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5 essential tools for Microsoft Teams monitoring

Microsoft Teams Image Featured 39

Do you know if your tenant is secure? Are users collaborating efficiently? To answer those questions, you need visibility. And with these Microsoft Teams monitoring tools, you can’t miss it.

We all know how COVID made remote work first a necessity and then a reality. And although we’re beyond crisis mode now, it’s clear this work model is here to stay. Recent research indicates that 68% of Americans prefer working remotely rather than in an office. Organizations, too, have discovered the benefits of making work more flexible and convenient.

Yet, businesses still worry about how distributed work can hamper security, performance, and productivity. The good news is that, with services like the Microsoft Teams platform, remote workers can collaborate and do their jobs safely and seamlessly. And on the business side, organizations can mine employee usage data to gain visibility and ensure people leverage these tools to the max.

But do you know how to do that efficiently? Do you know which tools can get you there? Don’t worry: we’ve done the research for you.

This article will explore five essential tools for monitoring Microsoft Teams: the Microsoft Teams Admin Center, third-party solutions (like ShareGate), Microsoft 365 Usage Analytics, Microsoft Teams Usage Reports, and your Microsoft Teams Audit Logs. Combining these five gives you a solid toolkit for honing your Microsoft Teams performance. Let’s get to it!

1. Microsoft Teams Admin Center

First things first. Let’s talk about what you get out of the box with Teams—and this is the Microsoft Teams Admin Center. It offers a user-friendly hub with a single dashboard for Teams monitoring that shows critical Microsoft Teams metrics about your channels, team members, owners, guests, user classifications, or a team’s archived or active status. Administrators can also access details about what goes on in group chats, private channels, Teams rooms, and Teams meetings.

Microsoft Teams Monitoring Admin Center

In the Admin Center, you can access your Microsoft Teams Usage Report (which we’ll discuss in more detail below) and other reports on Microsoft Teams activity, including Teams app use, device use, Teams video and audio conferencing, live events use, and virtual appointments. Administrators can also find other reports to enable Microsoft Teams monitoring, such as metrics about your SMS notifications, call quality, and app integration.

Monitoring Microsoft Teams made easy

With all this information, it’s easier for IT admins to troubleshoot issues and manage their teams and users. Administrators can oversee and customize their employees’ workflow while viewing and managing their organization’s Microsoft Teams settings. They can also access high-quality data and insights about how employees adopt and use the platform.

Busy network administrators might find it frustrating that the Microsoft Teams Admin Center isn’t the only solution for monitoring performance issues. That means there’s no centralized, out-of-the-box solution to give them full visibility of the Microsoft Teams environment. However, it does have some significant business benefits on its own.

For one thing, it gives you a good picture of the health of your current Microsoft Teams approach, allowing you to examine your remote workforce’s activity comprehensively. You can also use the data to proactively troubleshoot Microsoft Teams issues like network connectivity or video quality so that you can minimize disruptions.

If you want to start exploring this powerful resource for Teams monitoring right away, check out our answers to the most common questions in our Microsoft Teams Admin Center FAQs.

2. Microsoft 365 Usage Analytics

With so many metrics available to make data-driven decisions, there’s no room for guesswork in modern businesses tracking Microsoft Teams performance. Enter Microsoft 365 Usage Analytics and all its data about how your organization uses Microsoft 365 tools and services, including Microsoft Teams.

On the pre-built dashboard, you can dive into adoption trends, preferred communication applications, shared documents, and activation and licensing information, among other details. You can customize your reports to suit your business requirements and industry specifications.

Microsoft Usage Analytics

With Usage Analytics, you can access insights into user behavior and user attributes, such as how often your employees use Microsoft Teams and how your users interact with it. This data makes it easy to assess if you have any performance or user issues. With that information, your business can change your strategy so you can use the application to meet your collaboration needs for every project, whether it’s remotely or in the office.

Use the Usage Analytics report and Teams Usage Report together

The downside is you’ll still need to go beyond your Microsoft 365 Usage Analytics to get the information you need to assess your performance on Teams. However, as dull as it may be to reference other tools, such as your Teams Usage Report, they form a powerful arsenal for improving your workflow.

Since your Microsoft 365 Usage Analytics allows you to go beyond just Microsoft Teams monitoring, you can use this service to get a holistic view of your entire Microsoft environment and see how your business’s Teams performance complements how employees use other Microsoft tools. As a result, you can make key changes to increase efficiency.

Take your Teams reporting to the next level with this deep dive into Microsoft Teams analytics.

3. Teams Usage Report

Reports are an IT admin’s best friend for gaining visibility over their Microsoft 365 tenants. And when it comes to Microsoft Teams monitoring, the Teams usage report is hands down the most important built-in report you’ll run in your environment.

The Usage Report gives an overview of how people use Teams, such as the number of active users, channels, messages, guests, and meetings. It also shows consumption analytics like mentions, replies, reactions, and last activity date. You can even drill down into details like login times and dates, IP addresses, and a user’s device type or operating system.

