Measure the value of Microsoft 365

Matthew Smith

Microsoft 365 (M365) can connect us, ensure we smarten our approach, and simplify our professional lives. However, we can do more to leverage and measure the value it delivers to our teams. User adoption is a critical determinant of our return on investment in M365, and it deserves more attention. The tool we need hides in plain sight, part of the real estate of M365. It’s powerful, available, and ready to use.

Microsoft 365 Usage Analytics is a free app within most basic Microsoft 365 subscriptions. Chances are your organisation already has access to it. It combines usage data with user information, providing meaningful analytics around the use of M365 cloud services. People’s behaviour uncovers insight into how successfully M365 is adopted across an organisation and provides a useful benchmark for future comparison.

Some things you might uncover may surprise you! For instance, leading adopters are often not the teams assumed to be the most tech-savvy (like IT). You’ll need to go out and engage your teams to really understand their behaviour, but Usage Analytics lets you ask the right questions, to the right people. Here are five key insights Usage Analytics can provide for you:


  1. Adoption rates – learn about your big picture M365 adoption trends, looking at enabled users vs. active users, returning users and first-time users, how adoption of individual apps changes month on month, and how adoption differs across different locations.
  2. Usage – drill-down into active users and their key activities within each product over the previous 12 months.
  3. Communication – understand how people choose to communicate, and how they respond to different channels.
  4. Collaboration – understand how people collaborate, how files are shared internally and externally and see the mix of owners and collaborators across different locations.
  5. Mobility – track the clients and devices people use to connect to Outlook, Teams & Yammer. As workforces become more mobile and remote, and more apps become available on smart devices, you may wish to encourage (or discourage) their use.

A pre-built dashboard in Usage Analytics gives you easy access to this data, with views of the last 12 months and user-specific information for the last full calendar month. Reports can be further customised to gather the insights most relevant to your organisation. Simpler, smarter!

Measuring user adoption allows you to identify actions and initiatives to help your workforce make the most of M365 and identify those users who will act as champions for these initiatives. If people aren’t using the right services (or not using them at all), you aren’t maximising your return. Lower adoption rates are typically attributed to one of the following:

  • People don’t have the technical skills or confidence to use certain app features or entire apps.
  • People have the skills to benefit from app features, but aren’t aware of them or don’t understand how they can bring value to their organisation

Leveraging insights from Usage Analytics means that, instead of tackling your adoption problems with a broad-brush, you can target specific groups or regions with tailored, compelling training, demonstrating how a particular feature or app will make people’s lives easier. Benefits associated with productivity gains should not be assumed, nor taken for granted. Use data to analyse your return on investment and have meaningful conversations about using M365 in the way that creates the most value to your organisation.

To explore Usage Analytics for your organisation, see Microsoft's user guide to get you up and running. Speak to Sysdoc to maximise your investment in M365, and support with training, adoption and application development. We’d love to help.

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