As written by Ryan Fuller on blogs.office.com
Microsoft Workplace Analytics—a powerful new organizational analytics solution—is now generally available as an add-on to any Office 365 enterprise plan.
According to a recent Forrester report, increasing employee productivity is the number one priority for C-level executives in the next year, with 96 percent of respondents citing it as a critical or high imperative. Workplace Analytics provides unprecedented behavioral insights that can be used to improve productivity, workforce effectiveness and employee engagement.
New insights from Office 365
Workplace Analytics taps into Office 365 email and calendar metadata, including to/from data, subject lines and timestamps, to shine a light on how the organization collaborates and spends time. It turns this digital exhaust—the data that comes naturally from our everyday work—into a set of behavioral metrics that can be used to understand what’s going on in an organization.
Microsoft has enabled Workplace Analytics with built-in privacy and compliance capabilities. Customers own their Office 365 data and decide how to apply insights generated by Workplace Analytics to solve tough business challenges. Workplace Analytics only leverages metadata that is aggregated and de-identified.
Workplace Analytics was designed with the flexibility to address a broad range of strategic and organizational culture-based initiatives. Let’s take a look at a few ways customers are using Workplace Analytics:
A sales organization in a Fortune 500 company used Workplace Analytics to identify the collaborative patterns of top performers and then scaled those behaviors to the broader sales organization—resulting in a significant increase in sales. Some of these insights were expected, like the amount of time spent with customers. But others were new, like the size of the person’s internal network, which may be an indicator of the salesperson’s ability to get answers and solve customer questions.
Freddie Mac used Workplace Analytics to drive a cultural change with managers. In looking at how time-usage metrics are related to engagement and retention, they found that the behaviors of managers were pivotal in determining employee engagement and retention. Behaviors, such as 1:1 manager time, level of leadership exposure given to employees and the degree to which work can be distributed evenly across an organization, are measurable through Workplace Analytics.
The collaboration insights from Workplace Analytics were used by an organization to partner with its commercial real estate company, CBRE, to do space planning. They analyzed the metadata attached to employee calendar items to calculate the travel time associated with meetings. They found that as a result of the relocation, each employee reduced their travel time to meetings by 46 percent—resulting in a combined total of 100 hours saved per week across all 1,200 employees involved in the move.
Every organization has unique business questions, which is why we’ve included the ability to create custom queries directly within Workplace Analytics. Data analysts can choose from a unique set of collaboration metrics to explore activities and trends within the business, including time spent in email, time in meetings, after-hours time and network size. Analysts can also create custom queries and filter to aggregated population subsets including regions, roles and functions.
“Workplace Analytics is becoming an essential part of our toolkit,” said Tom Springer, partner at Bain. “It shows us where and how our clients are deploying their scarcest resources: the time, talent and energy of their people. Workplace Analytics consistently yields unique insights into resource allocation, collaboration behaviors and organizational networks. We integrate these insights with broader perspectives on strategy, operating model and results delivery to help our clients organize for maximum productivity.”
Building a digital, data-driven enterprise
At Microsoft, Workplace Analytics has yielded significant insights. “We believe building a true digital, data-driven enterprise requires organizations to empower and connect their people across everything—people, processes, data and systems,” said Kathleen Hogan, chief people officer at Microsoft. “Our HR Business Insights group is using Workplace Analytics across a variety of initiatives—from understanding the behaviors driving increased employee engagement, to identifying the qualities of top-performing managers who are leading Microsoft’s cultural transformation from within. We believe people analytics is a competitive necessity for any HR team.”