Microsoft Teams Usage Report

What to do with the Usage Report

With this, you’ll have the right usage information to make sense quickly of how people are communicating and collaborating through Teams in your organization, either on Teams rooms, channels, or chats. Using these metrics, IT admins can track Microsoft Teams user adoption and engagement and devise efforts to make users collaborate more efficiently through Teams.

You can also identify popular Teams features and areas for improvement, helping the organization leverage this information to set realistic expectations and goals. Moreover, you can rely on solid data to provide constructive feedback to your team and measure and celebrate employee wins to foster a more positive workplace culture.

Also, data can help you shape a solid Microsoft 365 governance plan and, ultimately, reduce sprawl.

Common issues with Microsoft Teams reporting

One issue with Microsoft 365 reporting is that there are no centralized reports for assessing your Teams performance, which might frustrate IT admins. Yet, each reporting feature offers valuable information about the environment.

While the Teams Usage Report focuses specifically on tracking user activities on the app, Microsoft 365 Usage Analytics looks at how you use Microsoft Teams with other Microsoft 365 applications and services. Teams Usage Reports provide less direct analysis, have more limitations, and are less customizable than M365 usage analytics. You can see more detailed user activity but may need more manual labor to discern the data’s meaning.

Other Microsoft 365 tools within its app suite can help your organization dive deeper into employee activity and productivity, including Microsoft SharePoint. Learn more about monitoring performance data with SharePoint Usage Reports.

4. Audit Log

With the Microsoft Teams Audit Log, employers can inspect activities and events using key features on the Microsoft Teams app. This tool lets businesses gain helpful insights into their Teams actions, such as whether someone has created or deleted a team, added or deleted channels, or changed your organization and team settings.

You can also see similar information on whether someone added details about your Teams meetings, changed member roles, or took action with specific chats and messages.

Also, there are several Microsoft Teams channel roles. Understanding these makes audit logs easier to interpret insights.

Microsoft Teams Monitoring Audit Log

Why use the Audit Log?

With all this data, you can understand employee performance and identify potential performance issues or bottlenecks to productivity. Most importantly, the Microsoft Teams audit log is critical for maintaining compliance and boosting security.

For example, your business can use this resource to monitor the actions of external Microsoft Teams users to ensure that they aren’t gaining access to proprietary documents or taking any other undesired actions.

Some people might find the audit log challenging because its navigation can be tedious. The good thing, though, is that it helps your global admin reduce incident response time, troubleshoot Teams issues, and enforce your policies to prevent data loss.

You might also wonder, “With all this tracking, is our data secure?” Well, fear not! Microsoft has established a solid privacy policy that guarantees that company data won’t be shared with third parties or used for advertising purposes.

5. Third-party apps (like ShareGate)

You can’t manage what you can’t see. Fortunately, Microsoft 365 management solutions like ShareGate can give your business a clear, consolidated overview of your Microsoft Teams environment where administrators can see all their teams and related activities in one centralized place.

As a result, businesses can create streamlined systems for monitoring employee productivity on Microsoft Teams in real-time, whether in the office or remotely. When you communicate transparently about how and why you will use ShareGate to engage in Microsoft Teams monitoring, your employees can stay professional and work together more cohesively.

You can also engage in data-driven decision-making that enables you to allocate resources and manage workloads more efficiently. And best of all, for busy IT administrators, ShareGate allows you to automate your Microsoft Teams monitoring.

Microsoft Teams Monitoring Sharegate Management Report

With ShareGate, businesses can determine pre-established guides and customized policies that outline how your organization’s employees should use the technology, ensuring users follow your organization’s internal Microsoft Teams best practices.

ShareGate provides the services you need to set parameters and manage your teams throughout their entire lifecycle on Microsoft Teams. It enables you to protect sensitive data and track all the teams your users create. You can use provisioning templates to help users make the teams they want within your set’s guardrails. Administrators can also flexibly move Microsoft Teams content whenever, wherever.

Monitoring Microsoft Teams security

When monitoring Microsoft Teams security, you can use ShareGate to scan your tenant daily to detect potential problems automatically. ShareGate also offers features to empower team owners to help you quickly fix any performance issues or quality issues.

Beyond using the software to understand your Microsoft Teams performance better, administrators can also use the high-quality insights available within ShareGate to create optimized strategies for executing critical projects such as data migration, task automation, governance, and reporting.

Our ShareGate Management reports provide even further education on optimizing these tracking tools. Uplevel your Teams workflow with these comprehensive modules on Sharegate Management reports.

Start boosting your Microsoft Teams performance to drive success

We hope you enjoyed the insights we shared about the best tools for Microsoft Teams monitoring. Now you can explore those tools to boost efficiency and collaboration, helping your organization meet its long-term goals. Your Teams monitoring journey is only beginning!

Want to go beyond Microsoft Teams optimization? Create better user experiences by boosting your overall Microsoft 365 productivity with these essential tips from Microsoft MVPs.

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