Time and again I come across situations where companies can only guess at whether their SharePoint implementations are successful. What they don’t realize is that they are ignoring some analytics data which is freely available to them.
The thing to remember is SharePoint does not automatically gather usage statistics. When you set up your SharePoint environment you must configure this service within central administration.
You should enable data collection and analysis. To do this following the steps below:
- Go into central administration
- Click on the operations link
- Choose usage analysis processing under the logging and reporting section
- Ensure that you’ve enabled both
- Click OK
Also, you can enable search statistics:
- Go to your shared services provider (Search Service Application)
- From the Office SharePoint usage reporting category click on usage reporting
- Enable at least the search query logging
Search data is particularly useful when trying to solve search challenges or ensuring that search is working as expected. SharePoint gathers data such as:
- Queries executed
- Queries that return zero results
- Most clicked best bets
- Top keywords
- Originating site collection
- Top search scopes
To get to the search reports, follow these steps:
- Navigate to your SharePoint environment’s central administration site
- Click on your shared services provider (Search Service Application)
- Choose search usage reports
You’ll be shown the queries reports and you also have option to view the results reports.
When you have set everything up for gathering the data and you have enabled analysis, you can now begin to make better decisions about your SharePoint environment. Just a reminder, the data won’t show up immediately because SharePoint will have to gather sufficient data in order to present something meaningful. Aftera week or so you can begin to dig into user behavior.
You can get the following basic statistics on users:
- Hits by user
- Hits by browser
- Hits by page
- Hits by referring URL
You can find these reports through the site settings menu. Under either site administration or site collection administration, you’ll find a site usage option.
If you truly want to understand whether users can find content, how frequently that new HR policy is downloaded or what best bets are the most popular, take a look at the reporting which is natively built into SharePoint. Even though the data collected and presented with these tools is basic, it can help you get more value from your SharePoint investment.