Answers in Viva: Understanding Time Saved & People Helped
Published Feb 21 2023 12:00 PM 8,468 Views

Question and answer platforms are critical to the success of an organization, helping them create a culture of knowledge sharing. Last week, Microsoft Viva unveiled a new service to help people find answers to their questions called Answers in Viva. In this blog post, we’ll cover how we’re measuring the value and impact within Answers in Viva at both the global level through measures of time saved as well as the individual level through social impact by showing how many people an individual helped by asking and answering questions.

Q&A Analysis

In 2019, Viva Engage (formerly Yammer) released a new question post type to make knowledge capture in Yammer easier. We found through analysis that it takes a user on average 5 minutes to ask a question and 10 minutes to write an answer. In that way, a question and answer pair (Q&A) as the value of 15 minutes. This is a conservative approach to quantify the value of a Q&A pair and does not account for the time the answerer may have spent gathering resources and information to answer the question.

The value a knowledge seeker gets when they find an existing answer to their question is simple using this equation– they save a total of 15 minutes. They do not have to spend time asking the same question again or waiting for someone else to respond. We also recognize that at times, users may find a question but it might not be the information they were looking for – so not all question views should count as a successful time saver. That’s where meaningful views come in.

Meaningful View

Meaningful views happen when a knowledge seeker finds the information they’re looking for. Meaningful views are only measured on questions with at least one answer. Here’s how we are determining a meaningful view:
    • They viewed the Q&A for at least 15 seconds – this filters out on average, 70% of total views.
    • They viewed the Q&A and performed an active engagement such as a vote, reaction, or comment.

Important things to note about meaningful view:
    • Meaningful question views can occur across Answers in Viva– when questions are expanded in a feed or when users visit a full question page.
    • Views do not count as meaningful until a question receives its first answer.
    • How we are determining meaningful views will be iterated upon in future releases.

Time saved

Time saved is based on the Yammer analysis that each Q&A pair has a value of 15 minutes. When someone views a question and answer for the first time – they save 15 minutes. Each person is only able to save a maximum of 15 minutes per question. Time saved is shown to Answers admins in Global Answers analytics:


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People helped

People helped is based on the unique users who perform a meaningful view on a Q&A pair. When someone performs a meaningful view on a question – they are counted towards the total people helped for that Q&A pair. Each knowledge seeker is only counted once per Q&A pair. People helped is shown to individuals who both answered the question as well as asked the question in their Answers analytics.


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Please reference this example to see how a Q&A set contributes to Answers analytics:
    • Sam asks a question - “What is Contoso’s work from home policy?”
    • Jennifer answers - “Depending on your region, our WFH policy is fully remote, 50%, or 30%.”.
    • David answers - “We have a pretty flexible WFH policy” and attaches a human resource document about WFH."

A month later, there have been 10 meaningful views of Sam’s WFH question. Sam, Jennifer, and David’s answers analytics shows that they have each helped 10 people. On the global answers analytics, Contoso’s Viva Answers admin can see that the question has saved the organization 2.5 hours (10ppl multiplied by 15 minutes).

Go deeper

How we are determining meaningful views will be iterated upon in future releases. Learn how to set up and manage Answers in Viva here and check out these Answers scenarios for admins. For more information on Answers in Viva, please refer to this Answers FAQ.

Check out the Answers Playbook for additional resources.

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