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New Workplace Analytics Feature Releases - May 2018

May has been a very busy month and the team is excited to announce the latest feature updates for Workplace Analytics (see past blog articles here). In this update, you’ll hear about a number of exciting new releases, including:

 

  • Naming of query results
  • Add multiple terms to queries
  • Active employees
  • Group-to-group query user-interface improvements
  • Auto-update for OData endpoint
  • Data loading

 

Naming of query results

We introduced a useful improvement to the naming of downloaded query results. The query results that you download in Workplace Analytics are now named after the associated query rather than a randomly generated file name.

 

 

Add multiple terms to queries

Previously, when building a query, you had to enter each term individually. Now, you can copy and paste an entire list of terms, separated by semi-colons, into the query textbox. After pressing return, this generates a query list. This will significantly reduce the amount of time you need to create queries that use multiple terms.

 

Step 1 – Enter query terms

 

Filters Select which meetings.png

 

 

Step 2 – Hit return to generate query list

 

Filter w query list.png

 

 

Active employees

To provide more meaningful insights and a better experience for you, we introduced a set of changes to our Explore dashboards and person queries to differentiate “active” and “inactive” employees and to handle zero-value metrics. These changes will provide a more accurate view of collaboration in your organization and reduce the steps required to create person queries and use those outputs.

 

 

Explore dashboards

You will see changes in two main parts of the tool:

  • Dashboards will be updated to reflect data for employees only during weeks in which the employees are active. Active employees are people who have sent at least one email in a given week.
  • Employees with zero-value metrics will have null values replaced with default values (zeros, in most cases). You’ll see increased accuracy in metrics where it is common to have a high volume of zero values.

 

 

Person queries

We have made the following changes:

  • Query outputs return all employees instead of only those who have non-null metric values for the metric set in the query.
  • Null values are replaced with default metric values (zeros, in most cases) in all query outputs.
  • A new IsActive column is included in the query output for all queries. To help in your analysis, you can use the IsActive flag to easily filter for active or inactive employees.

 

CSV Output.JPG

 

 

Group-to-group query user-interface improvements

Group-to-group queries can be used to understand how a team invested their time across the organization and beyond. The user interface for group-to-group queries has been simplified with a more guided approach. To access this new interface:

 

      • Click Queries in the left navigation bar.
      • In the “Start custom query” section, click Group-to-group.

 

NEW Queries.jpg 

This opens the redesigned page for group-to-group queries:

 

G to g query New.png

 

Auto-update for OData endpoint

As an analyst who uses Workplace Analytics, you can define and run different kinds of queries such as person, meeting, and group-to-group. Obtaining the latest data from your queries can be critical for making the right decisions. To do this, use the new auto-update feature in Workplace Analytics. This option lets you set a query to run repeatedly, on a regular schedule. The query results can then be loaded into a data visualization tool, such as Power BI, for further analysis.

 

As shown in the following images, at the top of the query page you can select “Auto-update.” A query with auto-update selected automatically runs once a week. Each run coincides with the date on which Workplace Analytics refreshes mail and calendar data. Each time the query runs automatically, its date range advances by one week. That is, its start date becomes one week later, and its end date also becomes one week later.

 

Auto update meeting query.png

 

 

Data loading

New customers will experience a number of data-loading enhancements in Workplace Analytics. Existing customers will be migrated to these new service capabilities in May and June of this year. You will be contacted by your account team to schedule an exact date.

 

Faster and regular refreshes for collaboration data

Collaboration data is now refreshed automatically each Monday.

 

Mapping of column names

When you upload your organizational data, our new mapping feature lets you keep the column names in your CSV file and associate them with their name in Workplace Analytics without modifying the CSV file itself.

 

Attribute visibility

As shown in the following image, you now have options called “Show in report” and “Hash in report.” These options let you control the visibility of sensitive attributes in reports. Uncheck the “Show in report” checkbox for an attribute to remove the attribute from analyst reports; select the “Hash in report” checkbox to leave the attribute in the reports but display it with obfuscated data, so that analysts can group and join that attribute without seeing its value. 

 

Org data upload.jpg

 

 

Enhanced data validation

Within the task of uploading organizational data, the data-validation stage is enhanced to let you identify and fix issues on your own. This will speed up the iterative process of uploading organizational data files. To see the new validation page and issues files, go to Settings -> Organization data and start an upload of your CSV file. After you submit the upload, you’ll see a screen like the following one; it summarizes the validation results and lets you download a log of errors and warnings that you can use to fix and re-upload your data.

 

Validation failed.jpg

 

 

More accurate after-hours and meeting metrics

We have augmented the after-hours and meeting metrics to leverage each user’s working days and working hours. Now, when a user has configured their own working hours in Outlook, we use those settings instead of the per-tenant default when calculating after-hours and focus-hours metrics. The current per-tenant default hours are still available, but they will only apply to users who do not have their own time zone or work hours set.

 

As shown in the following image, per-user settings, from Outlook or OWA, will now take precedence over the default Workplace Analytics settings.

 

Outlook Options.jpg

 

 

Additionally, we no longer include meetings marked as “Show as Free” (in Outlook) in meeting-hour metrics. This will improve the quality of all meeting metrics.

 

Learn more about Workplace Analytics on our product page and read about our work with customers at insights.office.com. Get personal insights with MyAnalytics.
 
6 Comments
Contributor

@Nathan Barnett

 

Are there any plans for workplace analytics to become available to small CSP customers who have Microsoft 365 E5 licenses?

 

Thanks!

Microsoft

Hi @Neil Goldstein--Good question! While Workplace Analytics has typically focused on enterprise level organizations, we have taken steps to increase accessibility for smaller customers. For instance, we reduced the licensing minimum from 5,000 seats to 1,000 earlier this year. I hope to see this trend continue so that we can address an even broader customer base, but there are no concrete plans to officially reduce the current minimum. Stay tuned!

Contributor

@Nathan Barnett

 

Maybe make the first 25 licenses included in Microsoft 365 E5 licenses :) 

 

 

Most of my "small" customers are between 5-20 seats. Giving owners the ability to "Trust but verify" would be a great selling point for upgrading to M365-E5.

Microsoft

Hi @Neil Goldstein - Noted :) It's super helpful to get this kind of feedback to inform the product roadmap from the most important perspective: the customer! Thanks!

Contributor

Benefits:

  • Makes accessible to small business
  • Increases value of M365-E5 for small customers
  • Makes it easier for larger customer to test it out (unless the service is an All or Nothing setting?)
Microsoft

Great--makes sense and thanks again. We don't require 'All' or 'Nothing.' Just that customers meet that minimum threshold (which is top of mind!).