Workplace Analytics Setup Checklist
To successfully set up and implement Workplace Analytics, you need to coordinate and obtain information and buy-in from a variety of stakeholders.
Use this checklist to help assemble the people and obtain the data and configuration information that you need to set up and provision Workplace Analytics.
This checklist outlines recommended steps and a high-level list of items to consider. It is not intended to be exhaustive. You might want to copy this checklist into a spreadsheet and then customize it for your organization.
Video: Overview for admins
Preliminary review task
To prepare for setting up Workplace Analytics, review the following article:
|Review this article||Owner||Outcome|
|Environment and support aspects of Workplace Analytics||Workplace Analytics administrator||Confirm that all requirements are in place for setting up Workplace Analytics. Learn about Workplace Analytics licenses, trials, and FastTrack options.|
To set up Workplace Analytics, complete the following tasks:
|Step 1 - Determine key personas and assign roles for implementation||Workplace Analytics sponsor (the initial point-person for the engagement)||A list of people in your organization with key roles identified|
|Step 2 - Assign licenses to population in scope for analysis||Workplace Analytics sponsor, Workplace Analytics administrator, Office 365 Global administrator, Exchange administrator||Office 365 licenses are assigned for the population that will be analyzed|
|Step 3 - Assign roles to Workplace Analytics Admins and Analysts||Office 365 global administrator||Workplace Analytics roles are assigned so that administrators can use Workplace Analytics to set system defaults, privacy settings, and upload and verify organizational data. And, data analysts can log into and use Workplace Analytics once data is provisioned.|
|Step 4 - Configure Workplace Analytics settings||Workplace Analytics sponsor, Workplace Analytics administrator||Privacy settings are defined in Workplace Analytics and you have confirmed that you are ready to provision the service by using these rules. Default time zone values are defined in Workplace Analytics.|
|Step 5 - Prepare and upload organizational data||Workplace Analytics administrator, HR information system administrator, LOB system administrators, or data analyst||Workplace Analytics administrators have determined what kind of organizational data to provide and how to upload the data. See Prepare organizational data and then Upload organizational data.|
|Step 6 - Validate and verify data||Workplace Analytics administrator, data analysts with full access||Workplace Analytics administrators are comfortable that data has been provisioned successfully, data analysts are comfortable with the data and ready to use Workplace Analytics for their analysis.|
|Step 7 - Set up meeting exclusions||Workplace Analytics administrator, data analysts with full access||Workplace Analytics administrators and analysts are satisfied that meeting query results are focused on the data relevant for analysis.|
When you have finished all these steps, you are ready to Explore metrics.
Preliminary review task
Environment and support
Office 365 tenant requirements
Workplace Analytics requires an Office 365 tenant with Exchange Online. Mailboxes must have Exchange Online Plan 1 or Plan 2 licenses assigned.
Currently, Workplace Analytics supports multi-tenant and vNext environments. Each mailbox that you want to license must have its data stored in Exchange Online.
Workplace Analytics licenses and trials
Workplace Analytics is licensed as an add-on to existing Office 365 subscriptions and does not change the end-user experience in Office 365.
Workplace Analytics licenses are applied to the mailboxes that you want to analyze. This can be all the employees in your organization or a specific subset. The population of employees that you license are referred to in Workplace Analytics as measured employees. Because Workplace Analytics insights are de-identified and aggregated, measured-employee populations typically benefit the most if they consist of at least several hundred people.
Microsoft does not currently offer trials of Workplace Analytics. For more information about Workplace Analytics and how to purchase it, contact your Microsoft account team.
Workplace Analytics works with the latest or immediately previous versions of Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, Apple Safari, Internet Explorer, and Mozilla Firefox.
FastTrack services for Workplace Analytics onboarding and training are available to customers who purchase at least 1,000 licenses.
Step 1: Determine key personas and roles for implementation
- Owner - Workplace Analytics sponsor (the initial point-person for the engagement)
- Task - Identify people in the organization to fill key roles in setting up Workplace Analytics
- Outcome - A list of people in your organization with key roles identified
Use these personas to help identify the people you will need to help gather data, make decisions, and perform tasks needed to set up Workplace Analytics.
- Workplace Analytics sponsor - The initial point person for the engagement
- Workplace Analytics administrator - This role has access to Admin and Data Sources features, and will set system defaults, privacy settings, and upload and verify organizational data.
- Office 365 Global administrator
- Exchange administrator
- Human resources (HR) information system administrator
- Line of business (LOB) system administrators, or data analyst
Step 2: Assign licenses to the population in scope for analysis
- Owner - Workplace Analytics sponsor, Workplace Analytics administrator, Office 365 Global administrator, Exchange administrator
- Task - Determine population in scope for analysis and assign licenses via Office 365
- Outcome - Office 365 licenses are assigned for the population that will be analyzed
The Workplace Analytics sponsor will work with the Workplace Analytics administrator and Office 365 Global administrator to identify the population (the people in your company) whose Office 365 collaboration activity you want to analyze. These people are referred to as measured employees within Workplace Analytics. Employees in your organization who are not licensed for analysis but might have meeting, email, or Skype for Business Online collaboration with measured employees are called other internal collaborators.
