admins will want to customise their reports further to gain more insights. If you have edit permissions, this is entirely possible using Power BI’s standard editing tools, filters and charts etc. You can manipulate the data in a number of ways.

If you don’t have permission to edit, you will likely be able to use the filters in the side bar to customise the pre-configured Microsoft reports—using filters such as month or year etc. to gain the insights you need.

Filtering options in Power BI

Conclusion

Microsoft 365 Usage Analytics is a superb free tool for IT admins to utilise when assessing user adoption of the various services within Microsoft 365.

Organisations using Microsoft 365 have access to this fantastic free resource, allowing them to gain powerful insights into the activities of their users across the business. With this data, IT teams can help support employees by identifying areas where they would benefit from further training and company policies.

Next steps

Get in touch today if you’re interested in finding our more about Microsoft 365 or Office 365, or would like support with company-wide adoption. We help companies take advantage of the new tools within Office 365, such as Teams, through consultancy, workshops and training – contact us to find out more.

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