SharePoint Vitals Review: Site Usage Reports and Analytics for SharePoint
Product analysis by Vlad Catrinescu – requested by SharePoint Vitals, but thoughts are my own.
SharePoint is an amazing tool that offers the tools necessary to increase collaboration in your enterprise. You’re paying for it, but are people really using it? That has been the question multiple companies have been asking themselves for a while since neither SharePoint On-Premises or SharePoint Online provides the full analytics solution that enterprises are looking for. This is why, multiple third-party vendors in the SharePoint spaces have created solutions on top of SharePoint On-Premises / SharePoint Online to fill this gap.
In this blog post we will talk about a product called SharePoint Vitals by Seven Twenty Software. Here are a few words about the product directly from their website as well as a small video.
SharePoint Vitals brings all the user site activity data you could ever want to your fingertips. SharePoint Analytics that can take days of manual data manipulation are now available when you need it. Vitals tracks your SharePoint users activity in real-time and pushes results to a clean and easily navigated cloud based interface.
With the available summary reporting, you can quickly identify your top users, sites and content along with problem areas such as slowest loading pages and users who frequently experience slow page load times. Vitals gives you SharePoint web analytics that can definitely help in cases of governance, user adoption, security and compliance.
Next time management asks the who, what, when, where – you will have the answers!
Now that we have introduced the product, let’s start the review!
SharePoint Vitals Review
SharePoint Vitals is a Software as a Service (SaaS) application running in Azure, so you can access it from anywhere in the world, and since it’s running on Azure, chances are it will almost never go down. As soon as you log on the platform you can see the statistics from this week, as well as the percentage of change since last week, allowing you to see right away if new users have joined the platform, if new sites have been created as well as how popular your SharePoint platform was this week.
Scrolling down a bit on the initial page, we can see various Top 10s such as the Top 10 Visited Sites, Active Users, Fastest & Slowest Users with a filter on the top allowing you to quickly changing from Today, to last week and a few other options as seen below. This is really great because as soon as you log in, you have all the important information to see how your sites are doing, who is accessing them, and users that might have problems reaching them. On any one of those metrics, you can click on them to dig deeper into the content, and get more information. SharePoint Vitals contains over 15
out of the box reports, and we will review some, but not all in this review! One of the cool things about SharePoint Vitals is that they also have a PowerBI API that allows customers to create their own reports in PowerBI by using data gathered in SharePoint Vitals.
Let’s take a look at the other reports. We first have a Page Hits report allowing us to see the most viewed pages, and we can select the dates for which we want to look at in the top.
You can also look at the history for a selected user, and see all the pages that they have accessed, this history is kept as long as you have the product, and you can download it in full at any time.
You can also view the active documents per user as well if you want to see what documents they are accessing.
Before we go over some of the other features, I Want to take this time to get over a question I get asked often: Vlad, why should I invest in a third-party analytics product, when I could just Google Analytics for my site? The two reports above answer that question pretty clearly, while Google Analytics will allow you to see stats on pages, you will not have reports that are as integrated with SharePoint as SharePoint Vitals, which allow you to filter stuff even by users. There’s a bunch of other reasons, for example, SharePoint Vitals allows you to quickly view the Site Map of your tenant, or SharePoint farm so you can quickly look at your Information Architecture.
SharePoint Vitals also allows you to view the most popular Search Terms. Having access to what people search for will allow you to better optimize your Information architecture, and help people find their content a lot faster!
Another cool feature is also the Heat Map where you can see the locations from where your users access SharePoint. You can also filter by user, or simply go to a location to see who is accessing from that location. If you see people are accessing it from the US but you do not have an office there, this can be a huge red flag, so it’s worth investigating!
The results in SP Vitals are in real time, so this is also different from a few other analytics tools that are waiting for a timer job or similar to actually refresh them. You can also schedule reports on a weekly or monthly basis and get them directly in your Inbox!
The sample report I had access to contained 3 pages and really showed the top information a manager might need to see if people are using SharePoint more and more every week! Some of the things not shown on the screenshot are the Top 10 Sites, Fastest & Slowest Users as well as the heatmap.
Lastly, something that a lot of you might also wonder is the pricing. I Had a chat with the product team and asked them about this, and they have a really interesting pricing strategy. The cost for SP Vitals is 1$/user/month, and never more than 10,000$ a year (USD). So even if you are a 5,000 company, you will only pay 10,000$ a year, so this can be really really interesting!
In this blog post we have looked at SharePoint Vitals, a tool that allows you to see detailed analytics on your SharePoint On-Premises or online environments. SharePoint Vitals has a lot of information about every aspect of your SharePoint usage, and also has some reports that could not be seen by a tool that is not integrated with SharePoint such as the User History, accessed documents by user, where a user is logged in from and so on. Furthermore, one of the cool things of SharePoint Vitals is that all the results are real time, so you do not need to wait 12 or 24 hours to get the latest analytics.
If you’re looking for an analytics solution for SharePoint 2013/2016 or SharePoint Online, make sure you check out SharePoint vitals! Click the banner below to learn more!