Measuring & Driving Usage Of Teams For Education

If you value it, you measure it.

If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.

Update 21/12/17 – I have added new information at the bottom of the blog post about about the “Quick Start – Microsoft Teams Planning Guide” to accelerate deployment and uptake of Microsoft Teams.

The above two quotes are pretty common in modern business practices and yet ironically for institutions that are used to assessing students on a regular basis,  I don’t always see schools regularly measuring the impact of their eLearning initiatives and technology deployments.

I’ve blogged a lot here about both how to use the tools to measure impact but also why it’s important to be doing this within your organisation:

Consequently, in a similar theme I’m going to share how schools can track the usage of Teams for Education and a good starting point is to review this blog post here (if you’re still in the planing and setup phase of Teams, read this guide first). With the announcement earlier this year that Microsoft Classroom Preview was going to discontinue and be replaced by Teams for Education, schools all across the globe have been implementing or preparing to deploy Teams. As with any new tool, training and support for teachers and students is important and being able to measure the impact of the uptake of a tool is critical for school leaders to see if they’re achieving the Return On Investment (ROI) both of the platform itself,  and the cost of training.

One way to do this is to use the the Office365 Admin Teams User Activity Report (direct link):

  1. The Microsoft Teams user activity report gives you a view of the most common activities that your users perform in Microsoft Teamsincluding how many people engage in team chat, how many communicate via private chat message, and how many participate in calls or meetings. You can see this information both at the tenant level, as well as for each individual user.
  2. The Microsoft Teams app usage report provides you with information about how your users connect to Microsoft Teams, including mobile apps. The report helps admins understand what devices are popular in their organization and how many users work on the go.

Getting The Data Insights To The Right People:

Of course, it is rarely the role of the IT Admin to be driving usage of the tools in schools. This often falls to an eLearning Lead Teacher, ICT Co-Ordinator, or even external training partners. To ensure they can measure the impact of their work, there is a new role created in O365 Admin called “Reports Reader Role” which allows a standard user to have access to:

the usage reporting dashboard in the admin center, the adoption content pack in PowerBI as well as the data returned by the Microsoft Graph reporting API. In the admin center, a reports reader will be able to access areas relevant to usage and adoption only – for example, a user with this role cannot configure settings or access the product specific admin centers.  NB: The reports reader role UI is not available yet in Azure Active Directory but will come soon.


Example report of Teams usage from my demo tenant. At the very bottom you can see the column headings that would have users displayed below them.

The report above can be switched to show “activities” or “users” in the graph. It’s a good way to see the uptake of things like channel conversations or private chat messages within Teams by your users. Additional reporting is available in the Office365 Admin PowerBI Reporting Pack showing usage of Teams:


The bottom report is particularly useful for visually displaying if usage of Teams for Education is building, showing good uptake amongst a school.

These reports should provide insights into what areas of Teams are being used successfully, and what areas perhaps need further training or promotion to staff and students. An area I would like to see reported on is interaction by end users in the “Files” tab i.e. how many files they’ve uploaded / downloaded within the Team.

Final Thoughts:

You can share an interactive demo of Teams for Education with teachers in your school here:

Interactive Demo of Teams

It’s amazing how much AI is making it’s way into Office365 (this is a useful blog to read from the O365 team with the latest AI and Machine Learning features being added into Excel and Word). The future of O365 Admin reporting is clearly heading towards personalised recommendations on how to maximise the tools to drive efficiency and smarter collaboration within your organisation. A future feature is going to be the “Usage Score” (see below) which will provide personalised and contextual recommendations on how to get more out of the tools, and also allow trainers and those responsible for driving institutional uptake to set target adoption campaigns:


To loop back to the opening quotes of this blog “if you value it, you measure it”, I’m reminded of a conversation I had with a staff member I was helping in a previous company I worked for,  but they did not directly report to me. They were complaining of being overworked and yet could not “prove” the level of work they were doing beyond anecdotal comments. When I offered them a way to track this in the tool they should have been using to record interactions with others in the organisation, they flat out refused. In my mind, this made it impossible for them to press their claim for additional staffing resources.

The flipside of this same argument is about pressing for promotion or remuneration through meeting or exceeding agreed on targets. For those in schools responsible for driving adoption of technologies, the above reporting provides a perfect way to demonstrate their impact on the organisation and to perhaps bring this evidence to the table in performance reviews. Staff are generally the most valuable resource a company has, hence most are measured on a regular, scheduled way. Now, it’s even easier to measure the impact of some of their activities well.

Quick Start – Microsoft Teams Planning Guide:


If you are responsible for driving Teams in your organisation then checking out this quick start guide is an essential activity.

It has some great links to resources as well as guides on how and why different departments might benefit from Teams:


Next steps

  1. Head over to the Workshop kit: Plan, deliver, and operate Teams
  2. Download and fill out the technical planning questionnaire in the Quick start guide: Successfully enable Teams.
  3. Download the workshop for launching Teams in your organization: Plan, Deliver, & Operate Teams

I am always keen to discuss what I've written and hear your ideas so leave a reply here...

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