Teams Improves Analytics in Desktop and Browser Clients

Note to Self: Read the Release Notes

Sometimes it pays to read the release notes for a product. The Teams release notes often hold nuggets of information that don’t show up in an Office 365 Message Center notification, such as the May 1 note about channel analytics:

Channel metrics are now included in team analytics. Along with this addition comes new metrics like a running tally of posts and replies for each team and channel. We’ve also increased the time period for data to 90 days.

The Teams release notes are updated every couple of weeks or as new features appear.

Upgraded Teams Analytics

Teams analytics first appeared in the desktop and browser clients in November 2019 as a useful way for team owners and members to know if the team is active (Figure 1). Data is available to guest users too. Analytics aren’t available in the Teams mobile clients.

Analytics for a team
Figure 1: Analytics for a team

What’s changed is that Microsoft has:

  • Increased the time periods available for Teams reporting out to 90 days from the original 28-day limit. You can now select from 7-, 30-, and 90-day windows. The information comes from the Microsoft Graph and is the same that can be retrieved through the Activity API.
  • Added a drop-down list of channels to allow users to choose to view data for an individual channel (including private channels). The default view available through the Manage team option continues to show data for all channels. A team can support up to 200 channels and it’s likely that some channels will become underused over time (or are always underused). Being able to see what level of activity occurs in a channel is a useful way to decide if the channel is needed and trim some “channel debris.”
  • Added a new Analytics link for channels through the Manage channel option.

Analytics Data Available

The data available for channel covers the number of topic and replies posted. Team analytics track active users over time, the split between tenant users and guests and members and owners, the number of apps installed in the team, and meeting activity. The data doesn’t include messages posted to channels by Office connectors (like an RSS feed) or those that come in through email.

The Teams desktop and browser clients don’t include a way to export the analytics data. However, you can export data covering team-level activities through the Analytics section of the Teams Admin Center. The reports section of the Microsoft 365 admin center also includes Teams usage reports and Teams data is also included in the Microsoft 365 usage analytics dashboard (Power BI).

Reporting is one of our favorite topics in the Office 365 for IT Pros eBook. Everyone wants to know what data is available and how to include it in reports!

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