Microsoft Office Delve and Delve Analytics – Instilling Insight into Collaborative Projects and Tasks

August 2, 2016
Editorial Staff

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Editorial Staff

Understanding how people work together and how much time is spent on tasks helps improve business processes, deepens collaborative relationships, identifies efficiency trends, and streamlines productivity.

Microsoft Office Delve Analytics can provide insights on how much time is spent finding information, responding to email, attending meetings, and so on, and with whom, so you can plan your projects accordingly.

How does Microsoft Delve determine content relevant to you?

Searching for information is not the challenge; finding relevant information is. Delve uses human machine learning (“Office Graph”) to surface information for individuals based on how that person works. The people and content that a person has followed, liked, shared, and searched will begin to surface without having to search for it. Put simply, Delve places more emphasis on content that is relevant to the documents you consistently work on rather than documents that are most recent.

Much like “six degrees of separation,” if a person likes content that one person shared, then others with similar content will be suggested content, and so on down the collaborative network. This is based on information stored and shared within Office 365 SharePoint Online sites and OneDrive for Business. If a person has permission to items stored in these locations, the content will appear in their Delve results.

Results are provided in “boards” where one may pin content, associate content and people, and unpin when the content is no longer needed. It is meant to be an intelligent way to provide information without having to go and search for it, although you can search directly from within Delve.

Recently, Delve added links shared in Yammer, and will soon be surfacing relevant inline conversations making discussions and sharing of any content in Yammer directly available from within Delve.

Turning Data into Insights, but not at the cost of Privacy

Delve Analytics analyzes three types of data:

  1. Email and calendar activity that is available in the user’s Office 365 mailbox
  2. Data about the actions of people that the user emails with, but in an aggregated form designed to protect individual privacy.
  3. Office 365 data generated by the actions of people across the user’s organization, also in aggregated form.

The first point is referred to as “Mailbox Data”, while the second and third data points are “Incremental Data”.

While Mailbox Data provides users with insights into their own work habits (i.e. how much time you spend emailing, in meetings, who you collaborate the most with, etc.), Incremental Data does not identify users by name in order to protect individual privacy. However, on the back-end Delve Analytics uses Incremental Data from every user within an organization to provide insights into what each of your colleagues are working on, but not with the measurement of “productivity analytics” of Mailbox Data. Put simply:

  • Mailbox data = Insights into your individual productivity/work habits, in order to help you plan your efficiency.
  • Incremental data = Insights into the projects your colleagues are working on, as well as projects that are trending.

For Office 365 Admins – How is Microsoft Delve licensed?

There are two specific “Microsoft Delve” products:

  1. Delve, which is included in Office 365
  2. Delve Analytics, which is an add-on to Delve or included in E5

Delve is available across all Office 365 Plans (Enterprise E1, E3, and E5), including, Education and Government programs, Office 365 Business Essentials, and Office 365 Business Premium. Regardless of your plan, SharePoint Online services must be activated and assigned to users with a SharePoint Online license.

Delve Analytics is included in the Office 365 Enterprise 5 plan, or can be subscribed to as on add-on. Speaking of add-ons, there is an Outlook add-in for Delve Analytics. Users with Skype for Business Online can start Skype for Business Online conversations directly from Delve. Think of Delve Analytics like the FitBit for the enterprise workspace: It tracks “productivity health” so one may better manage tasks, information, communication, and most importantly – time.

For Office 365 Admins, more information can be found here, specifically for mission critical items such as:

  • Access to and use case scenarios for the Office Graph
  • Steps to consider before introducing Delve into your organization
  • Helping users troubleshoot Delve

If you would like to learn how Microsoft Delve can truly help your oganization, then click on the below banner to arrange a Business Productivity Advisory session with one of our SoftwareONE Technology Services specialists.

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