Some organizations analyze the entire population, while others use sub-populations for specific analysis scenarios.
Once you have identified the population in scope, the Office 365 Global administrator assigns Workplace Analytics licenses to users in this population.
Video: Assign licenses
License assignment options
Workplace Analytics licenses are assigned just like any other Microsoft 365 product license. You can assign licenses the following ways:
- Office 365 Admin Center
Group-based licensing is currently available only through the Azure portal. If you primarily use other management portals for user and group management, such as the Office 365 portal, you can continue to do so. But you should use the Azure portal to manage licenses at the group level.
If mailboxes are not fully migrated to Office 365 Exchange Online
If your organization has not fully migrated to Office 365 Exchange Online, you may encounter mailboxes that are hosted using Exchange on-premises. Your Office 365 Global administrator or Exchange administrator can help to determine if you will encounter this scenario, and assist you with the following options:
- Migrate these mailboxes to Office 365 Exchange Online.
- Contact the FastTrack team to understand the process for analyzing these mailboxes; this will require additional work streams within your organization.
Step 3: Assign roles to Workplace Analytics admins and analysts
- Owner - Office 365 global administrator.
- Task - Assign users for administrators and data analysts to Workplace Analytics service.
- Outcome - Workplace Analytics roles are assigned so that administrators can use Workplace Analytics to set system defaults, privacy settings, and upload and verify organizational data. And, data analysts can log into and use Workplace Analytics once data is provisioned.
To allow administrators to set system defaults, privacy settings, upload and verify organizational data, and to allow data analysts to be able to use Workplace Analytics, you must assign users to the Workplace Analytics service.
Workplace Analytics roles and the level of access
Analyst has full access to all service features except Settings. This role is used for the analyst who requires the most complete access to the data.
Analyst (Limited Access) has access to the Home, Explore, and Solutions pages. This role is for users who need access only to insights generated from our curated set of dashboards.
Administrator has access to the Administrator and Data-sources features. The Workplace Analytics administrator has responsibilities to configure privacy settings and system defaults and to prepare, upload, and verify organizational data.
Program manager has access to the Home, Explore, and Solutions pages, and the Solutions Manage and Track pages, on which they can set up programs and track the progress of active or ended programs.
Video: Assign roles
To assign users to Workplace Analytics
- Follow the instructions in this support article.
Step 4: Configure Workplace Analytics settings
- Owner - Workplace Analytics administrator
- Task - Default time zone value the system will use in metric calculations if the data is not available for a measured employee or other internal collaborator
- Outcome - Default time zone outcome as defined in Workplace Analytics
The default time zone is used to compute after-hours metrics when a time zone has not been configured by the user or provided as part of the organizational data. This is typically the time zone of the corporate headquarters or the time zone in which most employees reside. If a measured employee or other internal collaborator does not have a time zone defined as part of the organizational data, the metric will be computed using the default time zone.
The default time zone for Workplace Analytics is Pacific Standard Time.
For a complete list of valid times zones, see Time zones in Workplace Analytics
To change the default time zone
- On the Settings page, select Settings.
- Under System defaults, select the time zone you want from the Default time zone list.
- Select Save.
This setting change takes effect at the next collaboration data refresh and will not apply to previously calculated data.
Working days and hours
Users can set their own working days and working hours in their Outlook settings. While there is no option to upload working days or working hours with the organizational data, a Workplace Analytics administrator can set default weekend or non-working days and hours for the organization in the System defaults section on the Settings page.
These default settings are only used for users who have not already set up their working days and hours in Outlook.
- Owner - Workplace Analytics sponsor or Workplace Analytics administrator
- Task - Use company-specific legal and privacy guidelines to define settings to use in Workplace Analytics
- Outcome - After you define and confirm the privacy settings, you are ready to provision the service to comply with these rules
Being aware of employees’ rights is a key component to ensuring a successful program with Workplace Analytics. It's important to consider ever-changing laws and regulations regarding employer-employee relationships, privacy, and personal data, as well as company policies, before setting up and using Workplace Analytics.
Workplace Analytics does not encode any specific policy, instead it provides controls that administrators can use to configure the product to be consistent with applicable laws, regulations, and company policies. Your organization selects what data to use in Workplace Analytics.
Please consult with your legal and human resources teams before enabling Workplace Analytics for your organization.
After evaluating your privacy needs, you can use the Settings page in Workplace Analytics to define the privacy settings for your organization's data.
- Minimum Aggregation Size - Set the minimum group size required to display data in Explore Metrics. By default, the minimum group size is set to five.
- Decide to show or hide subject lines in meeting reports.
User data exclusions
- Exclude emails/meetings to, or from, specific users, or all users from a domain using “;” as the delimiter
- Exclude emails/meetings with specific terms in the subject line using “;” as the delimiter. Terms can be any combination of letters, numbers and special characters, e.g. client attorney privilege; D&I
If you exclude email addresses, do not assign licenses to them. You should also include all email aliases for individuals.
To set your privacy settings
- On the Settings page, select Settings.
