Using SharePoint Vitals to understand Adoption.

SharePoint Vitals is a tool created to add value to not only your administrator of your SharePoint Farm but for any manager wanting to understand the usage of SharePoint and/or O365.  It specifically provides analysis to answer the questions of who is using what and how they are using it.


The implications, and findings, assist with numerous strategic and operational decisions such as:

  1. Data migration and what to move
  2. Adoption of your intranet
  3. Improvements in data structure in the SharePoint Environment
  4. Auditing of specific usage of documentation
  5. Return on investment on projects
  6. Security tracking
  7. User experience and improvements in network

In our first blog we looked at Getting ready for a migration, Today’s blog looks at what reports we can use to assist us in understanding adoption in our On-Premise or Cloud environment.

Often in this scenario we will be presented with the comment “We have migrated our data and we want to know what the adoption of our new environment is like” or “We implemented a new system, is anybody using it, what is the return on investment”

Why is this question important?

You spend enormous amounts of money in migrating to a new platform or in developing a new application on SharePoint to make people more productive.  Apart from word of mouth and conjecture from those who own the systems, what tangible reporting do you have to substantiate whether these systems are being used, to what degree, by whom and what can be done to improve them.  In out of the box SharePoint this reporting is limited to say the least and sometimes requires manipulation and exporting of information to ascertain inadequate reports.

How can we benefit from SharePoint Vitals?

We explained in the last blog how you would set up a pre-migration to identify what to move to your new intranet. Once you have completed the migration you want to track the users’ usage of the site so as to report back to your manage how well the new Intranet is tracking. However in reality certain pockets of users are early adopters and make the solution seem like its getting traction, but it might not be, how can we tell.  The value of SharePoint Vitals in this scenario is offered through providing us analytics determining who is using the site, but it goes a step further to provide insights into how better to roll out campaigns to get better adoption.

We start on the TOP 10 Dashboard with the Active Users, Visited Sites and Page Hits widgets which straight away highlight usage and trends week on week. Remember that SharePoint Vitals stores all your user metrics into perpetuity so you can build any trendlines you wish.

Once again our SITE MAP report is a useful report that can be used for all users or a few users to track how they are using the site and what pages they are going to.  The ACTIVE USERS report will tell you which users are using the site and which are most active, this is useful for 2 reasons, not only can you see how active the users are, but you can identify which users are going to be your SharePoint Champions, these users can teach the inactive users of the benefits of SharePoint, but can be your biggest sources of information as to how your new Intranet can be structured better to promote adoption. 

The PAGE HITS and VISITED SITES reports will also show you which areas in your intranet are most popular.  With this information you can identify the structure of the pages and sites and the implicit content to emulate this structure in other areas of your site to drive adoption through proven success and consistency.

The SEARCH TERMS report will show whether the navigation and site is clearly structured, if you have finding repeated searches for similar terms you will know that finding that data is not clearly defined in your taxonomy, this will allow you to rebuild menus and content to allow for easier access of data without having to search for it.

PAGE HITS PER USER shows all pages that specific users have accessed, this gives you insights as to what pages a user has been to which in itself can be extrapolated to teams of users. This tells you if users have been accessing data they should or shouldn’t have access to. This therefore is a report for adoption, security and for auditing purposes

Some more abstract reports for this purpose are the HEAT MAP and FASTEST/SLOWEST users to identify the experience from the locations people are accessing your site.  If you have many users accessing the site from remote locations or the Internet speeds are not great you will get slower adoption as users get frustrated trying to access their data.  You can put in place strategies for the use of OneDrive as well as focusing on less content rich pages to make the site more accessible at slower access speeds

Suggestion to client.

Deploy SharePoint Vitals for a specified time to measure adoption, this needs to be identified upfront to ensure measurability. Run through the reporting to identify who has been using what. Then use similar time periods and follow the adoption and campaigns you have put in place for continued improvements. Point out the ability for SharePoint Vitals to store data into perpetuity, this is something SharePoint cannot do out of the box.


Once you have improved adoption with SharePoint Vitals you can still utilize the tools to audit who is using what and to manage security through who is accessing what information from where.


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