Reporting is the ultimate method for monitoring and managing your Microsoft 365 environments. Learn about some of the most useful built-in Microsoft 365 reports in the admin center.
Proactively monitoring usage data, running activity reports, and scanning one or multiple tenants helps you in the following ways:
- Avoid unexpected errors
- View active incidents
- Decrease the number of support requests
- Improve performance and boost user adoption
What you might not know is that some of the most useful reports are right there at each Microsoft 365 admin center. And some of them might have come unnoticed to you—until now.
Today, we’ll focus on some essential out-of-the-box reports from Microsoft 365 that you might not yet know. Maybe they’ll end up saving your day!
Table of contents
Clean up your Teams environment
Communication and collaboration tools such as Teams are more crucial than ever for organizations that want to stay productive. The problem is people sometimes create unnecessary teams or teams that end up being inactive. So here are a couple of admin center reports that will give you specific user details and help you clean up this clutter.
Teams usage report
The Teams usage report is probably the single most important built-in report you’ll run in your Teams environment. It gives you an overview of user usage data, such as the number of active users and channels. This example of usage reporting will provide you with the right usage information to make sense quickly of how people are communicating and collaborating through Teams in your organization.
User activity report
With the user activity report, you’ll have precious insights into specific user details and types of activities in Teams. You’ll be able to see, for example, how many users hold unscheduled meetings (either 1:1 or group calls) or how many meetings a particular user has organized or attended. This method of user reporting also gives you data about the screen, video, and audio minutes and chat communication, such as how many users reply to and post channel messages.
Check the external sharing of information
Collaborating with guests via Sharepoint is commonplace. Many organizations need to share documents, data, or sites with external users or even work with them in a SharePoint team. While this brings efficiency to many projects and tasks, you can’t afford this collaboration to hamper your environment’s security. Well, here’s Microsoft reporting coming to your rescue again!
SharePoint and OneDrive external sharing reports
With this out-of-the-box Microsoft 365 report, you can create a CSV file of every single file, user, permission, and link on a particular SharePoint site or OneDrive. This will help you understand how your users are sharing information with guests. Let’s see how you can do it:
To run the report on SharePoint
- Open the site where you want to run the report
- On the Settings menu, click Site usage.
- In the Shared with external users section, click Run report.
- Choose a location to save the report, and then click Save.To run the report on OneDrive
- From the Microsoft 365 app launcher, select the OneDrive tile.
- On the Settings menu, click OneDrive settings.
- Click More settings, and then click Run sharing report.
- Choose a location to save the report, and then click Save.
Improve your SharePoint search functions
An old complaint about SharePoint is that users can’t find their documents. Over the years, Microsoft has improved SharePoint’s search engine a lot, but it still pays off to look closely at out-of-the-box search usage reporting from the admin center.
These very handy select reports will give insight into what people are searching for frequently and how they have reacted to the search results, if any.
Five available reports
- Query volume: It shows the amount of search queries people performed in a given time. This is useful for identifying trends and determining high and low search activity periods.
- No result queries: People searched for specific keywords, but no documents came back. For example, people search for “salary,” but all documents in the portal use the term “pay.” One solution would then be to introduce synonyms.
- Abandoned queries: People have searched and received results but haven’t clicked on any document. The root cause may be a wide variety of issues – this requires a case-by-case investigation.
- Top queries: People are searching for this query the most. If this is important information, it could be helpful to publish relevant articles to, for instance, the home page.
- Impression distribution: Gives you the number of impressions over various time frames. With it, you’ll understand what result types people use and how their behavior changes over time.
Monitor apps in use
SharePoint users can install apps directly from the SharePoint store. Third-party organizations develop and maintain these apps, so it’s good to watch what people have installed.
Also, when people in your organization encounter an error with a custom app, they’ll probably contact their own Microsoft 365 admin first. So, to view all data about apps running in your Microsoft 365 environment, go to the app usage and error information reports.
See who’s spamming your organization
Everyone receives spam, and most of those emails will be blocked by proper spam filtering. This is all out-of-the-box functionality in the Office 365 admin center. However, it pays off to determine which spam filters have blocked emails.
Perhaps some emails have been blocked incorrectly, and the spam filters require a little tweaking. The extensive mail protection reports in Microsoft 365 provide an overview of malware, spam, and rule detection. Here’s how to run them:
Go to the Microsoft 365 Defender portal
Go to Reports > Email & collaboration > Email & collaboration reports
Sign in using your business subscription
Alternatively, go to the Email & collaboration reports page
Make everyone happy with Microsoft reporting
Make no mistake about it: the built-in Microsoft 365 reports we listed here are super useful. Also, you can set up PowerShell scripts to run them in any reporting period you want. However, if you run them manually and sift through all the information they provide, this job will become impossibly time-consuming. That’s when ShareGate comes to save your day!
You might already know ShareGate as one of the world’s leading Microsoft 365 migration tools, but it’s so much more than that. It provides you with PowerShell-free automation and exclusive, actionable reports that will give you full visibility to keep your Microsoft 365 environments secure while reducing the queue of existing support requests, shipping multiple bug fixes, and boosting adoption like never before, helping your organization to be constantly improving.
Want to learn more about how to leverage the power of reporting and manage Microsoft 365 with total efficiency? Download our Microsoft 365 reporting guide for expert tips, user quotes, details about ShareGate’s exclusive reports, and more!
Each Microsoft 365 admin center report has the power to make users happier at the end of the day. And having happy users means happy conversations with admins, so everyone’s happy!
Do you use other out-of-the-box Microsoft 365 reports to monitor your environments? Leave your answer in the comments!