Under Privacy settings, configure the settings to meet your company's needs.
You can select Save at any time to save the privacy settings you are working on, but the settings are not final and ready for use until you select the I confirm that all privacy settings are complete check box. After you select the check box, the processing of Office 365 data begins.
Carefully validate that your privacy settings are correct, before you check the "I confirm that all privacy settings are complete" box, you can change the settings at any time, but the settings changes will not take effect until the data is processed again for the following month.
To begin the processing of Office 365 data, select the I confirm that all privacy settings are complete check box, and then select Save.
Step 5: Prepare and upload organizational data
- Owner - Workplace Analytics administrator, HR information system administrator, LOB system administrators, or data analyst
- Task - Obtain organizational data needed for analysis from other information systems
- Outcome - CSV file of organizational data is generated and uploaded to Workplace Analytics for final provisioning
Organizational data is the information about employees that your company provides to use in Workplace Analytics. Workplace Analytics combines your organizational data with Office 365 to provide rich, actionable insights into your company’s communication and collaboration trends to help you make more effective business decisions.
What is organizational data?
- Individual-level metadata that provides descriptive information of a company’s employees
- Sourced from multiple sources
- Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS) Ex: Workday, PeopleSoft
- Payroll Systems
- Employee Surveys (Engagement, Manager Feedback, Culture)
- Performance Management Systems or Quota Attainment Systems
- CRM Systems
- Workplace Analytics organizational data is structured as a flat file with each row representing one person with columns representing attribute fields.
How is data used?
- Gives context for the mailbox data that enables Workplace Analytics to calculate metrics based on the relationship of the org data attributes.
- Enables the user to filter and group data in meaningful ways and generate custom metrics.
How often should it be refreshed?
To account for organization changes, it is recommended to refresh the data monthly. When loading your data the first time, Workplace Analytics loads 13 months of data. Ideally, you would load 13 dated rows of organizational data for each employee.
Who should be included in the org data file?
- HR Data:
- We recommend that HR data be collected for all employees in your company, even if they are not part of the measured population.
- At a minimum, you need data for all employees in your measured population.
- Line of Business Data:
- Scenario-Dependent, because you need line-of-business data for all employees of interest in the scenario you are analyzing.
You can include up to 65 data attributes in your org data file.
To help ensure privacy, we recommend not including employee names as any additional attribute.
What are common pitfalls to avoid?
- Too many or too few unique values
- Redundant values
- Attributes that only exist for a subset of your employees
- Dirty data
To prepare your organizational data for upload to Workplace Analytics
- Follow the instructions in the topic Prepare organizational data.
After the .csv file is created, the Workplace Analytics administrator can upload it into the service. For more information, see Upload organizational data.
Video: Upload organizational data
After your upload is submitted successfully, additional validation and processing of your data occurs to complete provisioning. If any problems arise, the Workplace Analytics team will contact your Workplace Analytics administrator.
After data is completely provisioned, Workplace Analytics users will be able to access full product features. Office 365 meeting and email data is refreshed monthly. This is a good time for the Workplace Analytics administrator to also generate and upload updated organizational data.
Step 6: Validate and verify data
- Owner - Workplace Analytics administrator, data analysts with full access
- Task - Ensure Office 365 data is available and ready for analysis, ensure the correct organizational data has been uploaded and is ready for analysis.
- Outcome - Workplace Analytics administrators are comfortable that data has been provisioned successfully, data analysts are comfortable with the data and ready to use Workplace Analytics for their analysis.
Once final provisioning is complete, Workplace Analytics administrators and data analysts can use the Data sources section to verify that Office 365 and organizational data are loaded and ready for use.
Using data source metrics, Workplace Analytics administrators, and data analysts to:
- Verify that Office 365 data is available for analysis for the expected number of measured employees.
- Work with the internal suppliers of organizational data (HR information system administrators, LOB system administrators, or data analysts) to verify that the necessary data has been loaded as expected.
Data source metrics help Workplace Analytics data analysts to:
- Get a high-level picture of the data that is available for analysis.
- Verify that the organizational data they need for their specific analysis is available.
- Feel comfortable that the data is applicable to the business problem being analyzed.
To view the data-sources metrics
- On the navigation bar, select Sources.
Step 7: Set up meeting exclusions
- Owner - Workplace Analytics administrator, data analysts with full access
- Task - Set meeting exclusion rules to reflect your company's meeting norms and exclude meetings that are not relevant for analysis.
- Outcome - Workplace Analytics administrators and analysts are satisfied that meeting query results are focused on the data relevant for analysis.
Workplace Analytics uses activities stored in a person’s Office 365 email and calendar to reveal internal and external collaboration trends. However, a person’s calendar and email can contain a diverse set of activities (such as personal meetings, work-related social activities, all-day training meetings, and so forth) that are not relevant to work-related collaboration, and if included in the metrics, can skew query results.
Analysts can use the Meeting exclusions feature to create custom meeting exclusions that help ensure query results accurately represent relevant meeting norms within their company. Or, analysts may choose to use the default meeting exclusions that exclude a set of meetings that would commonly fall outside relevant collaboration for analysis.