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Sunday, November 13, 2005

How usage analytics can improve company portals

Implementing usage analytics is a key to making a portal valid to everyone and engaging staff in using it. Yet it's surprising how infrequently this is undertaken, even among companies where the portal is an essential tool for sharing and managing information.

Without monitoring and understanding what parts of the portal are used and how, the IT department, as well as those driving the business's strategic direction, will be unable to maximize the value of the portal or make accurate, informed decisions as to how it can be improved. Usage analytics give the IT department a clear view of what is needed from the portal, what is not needed, and how to prioritize future changes and investments.

Usage analytics provide a way to fairly measure the needs and relative investment priorities for each area of a business. By adding analytics software to your portal, you can gather objective measurements of who needs specific types of information, or whose work is suffering due to inadequate applications. For a growing company, usage analytics could be vital. For a company with thousands of employees across numerous locations it should be essential for the monitoring and allocation of resources.

Analytics will also help the IT team build a strong business case for senior management if applications are no longer meeting the needs of the organization. By tracking community traffic, portlet traffic, response times and usage behavior, a company gains improved visibility for its portal development and deployment planning, and can more effectively prioritize administrative resources. This can be a very important tool for monitoring purposes.

Overall, usage analytics will bring increased portal ROI, reduced infrastructure costs and improved employee, customer and partner satisfaction.

Adapted from The critical role of usage analytics at Applebee's in the current issue of KM Review.

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