Using SharePoint Vitals to help you migrating SharePoint content.

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 assists 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

Today’s blog looks at what reports we can use to assist us in understanding scenarios and strategies to assist with the migration of data from SharePoint to a new version or On-Premise to Cloud.

Often in this scenario we will be presented with the comment “We are wanting to Migrate to a new version of SharePoint but have no idea what is being used”

Why is this question important?

We have two possible approaches to migrating content.  The first is the “Lets take everything approach”, whilst on the onset this might seem like a sensible approach you are firstly minimizing the ability to improve your intranet and secondly you are wasting value resources in moving data that has no use on your new environment at astronomical costs to the organization, not just in the migration process which is costly in terms of sanitization of files, renaming, restructuring and lets not forget link fixing, but also in future storage of data that isn’t even being used.

The second approach is to perform a pre-migration to assess what should move and strategise the migration to ensure cost savings up front and into the future by only migrating relevant data.

 

From a best practices approach in migration, governance and cost savings we suggest the second approach.

How do you perform a pre-migration?

The obvious question here is how to identify the information that is being accessed and how often.  SharePoint Vitals sets out to answer this question by providing the SITE MAP report. Through this report it is important to understand what data is being accessed across ALL your farms whether on-premise or O365 or a hybrid environment.

 

The report provides visibility in a graphical form  providing insights into the details as to what information is being accessed in the farm by graphically depicting where users have navigated.  Any section NOT navigated to will not appear in the report and an indicator as to the amount a section is accessed is indicated in number of hit format.  So why is this useful.  Well straight away you can identify areas of your site that are commonly used.

 

However your journey does not stop here.  We can delve deeper into the usage information through the following two reports:

 

ACTIVE DOCUMENTS PER SITE narrows your migration focus to specific data used in specific sites. This report allows you to decide whether there are certain libraries or subsets of data that should be migrated rather than entire sites or libraries. If a site is active but only 1 document when the site contains hundreds or thousands of unused, or outdated, files.  This answers whether it is worth-while migrating or just moving the set of used documents elsewhere.

This data is enriched through the ACTIVE DOCUMENTS PER USER report which tells you exactly who is accessing specific documents to as to build campaigns to allow those users to know where data is going to be moved.

 

ACTIVE USERS will identify which users should be your stakeholders in a migrations and your champions in identifying what is really imported in terms of the migration.

 

We should now have a good understand of the content being moved to our new site.  However with the advent of O365 and SharePoint 2019 we have new issues to consider.  We now have new options for look and feel and we need to decide whether to stick to our old Classic site experience or move to a new modern responsive site that works on mobile devices.  In addition, in the new world of O365 you need to restructure your content and understand Hubsites, navigation and megamenus that are driven via disconnected site collections and teams’ sites.

 

The value in understanding what people are using to view the sites (BROWSER REPORT and DEVICE REPORT) as well as current issues with navigation (SEARCH TERM REPORT and CLICK THROUGH REPORT) are quick wins to identify how you should structure your site / navigation in order to maximize adoption, but also to understand what browsers and devices people are using to access content and thereby make better decisions on the Style and taxonomy of the site. 

 

From the BROWSER and DEVICE reports you will understand if there are a lot of mobile devices being used, this will dictate whether you should look at a Modern experience or stick to your classic experience rather, but also identify the browsers and JS compatibility you should look for.

 

If there are many search terms for specific topics, make sure it’s easy to find the in the navigational structures of the site. Or if you can detect a pattern of multiple click throughs from one page to another you might be able to identify areas for flyout menus or easier structures to get to content through fewer clicks.

Suggested use of SharePoint Vitals.

Deploy SharePoint Vitals for a month and then run through the reporting to identify what should be moved. 

Bonus.

Once you have completed the migration you can run SharePoint Vitals on the new environment to track adoption and finesse decisions made for the migration.

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