Could Delve Organisational Analytics finally end the work/life balance debate?

For CxOs, gaining an understanding of how their employees work on a daily basis holds great value. Gaining access to these insights means you develop a clearer vision of your employees and the company, letting you make decisions that will lead to a more efficient workplace and improved productivity. Of course, monitoring each and every one of your employees is no mean task, especially in large organisations with hundreds or thousands of workers. Fortunately, Office Delve has introduced the Organizational Analytics module to aggregate content from Office 365 apps based on usage. These new features come as part of the new Enterprise E5 bundle – the most comprehensive Office 365 package to date. First announced at Microsoft’s Ignite conference back in May 2015, Organizational Analytics is a tool to help leaders discover and ultimately understand how their organisations actually work. This is all done through a brand new dashboard experience – tracking worker performance in comparison to the company average. In this post we’ll discuss some of the new features included in Office Delve Organizational Analytics, and how you can implement them in your business for a more productive and active workforce.

Office Delve’s transformation

Delve began life offering a different way of accessing relevant files and documents. It uses machine learning to surface relevant emails, files, discussions and updates to that user’s Delve or Office 365 homepage. Delve uses a ‘cards’ system to offer a simple and clean visual representation of the people and data you interact with at work and is pretty revolutionary – it’s why at Content and Code we’re pushing for a world with Delve on every device. Organizational Analytics takes Delve’s understanding of how documents are being used in the business and applies this learning to the people working on them. The tool surfaces key trends – such as engagement, reach and work-life balance – across a users’ interactions within their organisation and external teams.

The above screenshot shows the dashboard within Organizational Analytics, displaying a number of different metrics for the individual and the company as a whole. The work map provides a visual representation of the relationships between individuals and teams. A stronger link is signified by a thicker connecting line, painting an immediate picture of which teams are interacting the most with one another.

The central column shows the user what is taking up the majority of their working hours, along with percentage increase or decrease to be used as reference. By monitoring a user’s time and sourcing information on how they spend their days, Organizational Analytics – along with the entirety of the Office 365 suite – is there to improve employee productivity.

After looking at the statistics of the average time spent on work-related tasks, you can infer which individuals may be doing too much and are at risk of burning out, helping them find better ways of managing their work.

An individual focus

Perhaps the most interesting features here are the individual analytics features, as these offer some key insights about an employee’s work life, such as email reach and meeting focus. Julia White, general manager of the Office team, demonstrated these features at the Ignite conference in Chicago:

“Think of it as your health tracker for your work. I can tap into all that information in the Office Graph – all those signals – to understand my own time, and the interactions of my team, as well. I even have things like work-life balance to see how many emails I’m sending out of office time.”

This has, however, brought with it questions regarding the lengths Microsoft is going to when it comes to monitoring workers. Organizational Analytics tracks exactly how much time you spend on work-related activities, something that may intimidate workers if used without caution. Having numbers and statistics projected company-wide may put some off if they see they’re in 20% fewer meetings than their co-workers, for example. It is worth noting that during Julia White’s demonstration at the Ignite conference, users weren’t able to see the exact numbers on how other co-workers were performing.

Another variable is whether these stats will begin speaking for themselves – you may find workers making use of their Delve statistics to ask for a wage increase, and as a result the numbers could end up factoring into pay scales. The dashboard is filled with possibilities, but you must be wary of the impact that purely numbers based performance-metrics can have on the workplace.


Hanging in the balance

As with any new technology, it will take some time before Organizational Analytics feels completely normal, yet once colleagues begin to see how it can help them measure their use of time and help with the work life balance, we’re convinced it’s going to make a huge change to working lives. We’re excited to see where Delve’s machine learning capabilities will take us next.

Get in touch to find out how we can implement Office Delve and the Office 365 suite in your business and begin maximizing your productivity.

Tim Wallis

Tim Wallis

CEO and Founder

Tim is the CEO of Content and Code and founded the company in 2001. As CEO of Content and Code, Tim focuses on corporate strategy, client and partner relationships, and has overall responsibility for driving the growth of the company. Tim founded Content and Code so he could help transform organisations to be more responsive, more competitive and engage their employees to better realise business goals.

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