Intranets serve as the primary self-service portal for an organization – it should be one of the go-to resources that every staff member relies on to get the latest corporate news, updates, and other insider-only information. The knowledge published via the intranet should be accurate, trustworthy, and up to date; news and announcements should be interesting and current; and the platform itself should be easy for staff to access. Plus, since the intranet should be the jumping off point for key organizational knowledge, staff should be expected to check it regularly. But what does this look like in practice? What data points should your organization be tracking to monitor the health of the intranet? Following are the top intranet analytics and metrics every organization should track, analyze, and act upon, regardless of what platform your intranet is using.
Intranet Analytics & Metrics – User Activity
- Daily, weekly, monthly active users: how many people are actively using the intranet
- Average session duration: how long an average user spends on the intranet in a single session
- Page views (total per page): number of times a particular page is viewed
- Page views (aggregated): total number of page views per daily
- Most viewed content: what are the top 5 pages viewed each month
The number of active users is useful to know. Is this number static, going up, or going down? Roughly, what percentage of staff are checking the intranet on a daily basis vs. weekly vs. monthly? Does your organization have a stated expectation or policy for how often staff are expected to check the intranet (i.e., once a day, multiple times a day, once a week)? If so, does the expectation match reality?
In parallel to the usage data, it’s important to track content. If content is stale, redundant, or inaccurate, staff will quickly stop trusting the intranet, which will lead to a decline in usage and will create all sorts of knowledge management challenges. Metrics to watch include:
- New content: how many news articles, updates, and announcements have been posted each month?
- Content authors: which teams/departments and/or individuals are responsible for producing content on a monthly basis? If several people are responsible for producing news articles for the organization, is there a relationship between the most viewed content and page authors?
- Most viewed video(s): what are the top 5 videos viewed each month
New content is important, but for some parts of the intranet such as knowledge bases, policies, SOPs, benefits, etc. it is important to track page updates in addition to new pages.
If the organization has any requirements or expectations for content production, are departments/teams or individuals hitting those goals?
User Engagement Metrics
More than other areas, the specific types of user engagement metrics that are available are going to be based in large part on the intranet platform’s capabilities and what features are used within your organization’s intranet. Some common metrics to look for:
- Discussion board posts:
- Number of questions posted (per day or month)
- Average number of responses/answers per question
- Accuracy or quality of responses – i.e., are responses answering the question?
- Comments on posts: Number of staff members who comment on or post a response to a news article, blog post, or other type of intranet content
- User feedback: Number of thumbs up, emoji reactions (smiles, hearts, etc.), or other comparable single-click reactions to intranet content
- Ratings: Number of people who are rating pages and the ratings themselves. For ratings, it is critically important to look at the ratings in conjunction with the content and understand the motivation behind the rating – for instance, is the information on the page outdated, confusing, or inaccurate? Are there patterns or trends associated with the ratings?
Intranet Metrics and Analytics: Search Data
Search data can be of tremendous value from a knowledge management perspective. Important analytics to watch:
- Top search terms
- Failed search terms
The data for both can influence decisions about the intranet’s navigation and taxonomy terms. It can also indicate gaps in intranet content or ways in which existing content should be updated to better reflect how people are looking for specific knowledge.
User Satisfaction Intranet Analytics and Metrics
In addition to data collected by most intranet platforms, it’s important to ask staff for their input. A few example questions include:
- How easy or difficult is it to find what you’re searching for on the intranet?
- How easy or difficult is it to navigate / browse for information on the intranet?
- How much does the intranet aid you in your daily work?
- In general do you trust that the information you find on the intranet is accurate?
Some organizations include a few questions about the intranet in their annual employee engagement survey. Questions can be open ended (qualitative) or quantitative in nature. It can be particularly valuable to ask similar questions on an annual basis to spot changes over time.
In terms of technical details, it is important for organizations to stay on top of device usage and browser adoption. Key data points to monitor:
- Browser breakdown: Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Safari, etc.
- Mobile devices vs. workstations
The data elements mentioned in this article are platform agnostic. Not all intranet platforms natively track all of the metrics mentioned here – some, like Microsoft 365’s SharePoint Online platform, are more robust than others. In many cases, even for platforms such as SharePoint Online, it can be helpful to use a third-party tool such as Google Analytics, Microsoft Clarity, or an open source alternative to capture additional analytics.
The purpose of tracking these metrics and analyzing the data is to spot trends – and then, most importantly, take action as needed. But it’s critical to act upon the data by addressing the root causes of issues. For example, if staff aren’t checking the intranet often enough, what’s the root cause? Do staff need training? Is the content not accurate? Is the content not interesting? Do staff not need to go to the intranet because key updates and announcements are already sent to them via email?
If you can spot trends in data as changes start to occur, it’s much easier to course correct, make incremental changes, or address issues before an intranet gets woefully out of date and staff lose confidence in the knowledge stored within it. Once staff give up on an intranet, it can take years to undo the damage and reverse trends.
Looking for more articles about Intranet best practices? Check out FireOak’s series, Building and Maintaining a Modern Intranet.