If you were curious, you could easily navigate the app store on your smartphone, and find a number of apps designed to monitor your sleeping habits with some neat features. From the basics like tracking how long you sleep for each night, to more advanced stuff like analyzing your movements, showing the frequency of your REM cycle, and setting alarms for when you are in your 'lightest' sleep state to make waking up easier.
The purpose is to encourage you to sleep for the optimal amount of time. The ability to track our sleeping patterns can provide motivation to give our bodies the right amount of rest, and get us feeling more active and productive during the day.
Managing user activity in Office 365 has a similar goal; by gaining insight on the habits of users, administrators can adjust their sites for optimal user experience. There is a selection of Office 365 out-of-the-box functionalities that can give insight into how users are interacting with the platform. Namely:
- Office 365 audit log
- Office 365 Management APIs
We detail the specifics of the above in our Activity Logging and Reporting Capabilities for Office 365 post, and explain the advantages they can give admins. However, what about the users themselves? In today’s environment—where we interact, collaborate, and learn from each other more than ever—there is more untapped potential to be found in understanding the details of how we work. Being able to reign in our time communicating with others and ensuring activities are in line with our top priorities, we can better gauge how productive and proactive we’re being in the workplace. Fortunately, Microsoft has taken this into consideration with a next-gen platform alternative: Delve Analytics.
A Bain & Company survey found that senior executives spend 28% of their week in internal meetings—equating to just over two whole days. Those same execs rated more than half of these meetings as ineffective, highlighting a clear need for changes to be made to get to a more productive workplace.
Delve is a feature of the Office 365 platform that’s dedicated to helping people understand more about the way they work. Delve Analytics—using the machine-learning power of Office Graph—delivers insights about how you work, in order to get you working (in the words of Microsoft) “smarter, not harder.”
Users with an Office 365 Enterprise E5 license can access their own Delve Analytics personal dashboard, where they can view a summary of how much time they’ve spent in meetings, on email, in 'focused work time' and working after hours for the current week. Users can set individual goals to work towards for each of these categories, and can see how well they manage these goals in a weekly report via Outlook.
The following 5 modules provide users with actionable insights for the prioritizing of work and jobs:
Giving you insight into which people you interact with the most, the Network section tells you how quickly you read and respond to emails from others, and gives you suggestions on people you may want to catch up with.
Focused on the emails you send, Email tells you how much time you dedicate to reading and writing emails, as well as your average read and response rates for emails you both send and receive. If we refer to the Bain & Company Survey, we'll notice that email is the number one productivity killer in the workplace; the Email part of Delve Analytics is there to help you think of ways you can make your email communications more effective.
With the help of Focus Hours, you can visualize how often you have at least two hours between meetings (i.e. enough time to sit down and get some work done!).
Focus Hours shows your meetings in a clear visual format, so if you discover you’ve got meetings all day on Tuesday, you might want to consider moving your schedule around to accommodate some of that time.
Maintaining a healthy work/life balance has become an ever-increasingly talked about topic. The After-Hours module can offer awareness on the amount of time you spend working outside of standard working hours, keeping you informed of whether you’re at risk of burning yourself out.
As well as showing you how much time you’re spending in meetings—showing you which ones are taking up the most of your time—the Meetings module can also enlighten you on the quality of the meetings you attend. Meeting quality metrics include data on the effectiveness of meetings (such as how long your meeting lasted compared to the average), with additional information regarding why specific meetings may have been ineffective. With this info, you can make decisions like whether to change or reduce attendee lists, shorten meeting lengths, or cancel them altogether.
Data Worth its Weight in Gold
The CIO Agenda Report by Gartner highlighted the top 10 technology priorities for CIO’s in 2016. The number one challenge? Business intelligence and analytics. Never has data been so in demand and so important. Delve Analytics brings big data to the office world, and will help you and your staff learn, work faster, and work smarter.