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Microsoft Rolling Out New Office 365 Reporting Portal

Microsoft described a new "reporting portal" that's rolling out as early as today for Office 365 subscribers.

This reporting portal shows user activity within the Office 365 Admin Center, which is the new management portal for organizations that Microsoft began turning on for its subscribers earlier this month. The older "classic" management portal is being replaced by the Office 365 Admin Center.

This first release of the new reporting portal, which shows data in the form of charts and graphs, just displays some Office 365 user activity information at present. The types of user activities that can be seen in this release include:

  • Overall active Office 365 subscribers
  • E-mail activity of end users
  • The number of users that have activated Office

The new reporting portal will start arriving to Office 365 subscribers in the United States, Australia and Canada as early as today, according to Microsoft's announcement.

Future Plans
The company has expansion plans for its new reporting portal. In April, Microsoft will begin rolling out the new reporting portal to "Europe, APAC and Latin America."

Also in April, Microsoft plans to enhance the reporting portal for U.S., Australian and Canadian Office 365 subscribers. At that time, the reporting portal will be capable of charting the use of OneDrive, SharePoint, Skype for Business and Yammer. Europe, APAC and Latin American subscribers will get those reporting capabilities, too, in May.

In June, Microsoft plans to offer a Power BI Content Pack. Microsoft describes it as a way to "combine your organization's Office 365 usage data with your user's information."

The Power BI Content Pack can be used to see how users in an organization are tapping Office 365 services. Comparisons can be set up, such as e-mail use per region or department, Microsoft's announcement explained.

Sometime in the fall, Microsoft plans to provide APIs that will let organizations push the reports data into custom applications. However, the reports data also can be exported into the CSV file format (comma separated values) for use with other analysis tools, such as Excel.

Microsoft also talked more generally about the new reporting portal's capabilities. It plans to let organizations drill down into individual end user activity. It's also promising the ability to show "anonymized user information" to address privacy concerns or meet organizational compliance requirements.

Also, it will be possible to show different reporting periods for trends analyses. The announcement suggested these varied periods could range from "7, 30, 60 and 90 days." This capability appears to be a something for a future release.

Old Reports Will Die
With the arrival of this new reporting portal, the old reports in the classic management portal may not be there for much longer. Here's how Microsoft's announcement explained the matter:

And no worries, the reports in the old admin center will be available until an equivalent report has been added to the new report portal. In the new portal, we're consolidating reports to reduce redundancy and to make it easier for you to find the information you're looking for. You won't find a 1:1 replication of the old reports. Instead, you will have access to improved new reports that give you even more insights.

It seems from that statement that the old reports will go away in the classic management portal. However, those reports will still be available in the new portal -- they'll just follow Microsoft's new format, or something like that.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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