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Understanding Microsoft Collaboration Insights

December 8, 2023
5 min read
Understanding Microsoft Collaboration Insights
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  • Collaboration Insights is a new Microsoft capability that provides insights into who is sharing and collaborating more in tools like SharePoint and OneDrive.
  • These insights can be used to improve security and compliance by identifying users with confidential info or who recently left the organization.
  • The insights can also improve employee experience by identifying the 3-5% of users who drive 20-35% of collaboration value. These "super collaborators" can be targeted first for new technologies like Microsoft 365 Copilot.
  • Collaboration Insights will be available in preview soon and provides data that was previously only available via APIs or third-party products.
  • Organizations can start using these types of insights now to improve the rollout of employee experience initiatives and pilots, even before Collaboration Insights is generally available.

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I want to talk about two things today around Microsoft Collaboration Insights. Collaboration Insights is a new experience that will be a capability set that allows us to see who is sharing more and who's actively working more within a tool like SharePoint or OneDrive.

These Collaboration Insights are useful because they're a rolling set of Collaboration Insights, continually updated, which allows us to do new targeting and provide new information to us on a continual basis. The other reason it's really exciting is because we can act on this data in two major ways.

The first one, and probably the more obvious one, an intuitive one, is we can use it to improve how management works. If you think about it, we know that there are scenarios where we need to secure confidential information.

We know that there are some institutions and users that we actually just want to kind of secure around them because they have access to confidential information. Or maybe they recently left the organization, and we want to protect their content in a transitional state. Or there's a variety of other circumstances where being able to protect a specific OneDrive, as an example, can be really powerful.

The improvements on the Microsoft stack on compliance and the journey experiences around security directly help us use Collaboration Insights as one more layer to improve security performance and what we want to do adaptively as an organization.

But I want to focus on the other side of this, the more exciting part, in my opinion, which is how it can be used to improve the employee experience and how we target new technologies.

One of the big challenges that we have as IT leaders and organizational leaders in general, is how do we ensure that the right tools are being applied to the right people. If we only have so much time and money, which people get Microsoft Teams premium and its wonderful capabilities to enrich the pre-meeting experience, the active meeting experience, and the post-meeting experience with AI-suggested action items and more.

Who are the right people to deploy something like Microsoft 365 Copilot to where it can improve again? How people collaborate and work on digital content, how it can improve and reduce digital debt.

We can improve the ways in which people can reach out and support others. When we think of digital fitness, we know that there are some people who have a greater need for being digitally fit and who would get a much greater return on investment if we made them more digitally excellent versus other individuals.

And it's because of the reach and the amount of influence that they have. In a number of different studies, you'll see this consistently, where there's a percentage of people in the organization, 3% to 5%, or perhaps a little bit larger number that actually generates 20% to 35% of the collaboration value in the organization, and that's not uncommon.

It's really common that there's a group of people in the organization that drive the most impact when it comes to digital outcomes. Yet those people are often not the ones we target first.

When it comes to deploying, say, Microsoft Copilot or capabilities and other things like that, what we should be doing is targeting them first because they're the ones that are going to benefit the most from it, and they're also the ones we want to target first because if we can get them to use these technologies, they're often distributed and already kind of linchpins.

Everyone kind of goes to them to help them with different things or to connect them. Again, these are super collaborators, right? So they're a really good audience to target. So the problem is most organizations don't have the insight to figure out who are these people and how can we target them effectively.

But now, with Collaboration Insights and intelligence, we have that capability. That's really what I'm excited about for Collaboration Insights. It's great for security scenarios and maybe looking at who's really popular or more active within these tools.

But I really love how we can use that same information and insight to potentially determine new pilot users for a Microsoft Viva deployment of Viva learning or new pilot users that really should be a part of a Microsoft 365 Copilot experience and rollout that we're doing.

These are the types of users that are going to benefit from those rich premium tools, and they're the ones that we should be landing these technologies with first so that we can encapsulate the broader success of the organization.

I'm not saying don't do, by the way, departmental pilot. There are reasons that shared focus and shared needs and things like that are really great about these pilots. It's just that we should at least use this to infer who else we might put in those outer rings of that pilot to incorporate.

Again, these super collaborators and linchpins and highly influential individuals are the ones that we want to probably include in that.

Anyway, I hope you're as excited as I am about Microsoft Collaboration Insights. It's an exciting time with new data, new opportunities for us, and new technologies. And now we have one more tool in preview that you can go and register for.

If you can't wait for it, you can get all the same things that provide with the management API or third-party products today.

So, definitely don't feel like you have to wait for Collaboration Insights to generally be available before you can start to use Collaboration Insights to improve how you roll out your employee experience, plans and pilots.

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