February 2010: Monitoring User Activity with SharePoint Usage and Audit Reports

It’s not sufficient to put together a great SharePoint portal if your intended users aren’t benefitting from your efforts. In this era where management decisions are metrics-driven and every web site has some kind of analytics attached, it is appropriate for SharePoint administrators to measure, monitor and promote the activity on their portals, too.

SharePoint 2007 offers several out-of-the box Usage and Audit reports worth considering.

Usage Reports

 

Report Displays
Usage Summary Average Requests per day, Top Pages, Top Users, Top Referring Hosts, Top Referring Pages, Top Destination Sites, Top Queries, Search Results Top Destination Pages
Requests Requests per day, Average Requests by month
Users Unique Users, User Activity (past 30 days)
Referrers Top Referring Hosts, Top Referring Pages
Destination Top Destination Sites
Home Page Home Page Requests per Day, Top Referring Pages, Top Destination Pages
Search Queries
(site collection only)
Top Queries (Previous 30 days, Previous 12 Months), Queries per Scope
Search Results
(site collection only)
Top Destination Pages, Queries with Low Click Through, Queries with Zero Results, Queries with Zero Best Bets

 

Finding out who is using your SharePoint portal, what sites and pages are being used the most and how users get to a site will allow you to make adjustments in the way you organize and deliver information. Sometimes the results may surprise you when you uncover significant traffic to a particular page or popularity of a certain search term for which there are limited results. Your role as the administrator is to publish this information to the line of business manager and let them determine how to respond. Providing them more robust details by fine tuning your search settings will generate quality data about the most common uses and search terms.

Audit reporting may be less sexy but is equally important for establishing value for and maintaining accurate and timely content in your portal. SharePoint out-of-the-box Auditing Reports include Content Activity Reports, Information Management Reports, Security and Site Settings Reports, and Custom Reports. All reports are produced in Excel for easy manipulation and file sharing.