What is Desktop Analytics?

Desktop Analytics is a cloud-based service that integrates with Configuration Manager. The service provides insight and intelligence for you to make more informed decisions about the update readiness of your Windows clients. It combines data from your organization with data aggregated from millions of devices connected to Microsoft cloud services.

Use Desktop Analytics with Configuration Manager to:

  • Create an inventory of apps running in your organization

  • Assess app compatibility with the latest Windows 10 feature updates

  • Identify compatibility issues, and receive mitigation suggestions based on cloud-enabled data insights

  • Create pilot groups that represent the entire application and driver estate across a minimal set of devices

  • Deploy Windows 10 to pilot and production-managed devices

Screenshot of the Desktop Analytics home page in the Azure portal

The following video is a session from Ignite 2019, which includes more information on Desktop Analytics:

Using Desktop Analytics and Configuration Manager to reduce Windows TCO through data-driven insights for management, servicing, and support

Skip to 10:00 for an in-depth demo.

Note

Desktop Analytics is a successor of Windows Analytics, which retired on January 31, 2020.

The capabilities of Windows Analytics are combined in the Desktop Analytics service. Desktop Analytics is also more tightly integrated with Configuration Manager. For more information, see the FAQ for Windows Analytics customers.

Benefits

Many customers have challenges with getting and staying current with Windows 10. The primary challenge is testing applications. This process is typically manual. It's time-consuming for IT administrators and application owners to continually analyze existing applications. Then remediate any issues that arise.

Desktop Analytics provides the following benefits:

  • Device and software inventory: Inventory of key factors such as apps and versions of Windows.

  • Pilot identification: Identification of the smallest set of devices that provide the widest coverage of factors. It focuses on the factors that are most important to a pilot of Windows upgrades and updates. Making sure the pilot is more successful allows you to proceed more quickly and confidently to broad deployments in production.

  • Issue identification: Using aggregated market data along with data from your environment, the service predicts potential issues to getting and staying current with Windows. It then suggests potential mitigations.

  • Configuration Manager integration: The service cloud-enables your existing on-premises infrastructure. Use this data and analysis to deploy and manage Windows on your devices.

Prerequisites

To use Desktop Analytics, make sure your environment meets the following prerequisites.

Technical

  • An active global Azure subscription, with Global Admin permissions. Microsoft Accounts aren't supported.

    Important

    Desktop Analytics currently requires that you deploy an Office 365 service in your Azure AD tenant. This won't be a requirement in the future.

  • Configuration Manager, version 1902 with update rollup (4500571) or later. For more information, see Update Configuration Manager.

    Note

    Desktop Analytics supports multiple Configuration Manager hierarchies reporting to a single Azure AD tenant. If you have multiple hierarchies in your environment, you have the following options:

    • Use different Commercial IDs and Azure AD tenants.
    • Configure both hierarchies to use the same Commercial ID to share the Azure AD tenant and Desktop Analytics instance.
  • Devices running Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10

    • Install the latest updates. For more information, see Update devices.

    • Devices also need to have the Configuration Manager client, version 1902 with update rollup (4500571) or later. For more information, see Update Configuration Manager.

    Note

    Desktop Analytics doesn't support upgrades to Windows 10 long-term servicing channel (LTSC). For more information, see Windows as a service overview.

    Desktop Analytics is designed to best support the in-place upgrade scenario. If you need to make major changes, such as from 32-bit to 64-bit architecture, use an imaging scenario. Desktop Analytics insights are still valuable in these classic OS deployment scenarios, but you can ignore the in-place upgrade specific guidance. For more information, see Scenarios to deploy enterprise operating systems with Configuration Manager.

  • Windows diagnostics data. For more information, see the following articles:

  • Network connectivity from devices to the Microsoft public cloud. For more information, see How to enable data sharing

Important

Microsoft has a strong commitment to providing the tools and resources that put you in control of your privacy. As a result, Microsoft doesn't collect the following data from devices located in European countries (EEA and Switzerland):

  • Windows diagnostic data from Windows 8.1 devices
  • App usage data for Windows 7

Licensing and costs

  • An active global Azure subscription.

    Note

    Most of the equivalent subscriptions for Configuration Manager also include Azure AD. For example, see Microsoft 365 plans and Enterprise Mobility + Security licensing.

  • Devices enrolled in Desktop Analytics need a valid Configuration Manager license. For more information, see Configuration Manager licensing.

  • Users of the device need one of the following licenses:

    • Windows 10 Enterprise E3 or E5 (included in Microsoft 365 F1, E3, or E5)

    • Windows 10 Education A3 or A5 (included in Microsoft 365 A3 or A5)

    • Windows Virtual Desktop Access E3 or E5

Note

Beyond the cost of these license subscriptions, there's no additional cost for using Desktop Analytics within Azure Log Analytics. The data types ingested by Desktop Analytics are free from any Log Analytics data ingestion and retention charges. As non-billable data types, this data is also not subject to any Log Analytics daily data ingestion cap. For more information, see Log Analytics usage and costs.

Next steps

The following tutorial provides a step-by-step guide to getting started with Desktop Analytics and Configuration Manager: