Gleaning insight from your Intranet – A review of SharePoint Analytics tools

by Benjamin Moles, Senior .Net Developer@ClearPeople

04/03/2015

As SharePoint specialists, ClearPeople helps many clients implement intranets and extranets based on this platform. 

With the advent of SharePoint Online, we are often asked what analytical tools can be used to improve the current out-of-the-box analytical functionality. This prompted us to conduct independent research on analytics tools available for SharePoint and Office 365. 

There are two main reasons why companies are interested in analytics tools:
  1. To gather usage information that allows them to identify what elements within the intranet are the most successful
  2. To measure the overall success of intranet projects - knowing what works best within the intranet can help business leaders make better decisions

When reviewing available analytics solutions on the market we identified key criteria that would help a business select the right solution based on their specific needs:

SharePoint integration

Most analytics tools in the market including the most popular one, Google Analytics, do not integrate well with SharePoint. The grade of integration with SharePoint is important because it determines what data can be collected and how this information is collected for further analysis. Low levels of integration makes it difficult (if not impossible) to collect data such as users’ identity. This makes a big difference in segmenting usability data by teams, departments and actual users. This criteria may be used to discard many tools available in the market for intranet analytics.

Budget

There are big differences in cost from one solution to another. For a company with a limited budget this will obviously be a major factor in their choice of analytics tool.

Pricing Policy Complexity 

Some pricing policies are complex and based on usage quota and features which makes it difficult to evaluate upfront the final cost to be paid for the solution. This factor is especially important if the budget is small.

Training 

Analytics is a complex subject. Analytics tools can provide useful information but businesses need to know how to use information to glean relevant insight from it. For companies without extensive experience in using analytics tools and with a limited budget, it may be more useful investing in training rather than an expensive and soon to be redundant tool.

How can ClearPeople help?

With these criteria in mind the options are narrowed down quite a lot as there are few tools that match all of them. At ClearPeople we are happy to help our clients to select the right analytics tool for their business needs. 

If you are interested in migrating all or part of your intranet to Office 365 and you want to quantify and maximise your ROI, please get in touch with one of our consultants who will be happy to help.