There’s a ton of information out there about what to measure on your intranet. It can be confusing and contradictory, or seem like a mountain of effort to analyze.
So here we’ve outlined five things to measure on a social intranet. While these may not give you a complete view of intranet usage they all adhere to the most critical rule of intranet analytics: measure what you can change. In essence, there’s no point in collecting data if you can’t or won’t act on it.
1: Participation on the intranet
Basic measure: The % of all users who participate on the intranet a given period of time.
Data to collect: The number of users in a given period who create pages, edit pages, and make comments, presented as a percentage of total users.
What it tells you: This metric, when viewed over time, tells you whether or not people are using the interactive aspects of your intranet.
Who to report the data to: This is a basic measure that you can share with all core intranet stakeholders, including the intranet team, major contributing departments such as HR, IT and Internal Communications, and executives.
How to act on it: Because this measure is so broad you may need to conduct user surveys or collect additional data when the number changes much. That information may suggest you need to provide more training, produce more relevant and interesting content, engage more actively with community managers, or develop highly targeted and useful ways of using the interactive features of your social intranet.
2: Most active users
Basic measure: A list of individuals who are most active on the intranet.
Data to collect: Using Intranet Engagement from metric #1 as a starting point, identify the top folks that represent 80% of the site activity.
What it tells you: Who your champions are. As a rule of thumb, 80% of content is created by 20% of the users or less. If you change the behaviour of these folks, you can change your entire intranet quite quickly.
Who to report it to: The intranet team.
How to act on it: These are the people that rely on your social intranet the most and can be your biggest allies in promoting its use. These are your VIPs and this metric will tell you which of your colleagues most deserve high touch treatment and should be recognized for their contributions.
3: Most popular news stories
Basic measure: The top 5 -10 news posts on the intranet over a certain time period.
Data to collect: Over a given period of time, the individual news stories that had the highest rates of views and comments. If you have a lot of news, you could select the top stories in several categories.
What it tells you: The types of news stories that employees like the most and that drive the most traffic.
Who to report it to: Departments that publish a lot of news (typically, internal communications and HR).
How to act on it: Identify common traits that make stories popular. This can help you understand what stories employees tend to be interested in and how to present news in engaging formats.
4: Popular search terms / groups of terms
Basic measure: Top terms entered in the search bar.
Data to collect: The most frequently used terms employees enter in the search box, over given periods of time.
What it tells you: What people are looking for and how they search for information.
Who to report it to: The intranet team and specific departments who are responsible for sought after content.
How to act on it: Once you have your list, try searching for these terms yourself and see what the search results are. You may need to:
- Improve the usefulness of popular content.
- Improve the find-ability of highly searched content. Searchers tend to use a variety of search terms to find the same page. Adding extra search terms as tags to a page will make sure it appears at the top of the search results page. Also, use specific and accurate page titles, so users know which one to click on.
- Fill in missing content gaps. Are people searching for content that doesn’t exist on your intranet — but should?
5: Business outcome metrics related to a specific business process improvement
Basic measure: Varies based on the targeted business process. For example, let’s say one of your intranet goals is to reduce errors made when processing customer returns, by providing clear, easy-to-find information. Your measure would be number of errors made when processing customer returns over a certain time period.
Data to collect: Varies based on targeted business process. Depending on your goal, you may want to set up an “intranet conversion” to track it. For example, if one of your objectives is more consistent use of brand standards, you could have a conversion goal for each time an employee views the brand standards page.
What it tells you: For any particular business process that you’re trying to improve, the relevant business outcome metrics will tell you if you’re succeeding at your business goals or not.
Who to report it to: The executive responsible for the targeted business process, along with the intranet team.
How to act on it: First, you need to collect baseline data about the current process, before using the intranet to improve upon it. Once you have that, start shifting the business process to the intranet and continue capturing the relevant data. Compare it over time. For more information, see our post on Designing Intranet Metrics to Measure Business Outcomes.
Bottom line: It’s all about your goals and taking action!
Just as with intranets in general, no two companies’ intranet metrics will be exactly the same. The two main keys are to align your metrics with your intranet goals and to measure what you can change.