This content is part of the Conference Coverage: Everything Enterprise Connect 2024: News, trends and insights

3 ways to take advantage of collaboration behavior data

Organizations can use collaboration behavior data to track meeting attentiveness, establish better meeting habits and personalize channel feeds for employees.

Organizations need to realize the value and potential of collaboration data goes beyond assessing and optimizing application performance. By analyzing collaboration data, organizations can gather insights to drive improvements in collaborative work, productivity and wellness -- and boost the overall employee experience.

Companies at the forefront of the employee experience consider collaboration behavior data -- from applications such as team chat and video meetings -- to be vital to understand their employees. More than half of the 499 companies Metrigy examined in a global study on employee experience are using collaboration behavior data as part of their employee experience initiatives. With this data, companies can see how often employees are digitally interacting with each other throughout the day, in what ways they're interacting and with whom.

Companies can share each employee's collaboration behavior data on an individual basis, roll the data up for viewing in aggregate by team leaders and other managers, or both. Many companies are finding collaboration behavior data a great complement to engagement data showing how much an employee participates and engages digitally with the company and peers via enterprise social networks or employee portals, as well as to employee sentiment data gathered via surveys and polls.

Unified communications (UC) industry insiders discussed the hidden value in collaboration data during a session at the Enterprise Connect 2024 conference in Orlando, Fla. The industry experts shared three top tips on using collaboration data to its fullest potential.

1. Enhance team engagement and productivity.

With collaboration behavior data, team managers can take stock of their mindfulness during meetings. For example, does email or team chat activity spike during meetings? If so, then team members are not fully attentive during meetings or when sending emails or messages. Are team members seeing this negative behavior and acting likewise? This is an opportunity to discuss meeting attendance versus the use of meeting assistants for note-taking and summarization, for example.

Additionally, by visualizing meeting patterns, team managers can see how much time is spent in one-on-one meetings or analyze how team messaging might disrupt the flow of work or after-hours engagement, said Ryan Nadel, principal product manager at Microsoft, at the Enterprise Connect session. Team managers should address any problematic collaboration issues and measure the effect on productivity -- not only for themselves but for their teams.

2. Establish proper meeting culture

Companies can learn a lot from studying meeting data, including employee behavior. For example, companies can track the timeliness of joining meetings and the time spent actively versus passively participating. The data might spark some questions. For instance, does a lack of timeliness cause delayed starts and late endings? And, if meetings start late and run long, how many minutes per day do meetings chew up for nonactive participants or everybody else?

Leaders must tell employees it's OK to miss a meeting in which they'd be passive rather than active participants.

With collaboration behavior data in hand, company leaders have benchmarks to set policies and establish culture norms around meetings, noted Jonathan Sass, vice president of product and marketing at Vyopta.

For example, HR might launch a campaign about the importance of joining meetings on time -- with executives taking the lead on doing so. Or company leaders might set a meeting policy that only essential personnel receive invites to participate, while others who might be interested or affected receive meeting notes and summarizations. Leaders must tell employees it's OK to miss a meeting in which they'd be passive rather than active participants.

Relying on collaboration behavior data for such insights led one Vyopta customer to give back 22 minutes of meeting time to employees weekly, on average, Sass said. Productivity gains can add up quickly when organizations inspect the data on an annual basis across thousands of employees, he added.

3. Take advantage of personalized data feeds

Microsoft Teams users have a personalized, scrollable feed of their channel content for a quick look at posts from people, on specific topics, or within certain channels. Microsoft can deliver this "personalized relevance ranking" because of the data it collects from the Teams collaboration and productivity ecosystem, Nadel said. Employees should embrace this personalized product experience, which is crafted by using their behavior data. By enabling personalized data feeds, employees can take advantage of streamlined information discovery and, ultimately, improve their productivity.

Beth Schultz is vice president of research and principal analyst at Metrigy. She focuses her research on unified communications, collaboration and digital customer experience.

Dig Deeper on UC strategy