SharePoint usage reports: how to measure site usage with HarePoint Analytics

“What gets measured gets managed”
Peter Drucker

SharePoint is now a very popular and powerful all-in-one tool to create intranet portals. After all the investments in SharePoint infrastructure, time spent on development, administration, design and user adoption, when the portal is up and running smoothly, the main question that arises is how efficient is the new SharePoint-based portal.

What are the key parameters indicating that the portal is fulfilling expectations?

  • Visits and Visitors – Probably the first thing that comes to mind is how actively the portal is used. To find out, we need to know how many unique visitors are there and how many new visitors we get every day, week or month.
  • Site Content – What site content is most popular? Reality vs Expectation. Is there any unused content? If we know what content is not used, we can investigate why that is – the content may be very useful, but due to bad site design or technical issues, it may simply be inaccessible to users.
  • Document Libraries and Lists – What is going on with them? What departments are contributing content? How many new documents have been created within the last month and by which departments?
  • Search – is obviously very important. The site design can be just awesome, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that visitors can find what they need in all cases. Then they have to use Search. Content might not be available because of bad links or access issues, or it might be completely missing from the site. Clearly knowing what visitors are searching for, and how relevant are the search results – this is some of the most valuable feedback you can get from SharePoint reports.

It is important to note that SharePoint Administrators also have their technical tasks in order to keep a SharePoint-based site functional, responsive and optimized. The following reports are frequently in demand by Administrators:

  • The size of sites, document libraries and lists - Could it be that there are too many documents, so that we probably need to revise our strategy and keep some things outside of SharePoint? What document types take up the most space? Are there lists exceeding or approaching the recommended list item threshold?
  • Workflows – automation has always been a strong side of SharePoint. Reporting on how this automation is actually working is especially valuable. Unfortunately, neither the SharePoint interface, nor SharePoint Designer provide any valuable information in a single place about how many workflows are running and how many of them have failed.
  • Server performance – a set of technical reports about farm performance gives a clear picture of how SharePoint sites and services are optimized; are there any resource bottlenecks that need to be addressed?

For organizations utilizing SharePoint, the biggest challenge is that SharePoint simply does not collect the data needed for efficient SharePoint usage analysis. With out-of-the-box SharePoint usage reports you can get less than 5% of the information you really need.

Therefore, it is especially important to make a right decision and invest into a SharePoint reporting tool that will unnoticeably collect and conveniently display all the key parameters you have defined, without putting extra load on the hardware, IT staff, and end users.

HarePoint offers a perfect solution to get SharePoint usage reports – HarePoint Analytics. HarePoint has vast experience in SharePoint reporting and has created a solution with the following outstanding features:

  • All the essential reports are available out-of-the-box – using our experience and years of client feedback, we have a thorough set of reports that are available in one click right after deployment
  • Reports are cross-linked and very flexible – you can easily create a highly specific report and save it as a template Custom dashboards in a few clicks – build a dashboard consisting of any reports and place it on any page of any site in your SharePoint farm Intuitive design – really there is no need to spend time to learn how to use the product; all the options are visible on the screen and they work intuitively
  • Reports access control – HarePoint Analytics collects lots of information, but you can be completely sure that only the right people are seeing the details of SharePoint reports
  • Absolute scalability – no matter if you are running a single-server SharePoint environment in a small company, or deal with an impressive multi-server farm in an international conglomerate, HarePoint Analytics is suitable for all configurations
  • Own data collection mechanism – you do not depend on any other services or features in your SharePoint to collect statistical data
  • Security – there’s not a single byte of data that leaves your company, everything is stored and managed completely on your side
  • Quick start – the product installation and deployment was made as simple and quick as possible, no matter how big the SharePoint farm is. HarePoint offers a fully featured trial version and it takes less than 15 minutes to have it running in your environment
  • Pricing – all these features are available at very reasonable pricing; HarePoint provides an astonishing combination of cost and quality of SharePoint usage reports that you get

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