5 SharePoint reports to schedule on a daily, weekly, or quarterly basis

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SharePoint reporting is crucial to maintaining a secure and organized environment. Read on to learn what reports you should be using when.

SharePoint governance is a crucial part of maintaining a secure and efficient workspace for everyone in your organization. Scheduled SharePoint reporting is a useful way of keeping on top of potential threats to your SharePoint online or on-prem environment. Keep an eye on user permissions, orphaned sites, inactive groups, and gain valuable business intelligence. 

Neglecting reporting can increase cloud sprawl, disorganization, and the threat of security breaches and cyber-attacks. But constantly checking and updating these reports is time-consuming, and sometimes not even necessary. 

In this blog we’ll break down which SharePoint reports you should be scheduling on a weekly, monthly, and quarterly basis, and how these reports can help you to streamline your regular SharePoint auditing. We’ll also begin to explore how you can save time and resources when you automate reports and let governance software do the heavy lifting for you.

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How to get started with SharePoint reporting

You can get SharePoint reports in the same way that you’d schedule any Microsoft 365 reports – via the Admin Center. From the Admin Center, go to Reports then Usage and click on View more on the SharePoint card.

You should then be able to see different dashboards, such as user lists, the site usage tab, and more. The SharePoint usage dashboard is where you’ll schedule reports and be used to view trends from the last 7, 30, 90 or 180 days, depending on your requirements. 

You can then export your usage reports to an Excel document to add to your own records. Let’s take a look at which reports you should be exporting at each of these intervals to get the most out of the SharePoint reporting function.

SharePoint reports to schedule weekly

These reports can change quickly, as the issues they are centered around individual user activity and can quickly scale from a minor issue to a far more significant one. 

External sharing report

You can view and export a report on external sharing via the metric titled External sharing. Simply check the filter box to choose columns in the Site usage dashboard filter. 

This allows you to see which sharing settings a particular SharePoint site has, and whether you need to revoke external access from old or deactivated users. It should prevent any bad actors sneaking in via decommissioned users, and keep private groups safe and secure.

External users report

To view and export SharePoint reporting on external users, you’ll need to head back to the User list. Here you’ll see a list of de-identified usernames, along with their activity and status. 

You should also be able to see which users are internal or external. Exporting a report on this kind of information should give you the visibility needed to revoke access on external users that are no longer active, in turn reducing security risks and cloud sprawl.

Orphaned user report 

Orphaned users are users that no longer show up in your AAD (Azure Active Directory) but remain dormant on SharePoint sites and groups. Like the other two issues in this section, orphaned users can cause security and cloud sprawl issues – but they can also cause access issues for other users in groups that the orphaned users owned. This means that only IT admins can delete or manage these groups. 

You can schedule this report from the User list – making sure that you do it weekly should mean that orphaned user accounts don’t begin to stack up and create a bigger job out of something quite minor. 

SharePoint reports to schedule monthly

Monthly SharePoint reporting is for issues that concern groups and sites, rather than individual users. If you’re taking care of users on a weekly basis, eventually groups and sites should begin to look after themselves, but they are worth monitoring for inactivity to help avoid unnecessary storage costs and cloud sprawl.

Inactive groups report

On the SharePoint Site usage tab once more, check the filter box labelled, Last activity date. This will show you when a site was last used and will allow you to manage, archive, or delete old SharePoint sites. 

This improves overall management and reduces your storage usage – cutting costs and saving your department time in the long run. 

SharePoint reports to schedule quarterly 

These reports are lower priority than the previous two sections, but you should still keep an eye on them each quarter to ensure everything is running smoothly and that SharePoint is being used the way it should be.

Audit log report 

Think of this as a kind of quarterly revision of your SharePoint usage. Audit logs tell you who did what and when. If there is a security issue or something important is deleted, you can use audit log reports to find out which user accounts were involved. 

While you hopefully won’t need this, it’s important to keep on top of these logs and ensure that, when you do need them, they are all in order and ready to use. Extract a quarterly log of these audits and you will be better protected for cyber-attacks or incidents caused by human error – it may also be part of your industry compliance regulations, so be sure to check that too.

How you can automate reports for SharePoint

If this all seems like a lot of added work for your department, don’t worry. At ShareGate, we specialize in making governance and reporting easier for IT admins, and our SharePoint reporting is no exception.

With SharePoint reporting and permissions management, you can automate key metric reporting for more reliable management that doesn’t add to your weekly, monthly, and quarterly task lists. Stay on track and in the know, with the power to spot major issues before they arise.

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