Many schools are using Office365 to drive learning outcomes and effectively enable faculty and students to communicate and collaborate more efficiently. Increasingly, organisations are asking “how do we know this investment is working?” and, with the recent preview release of Office365 adoption content pack for PowerBI, schools are able to accurately measure usage and uptake.
Even though this is still in limited preview release, schools can sign up to trial this free content pack for PowerBI by emailing O365usagePowerBIPreview@service.microsoft.com and getting access to the rich visualisations on usage within their organisation:
From my perspective, these reports now enable schools to actively ask questions of how is Office365 being used within their organisation and then see if the data assists in providing valuable insights for action e.g.
- Are staff using OneDrive to store and share resources as they have been trained to do?
- Are students using Skype for instant messaging and video chats for after-school revision sessions?
- Are staff and students using the desktop application of OneNote or are most still using the web browser version?
- Are we getting swamped by email and is the volume increasing or decreasing?
The last question is particularly pertinent as email can be one of the biggest time consumers for staff as they read/reply to emails from fellow staff, students or parents:
This new level of analysis also provides schools with focused, actionable insights such as:
- Areas identified which clearly need further training to increase adoption e.g. if a school is trying to push all non-urgent communications onto an internal Yammer site, these reports will show if adoption is happening through the volume of posts.
- Return on the investment: with Office Pro Plus available for faculty and students providing a rich desktop environment with deeply integrated cloud storage and connectivity in the back end, are users downloading and activating this on their devices?
- If the mobile platform is showing as the predominant client for reading emails or other communications, is the school ensuring all emails (and websites for that matter) are mobile friendly to read with responsive designed layouts?
The full range of reports available in this adoption pack can be seen on this link, but the main ones are:
- Yammer Usage report—Useful for organizations that are in the process of rolling out Yammer or are focused on increasing usage. The report provides helpful information about how various parts of your organization adopt Yammer as a form or communication including how many people post messages, how many consume content by liking or reading a message and how new user activation has changed over time.
- Skype for Business Usage report—Provides a consolidated view of Skype activity as well as with details about how many users leverage Skype to connect with others through peer-to-peer messages and how many communicate their ideas by participating or organizing video conferences.
- OneDrive for Business Usage report—Shows admins how users leverage OneDrive to collaborate with others in new ways. They can easily see how many users use OneDrive to share files and how many utilize it mostly for file storage. The report also includes information about how many OneDrive accounts are actively being used, and how many files are stored on average.
- SharePoint Usage report—Shows how SharePoint team sites and groups sites are being used to store files and for collaboration. The report also includes information about how many SharePoint sites are actively being used, and how many files are stored on average.
- Office 365 Top User report—Enables admins to identify Office 365 power users and the individual products they are using. Power users can often help to drive product usage by sharing their experience about how they use the products to get their work done faster and more efficiently.
In an earlier post I wrote about how professional development in Office365 for teachers can be tracked and measured using the MIE Educator Platform, and this new content pack for Office365 administrators seems like a similarly useful tool for schools to utilize. One of the many strengths of PowerBI is that the reports are easy to comprehend and digest meaning these could, and should, be shared with school leaders and not just be reviewed by the ICT administrators from a technical perspective. All schools want to know and prove that their investments into technology are paying off through adoption by staff and students. This new reporting tool is a great asset for schools to start that analysis and sharpen their focus and expectations around the usage of ICT in education.