How do you know if you’re using your SharePoint intranet efficiently and successfully? Your digital analytics tool can tell you – with numbers. It also holds the keys to understanding your intranet users. And even better: Your analytics platform can guarantee that your data is secure, and can also motivate your colleagues. How can it do all this? Let me explain…
With an intranet, the stakes are doubly high for privacy and data protection
At many companies, privacy and data protection are top priorities, if not an absolute cornerstone. By definition, an intranet platform (like one built with Microsoft SharePoint, for example), contains a mass of data vital to the company or institution’s proper functioning, including lists of clients, suppliers, vendors, etc., as well as an equally large amount of data (whether public or private) on the group’s employees.
The stakes are therefore double-edged: the organisation must protect both its strategic data and any employee data exposed on the intranet network.
Managing diverse intranet information with your analytics tool
First of all, having a digital analytics solution that is reliable, secure, and that respects privacy is absolutely essential.
An intranet is a work environment that is centralised and controlled, from development to deployment of the platform, and all throughout the publication of content that will live on the intranet. Nonetheless, the information contained on an intranet often remains diverse and varied, as it comes from different systems and departments. Employees and teams often even manage content themselves (for example, sharing working documents or communicating in the intranet’s forum). All these factors contribute to information often being scattered and inconsistent.
Beyond just implementing processes that strictly govern intranet usage within your company, you can go even further by using a digital analytics solution: This will guarantee the integrity and reliability of your employee and customer data while anonymising it.
Another advantage of integrating analytics and your intranet? Importing your different directory data (CRM, employee directories, etc.) into your digital analytics tool makes it a true platform for data unification. In other words, the data that comes out of your digital analytics tool is directly actionable.
Data security is an absolute must in your analytics solution
Information security is often cited as a major roadblock when measuring an intranet. Imagine an insurance company, for example, who uses its intranet to house its most confidential and business-critical data. Even the smallest data leak could compromise this company’s survival (think loss of customer data, or industrial espionage…). Whether data is stored in the cloud or on the company’s local servers, it’s absolutely critical to guarantee its security.
We also recommend you seek help from experts on your particular digital analytics tool to guarantee data security and protection across all aspects of your intranet project.
Flexible and scalable measurement of your intranet
Each intranet environment is unique and highly customised (and customisable), especially in the case of SharePoint (cloud or on-premise, integrated applications, features, etc.…). An analytics tool that is simple to integrate and use – and fully flexible – is therefore essential to adapt to each individual context.
Content for an intranet is sometimes generated directly by its users. The intranet platform must therefore accept the addition of new elements (like documents or comments), as well as new sites and groups generated by users on a daily basis. Ideally, your digital analytics solution should respond to this need by offering dynamic and scalable measurement that can account for any new intranet content in real time. Your analytics solution’s ability to scale up or down based on your company’s structural changes is also invaluable, in the event of internal reorgs or new structuring.
Defining rules ahead of time for grouping your intranet content together can give you a great advantage. This will keep your new content from being scattered and absent from your automatic analytics reporting and alerts. Whenever you create a new intranet page or site, it should automatically be reflected in your digital analytics tool… and should not break or impact your existing reports! A must-have is the option to manage these rules and this technical setup directly from within your analytics tool, to avoid the need for new developments. You’ll also want to be able to integrate new business performance indicators later in time by simply importing new correlation tables.
Another highly useful feature to look for when choosing an analytics tool for SharePoint is the possibility to customise the terms used. Nothing is more irritating than a metric labelled “visitor” when you’re used to reading “user” on all your reports! Customising the terms used in your analytics tool can help encourage greater consistency, familiarity and adoption amongst your intranet users.
Integrating intranet performance data and sharing it with colleagues
Communicating intranet analytics data to your colleagues will also help encourage their full adoption of your company SharePoint. Try this: When one of your colleagues publishes a new piece of content on your intranet, let him or her consult the performance data to see how his or her publication has resonated with users (whether done privately or publicly). Why? When working in a collaborative production environment where content is shared, your colleagues’ motivation will depend in part on the “success” of their creations. This reliable, accessible data that accurately reflects performance will serve as a reference point for everyone and can contribute to the spirit of sharing and creation amongst users.
In concrete terms, information should not only be shared via slideshows and other monthly reports. By directly integrating SharePoint performance data into SharePoint itself – and in doing so, almost forcing your colleagues to see it in their intranet interface – you’ll help create much more visibility and interest.
Intranet platforms are already super-customised for each team within a company. To make a team’s SharePoint page even more effective, you might consider displaying performance data for that team’s content, or integrate a productivity app. With an open digital analytics solution featuring a real-time API, you can display audience data per page, per site, per document or per SharePoint user. In doing so, your colleagues can track the performance of the content they post on your intranet, on a daily basis or overall for a given period, all without having to leave your intranet. In the same vein, you could create a sidebar featuring the articles that were most read or shared that day, in order to boost their visibility. Or you might set up traffic-based email alerts so authors know to keep their most popular content updated.
Your digital analytics solution can be a powerful ally in lifting adoption roadblocks for your intranet project, as long as you respect a few essential points: Measurement must be exhaustive and flexible, all while preserving the security of your organisation’s (and its employees’) data. Beyond these requirements, sharing the performance of your intranet’s content is also a major success factor. This will help pique your colleagues’ curiosity, boost their productivity, and familiarize them with a “data-driven” model that can potentially be replicated across other company systems, if adopted by all.