Analyze document usage

Applies To: Office SharePoint Server 2007

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Topic Last Modified: 2016-11-14

After you identify your content stakeholders, collect information from them that will help you analyze how documents are used in your organization. This is an important part of the planning process because the analysis helps you determine:

  • How document libraries are structured.

  • Which site templates to use.

  • How many sites you will need.

  • Which information management policies to apply to the sites.

  • Which physical server topology you will need to implement your solution.

The information to collect includes:

  • Document type, such as equity research note, employee performance review, internal memo, or product specification.

  • Purpose of each document type, such as "provides customers with recommendations about equities along with supporting data."

  • Author of each document type (listed as roles, not individuals, such as "Financial Analyst," "Human Resources Specialist," or "Product Manager").

  • Format of the document. If the document is transformed from one format to another, record that information.

  • Users of each document type, such as "customers" or "team members."

  • Other roles that apply to the document's life cycle, such as "technical reviewer" or "copy editor."

  • Location of the document, such as "client computer," "Web server," or "file server." Note that this question could have multiple answers, such as when a document is authored on a client computer and then published to a Web server.

  • How readers view the document, such as from a Web page or a file share.

Worksheet action

The Analyze document usage worksheet ( is provided to record your document usage analysis. The following are examples of information that might be collected and recorded in the worksheet from two different organizations in an enterprise.

Type Purpose Author User Format Other Roles Locations

Equity research note

Gives premium customers of a financial service guidance on whether to buy or sell one or more stocks

Financial analyst


DOCX (for authoring); PDF (for publishing)

Reviewer (technical); reviewer (legal); approver; copy editor; records manager; site administrator

  • Authoring site

  • Testing site

  • Internet

  • Records repository

Analysis   The separate authoring and publishing formats require a format conversion. The large number of reviewers requires one or more workflows (business processes implemented on the server). The four sites (authoring, testing, Internet, and records repository) require mechanisms for moving the content from one site to another. The need to archive the content in a corporate records repository and the regulatory implications of publishing equities advice require corporate policies and best practices such as content auditing and retention.

Type Purpose Author User Format Other Roles Locations

Employee performance review

Evaluates the performance of an employee — including self-evaluation and manager's evaluation

Information worker; manager

Managers; human resources specialists


Reviewer (human resources); reviewer (legal); approver (upper manager); records manager

  • Client computer

  • E-mail server (as attachment)

  • Corporate Web server

  • Corporate records repository

Analysis   Two authors and multiple reviewers require one or more workflows. The document travels from one desktop computer to another as an e-mail attachment, then resides in a corporate Web server (presumably highly locked down) and is archived in a records repository. The sensitive nature of this content requires Information Rights Management (IRM) on the desktops and servers, in addition to corporate policies and best practices (such as auditing) that protect the employee's privacy and the enterprise's legal standing.


Use the following worksheet to record the information discussed in this article:

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