Microsoft today announced the general availability of Workplace Analytics for all Office 365 enterprise subscribers. The analytics solution provides organizations with data on how it spends time and collaborates. Workplace Analytics has been in preview, but is now open to all enterprise users, starting today.
In its announcement, Microsoft cited a recent Forrester report that shows C-level executives are prioritizing employee productivity. Workplace Analytics will provide in-work analysis to show how employees are behaving and how productive they are.
Microsoft hopes to drive effectiveness in the workplace with important insights for organizations to assess.
The service taps into Office 365 email and calendar metadata, such as to and from interactions and timestamps. Organizations can use the resulting data to see how employees spend their time. By gathering more data, companies can develop behaviour analysis and improve productivity.
In some respect, Workplace Analytics is an extension of the Microsoft Graph idea. The company uses Graph to collect data on how users interact with online tools. Microsoft has often said this data could be valuable to organizations.
It is also an extension of the previously launched MyAnalytics tool. This feature allows individual employees to analyse their own usage, but if does not allow managers to monitor employees.
Microsoft says the ability has already has an impact within its own organization:
“We believe building a true digital, data-driven enterprise requires organizations to empower and connect their people across everything—people, processes, data and systems,” said Kathleen Hogan, chief people officer at Microsoft.
“Our HR Business Insights group is using Workplace Analytics across a variety of initiatives—from understanding the behaviors driving increased employee engagement, to identifying the qualities of top-performing managers who are leading Microsoft's cultural transformation from within. We believe people analytics is a competitive necessity for any HR team.”
Workplace Analytics comes with privacy tools and compliance capabilities. Microsoft says the data gathered is for Office 365 customers and they can decide how to apply the information generated.