Measuring intranet utilization: IC’s guide

Alfie
By Alfie Penfold
January 19, 2022
7 min read
Blog
Intranet
Measuring intranet utilization is an important indicator on how valuable your intranet to your organization.

Tracking utilization is about measuring how much your employees are using your intranet. While our intranet product is one of the most affordable SharePoint alternatives on the market, it’s still important to understand the value your employees are gaining from your site, and therefore the return you’re getting on your investment.

Intranets can be employed in many different ways, especially a feature-rich solution like IC’s intranet software, tracking utilization can be tricky. Every organization uses its intranet in a unique way, so we use a mixture of metrics to ensure different use cases are accounted for and utilization is measured in a meaningful way. Check out the metrics we use below:

Number of logins/sessions

Keeping track of the number of times your employees are accessing your intranet is one of the most common ways of measuring utilization as it provides a high-level view of overall usage. It doesn’t tell you what your employees are doing while using your intranet, but it does give you an easy number to track over time and when combined with other metrics, it helps to paint a picture of how your intranet fits into your employees’ daily routines.

Content/page views

Measuring intranet utilization requires you to analyze the content and page views on your intranet.

On an individual level, how many times your content and pages are viewed by employees shows how valuable your content is, especially if those views are over an extended period. When you combine the views on all pages/content, it shows the collective value of all of them. Obviously, the total number of pages and pieces of content will impact this, so dividing total views by the total number of content/pages will give an average number of views per piece of content.

If this number is low, it shows that a lot of the content you have on your intranet isn’t getting much attention, suggesting it’s time to clear out some of the stale content. The more useless information you have on your intranet, the more difficult it is to find the good stuff.

Actions per login

By looking at the average number of actions your users carry out while logged in to your intranet, you get an idea of how much activity they’re doing per visit. Are their visits fleeting in nature, or do they hang around to check out other stuff?

There are 4 types of actions in IC’s intranet software:

  • View
  • Create
  • Edit
  • Delete

Combining the figures for all of these and dividing them by the number of logins over a set period gives you an average for “actions per login”. It won’t show you what individual users are doing, but it will give you an indication of usage trends among your employee population.

If you want your employees to hang around on your intranet for longer, try cross-promoting by including links to other pages within your content. 

Form submissions

One of the most popular features on our intranet is Forms, and the workflows that can be created as part of it. Administrators can create interactive forms that are automatically sent to approvers around the organization, with the ability to add multiple steps to reflect real-life processes.

If forms are used on your intranet, tracking how frequently they’re submitted can help you calculate the amount of time you’re saving when compared to paper-based or email processes. This in turn can help you work out dollar values when it comes to return on investment. For example, if you know the online process is completed on average 10 hours quicker than the paper-based version, and you’ve had 10 submissions this week, your intranet has facilitated a 100-hour efficiency.

Number of searches

Measure the number of searches for key intranet insights.

The search functionality of any intranet is crucial. Many users rely almost exclusively on search to find what they’re looking for, so keeping an eye on how many search queries are entered on your site (and what those search terms are) will help you understand how people are using search. If one particular term is very common, consider adding a link on your homepage to help people find the relevant content.

Investigating missed searches (searches with no results) can help you understand the content that people are struggling to find – perhaps a common typo could be added as a tag or you could speak to the relevant department and ask them to add something that’s missing.

Content added

Your employees don’t access your intranet just for the thrill of it, they’re typically looking for a piece of content or a tool. Tracking how much content is added over a period (a week for example) shows how fresh your content is, and how likely your employees are to come across something new when browsing.

Intranets with stale content are boring, so ensuring there is a production line of interesting content planned will help to keep employees engaged. A content calendar is a great way to do this, and involving other people from around your organization will help too (see below)

Number of content contributors

We believe that to be of use to your whole employee population, an intranet needs to be fed with content by the people that use it. Measuring the number of people that are creating or editing content gives an indication of how dispersed the responsibility of populating your intranet truly is.

Obviously, you’ll want some restrictions in place to ensure only appropriate content makes it onto your site, but opening up the ability to manage and publish content will encourage your teammates to be more invested in your intranet and should help with increasing traffic. Seeing which areas of your organization these content contributors come from will also help you to identify any underrepresented areas where you could look to recruit additional people.

Filters and analysis

Discuss and monitor data analysis.

We think intranet metrics are interesting, but their true value comes when you use them to take action or improve your planning process – it’s about learning from your users, and helping to improve their experience.

Filtering the above metrics by things like department, business unit or location can help you identify how different parts of your organization behave on your intranet and therefore can be used to make local improvements.

Dividing metrics by the total number of employees you have can also help with benchmarking – allowing you to accurately compare the intranet usage of departments with different employee numbers or your whole organization over time if you have recently recruited a large number of employees.

Comparing the figures to real-world events can show the role your intranet plays in your organization too. If you had an all-staff meeting that focussed on wellbeing, and then access to your wellbeing-related content or search terms increased, people were obviously paying attention.

Bonus: next-level analytics with IC’s Push communication feature

On top of all the tracking and analytics power that is built into our intranet software, IC customers also benefit from our push communication extension, which allows internal communicators to push important messaging to an employee’s channel of choice. With this tool, admins also have the power to track open rates, click rates, and much more. Knowing exactly what kind of messaging is resonating with your audience helps you calibrate your entire internal comms strategy, thereby improving your intranet utilization!

Improve your intranet utilization with IC

Measuring utilization is not an exact science, and it’s important to understand the context behind the numbers in order to make meaningful analysis. If you’re interested in understanding the utilization of your intranet in more detail contact communicators@intranetconnections.com.

If you’re ready to take your intranet to the next level, book your free demo for our internal comms software here. And be sure to check out our assessment tool to know exactly what aspects of your internal comms strategy are working and what aspects need improvement!

Alfie
By Alfie Penfold

Alfie employs an energetic and fun approach to internal communications. With a focus on building meaningful relationships, putting employees first, helping to connect team members, and delivering business value through effective and strategic communications.

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