Microsoft Delve Analytics Helps Users Keep Track of Their Time

Delve Analytics, an Office 365 add-on, can display how many hours were spent in meetings, using email or focused on getting the job done.

Microsoft Delve Analytics

Delve, Microsoft's context-aware search and discovery app for the workplace, already keeps users in the loop when important emails cross their inboxes or vital Office content makes the rounds. Now, Microsoft wants to help users keep better track of their time with the Delve Analytics add-on.

Available now for Office 365 Enterprise Plans, Delve Analytics adds new views to a user's Delve personal dashboard, revealing which tasks and work relationships are taking up the bulk of their time. The add-on can display how many hours were spent in meetings, using email or focused on getting the job done.

Deeper analytics provide insights into the quality of those activities. For example, the Meeting section not only shows a user's total amount of hours spent in meetings, but also displays which of those gatherings are taking up the most time along with information on why some of them may have been a waste of time. Armed with this information, workers can take steps to improve the effectiveness of their meetings by tweaking the attendee list, trimming recurring meetings or flat-out canceling unproductive meetings.

The software also allows users to see the impact of their meeting schedules on their personal productivity.

A section called Focus Hours graphically displays how often a user has at least two hours between meetings to conduct work. With these insights, users can schedule meetings in a manner that helps maximize their workday. For users keeping on an eye on their work-life balance, the After Hours section can offer insights into the time they spend working outside of their office hours.

Delve Analytics also provides insights into the effectiveness of their email communications.

In addition to displaying the total hours spent using email, the add-on breaks that total down into hours spent writing and reading email. It also shows "email etiquette" statistics, including the percentage of emails that were read by users and their recipients along with the time it generally takes colleagues to reply to one another.

The Network module tracks who users spend the most time collaborating with, or conversely, who is dropping out of their inner circle.

Employees who are mindful of their interactions with higher-ups can track how many hours they spend collaborating or in meetings with their managers. Delve Analytics can also reveal the response times between users and their managers, along with the percentage of manager emails a user reads.

While the tool can provide a lot of insight into how employees spend their time, Microsoft assures that each Delve Analytics dashboard can only be seen by its user.

"Most of what you see—such as how much time you spend in meetings or how long it takes someone to respond to your mail—is based on data you can already find in your mailbox," wrote the company in an online FAQ. "Some of the information you see in your dashboard is based on what others are doing—like the average time people in your organization spend in meetings or how fast large groups are reading your email—but Delve Analytics presents this information in an aggregated form of reporting that is designed to protect individual privacy."

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to eWEEK and the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the network of...