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Microsoft Workplace Analytics: How Your Business Can Benefit

Microsoft Workplace Analytics: How Your Business Can Benefit
Credit: Bloomicon/Shutterstock

Much of the world's work happens in Microsoft Office. All of those documents, spreadsheets and presentations generate a considerable amount of useful information about a company's workflow and where the collaboration leads.

A business's highest-level productivity is the ideal destination of Microsoft Workplace Analytics. A small business can take advantage of many of the software's capabilities to glean better insights about what a team is up to and find ways to work with greater efficiency.

While any business loves the idea of getting more work done with fewer tasks, getting there isn't a matter of just flipping a switch on a new program. Workplace Analytics has a few distinct ways that teams can seek out a better way of working.

Microsoft says that only 32 percent of knowledge workers put the time aside for "deep, focused work." The main distractors are after-hours requests from managers and the seemingly endless flurry of meetings and other needs.

The goal of Workplace Analytics is to reclaim some of your time. For example, you may receive a nudge to schedule in some "focus time" if your day is overloaded with meetings. There are several other ways Workplace Analytics will drop in little hints throughout the workday to suggest a better path to productivity.

Microsoft Workplace Analytics seeks to give a digital nudge to users for enhanced productivity. Credit: Microsoft

While AI is certainly a buzz term, there's promise in embracing the approach to deliver data about collaboration patterns or the type of insights that administrators can gain about their teams. A team can put together many of the features in the MyAnalytics tool to create an actionable plan that emphasizes more focused work time or knocks back events from the schedule that are getting teams off track.

The challenge with such software is finding out if the suggestions are in line with the team goals or just another set of computer-generated instructions disconnected from reality. While helping colleagues stick to the to-do list is important, the human nuance required to judge what should be the focus for the day still needs sufficient attention.

Technology has consumed the way that most industries work. The challenge for businesses is using it to get past many of the distractions it has caused: meetings, emails and too much time staring at spreadsheets. For those deep in the Microsoft ecosystem, the company's Workplace Analytics holds promise for helping teams get out of the digital bubble, particularly with so much of the daily workflow now flowing across many digital platforms and services.

Derek Walter

Derek Walter is the founder of Walter Media, which offers writing and content strategy services. He is also the author of Learning MIT App Inventor: A Hands-On Guide to Building Your Own Android Apps.