The 3 Best Practices of Intranet Analytics
The company Intranet can sometimes be compared to a neglected staff kitchen – old, unreliable appliances; someone’s two-year old butter still in the fridge; the cheapest coffee available; and not a teaspoon in sight. As a resource that’s not customer-facing, it’s easy to let the Intranet slip and ignore poor design, a lack of relevant content, or outdated information. However, it can be a vital cog in a business’ functionality.
An Intranet can help reduce the workload of HR and IT personnel; it can reduce the number of emails sent and received; and it can improve staff communication and departmental relations with features like staff profiles, a robust search function, and content that’s not all about the job.
But how do you know if your Intranet is actually being used? Or how it’s being used?
Intranet analytics can help businesses learn about the usage and behavior of Intranet users, and then make data-driven decisions on the type of content that employees use; how to help users find the content they’re looking for easily; and measure the Intranet’s performance against the investment into its design and resourcing.
Intranet Analytics: The Best Practices
Measure metrics before, during, and after
Once you’ve decided on the metrics that are most important to your business and your Intranet’s goals (why did you create an intranet in the first place?), set up a reporting system that gives a snapshot of performance. This will show data for the same set of metrics before and after you’ve made changes. If you’re testing out a new Intranet dashboard template, for example, measure how the old version is used against how the new one is used. Getting those numbers at the start will ensure you know if there’s been an improvement.
Engage with users
Your Intranet dashboard design is vital, but it’s one of the areas where hard data can’t tell the full story. Appoint a steering committee made up of two or so C-level execs, IT, department representatives, and “influencer” staff who can champion the cause (thereby encouraging others to use it), to test and give feedback on both the look and feel as well as the performance of the Intranet. Their feedback will produce a shared design and help you create Intranet dashboard templates that enable content creators to focus on the information they’re sharing, as well as how it’s presented. While analytics can give insight into site speed and low engagement can hint at potential problems, a user report can pinpoint the issues and allow time for solutions rather than searching for the problem. Ensuring that each part of the business is represented will also give its members a sense of ownership of the intranet, which can spur usage.
Act on what you measure
If, after you’ve collected enough data (and this will depend on the size of your company and the level of Intranet usage), it’s clear that there are things that need to change, then you need to change them!
Perhaps it’s that users are always searching for a company address list. If so, add it to the Intranet dashboard. If there is a high number of pageviews on a “How to deal with email spam” article, bring it to the front of the site so people don’t have to navigate too far to find it.
It could even be a series of user feedback that the font size is too small. Maybe people have asked for photos to be included in the staff profiles so that they can put a face to the name. Perhaps a common suggestion is that all files should be in one searchable area, rather than divided by department. Whatever the case, if the data (qualitative or quantitative) strongly suggests a change, it’s probably worth doing.
The Metrics You Should Measure
If you’ve ever looked at your customer-facing website analytics before, you’ll know that it (roughly) comprises of who your users are, how they found your site, and what they did while they were there. With your company Intranet, it’s less important to know how they found you (most sessions would be direct with users bookmarking the URL), but understanding who your users are and how they behave on the site is vital.
The most important question to answer before you set up an analytics plan is this: What problem are you trying to solve by having a company Intranet? It may be that you’re looking to reduce the number of calls made to the Helpdesk by including troubleshooting guides in the IT section. If that’s the case, then you should be measuring the number of downloads/views of those guides – each one is a call saved. Perhaps you want to lessen the number of easily-answered queries that come through to HR, like requests for leave forms, clarification of internal policies, or internal employment opportunities. Data on pageviews or downloads would again serve as an excellent guide to understanding the number of queries that were answered by the Intranet, rather than an already-overworked HR member.
Goals like improving staff morale and interdepartmental communications are trickier to measure, but looking at metrics like engagement on staff profiles, comments and likes on company announcements, and setting up events on phone number and email clicks can help inform how staff are actually using the Intranet.
Examples of Important Metrics
- The number of users and sessions
- How long they stay online for
- How many pages they visit in a session
- User frequency (how often they visit)
- Devices and browsers used (particularly important for companies with a lot of working-from-home users)
- Most visited pages
- How people flow through the site
- Unique pageviews of news, announcements etc
- Department-specific pageviews
- Search functionality (what are people searching for)
- Clicks to call
- Clicks to email
This data can help you identify trends of Intranet usage, help you create and share more content that is interesting and engaging for your staff, and help you identify areas that need improvement (like making sure that much-searched-for content is easier to find).
Experience first hand how intranet analytics can be implemented within your reports in LiveTiles.