Microsoft Expands Office 365 Usage Reporting

The Office 365 Admin Center reporting dashboard now allows organizations to view OneDrive for Business, SharePoint, Skype for Business and Yammer usage stats.  

Microsoft Office 365

After launching the a revamped Office 365 Admin Center reporting dashboard last month, Microsoft is keeping its promise to roll out new report types.

Bearing a strong resemblance to Power BI, the software giant's cloud-based business intelligence and analytics visualization service, Admin Center's new reporting features show Office 365 usage statistics as glanceable charts and graphs. The first batch of reports included Exchange email activity, active Office 365 users and Office activations.

Now, Microsoft is offering customers the bigger picture.

The company is currently rolling out reports for OneDrive for Business, SharePoint, Skype for Business and Yammer in the United States, Canada and Australia. Customers in Asia, Europe and Latin America are slated to get the new reports in May.

Apart from keeping an eye on their Microsoft Office environments, the new reporting experience can be also used by organizations to help make the most of their software investments, according to Anne Michels, a senior product marketing manager for Microsoft Office 365 Marketing.

"All reports provide you with both aggregate and user-level information, so you can effectively plan training and communication that helps your users to take full advantage of the potential of Office 365," Michels wrote in a company blog posting. "For example, some of our preview customers shared the feedback that the Skype for Business usage reports helped them to increase the awareness of the Skype for Business capabilities among certain teams and, as a result, reduce the amount of travel needed."

The new OneDrive for Business usage report displays file storage statistics, including the number and size of files uploaded to the cloud storage service, on both a per-user and aggregate basis. Similarly, the SharePoint report reveals how much storage capacity is available across SharePoint sites.

Skype for Business and Yammer reports offer IT managers a glimpse into their workforces' real-time collaboration habits. Skype for Business statistics include instant messages (IMs), calls, meeting participation and the number of meetings organized. On the Yammer front, administrators can view the number of likes, posts and times posts were read.

Administrators can also gauge their organizations' Office 365 usage over time. The Admin Center reporting dashboard offers 7-, 30-, 90- and 150-day reporting options. Reports can also be exported into a comma-separated values (CSV) file format for further analysis in Excel and other spreadsheet or analytics software. Additionally, Microsoft is planning to release a Power BI content pack, enabling customers to "pivot your organization's Office 365 usage data with user-level data, like region or department," Michels stated.

In the coming months, Microsoft plans to offer more SharePoint and OneDrive for Business reports related to user activity, said Michels. Other reports in the works include email protection, Office 365 Groups, and details on the browsers and operating systems used to interact with the platform's various services.

Developers will soon get a stab at incorporating Admin Center reporting data into their own apps and custom reporting portals. Microsoft will be releasing new public application programming interfaces (APIs) in the fall, Michels said.

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...