September 19, 2022
min read
Hands pointing at laptop while working

Reporting in Microsoft 365 can serve a wide variety of purposes and specific reports themselves can be made to best serve IT team members in specific roles within the department.

For example, operational functions within the organization, such as those performed by IT help desk admins, will be best served by reports that surface specific items that they need to assist with or correct altogether in order to maximize employee productivity.

They can be broken down into:

  1. IT organizational reports: Provide a window into the bigger picture of an organization’s IT profile at a specific point in time, will better serve IT managers as they define the short-term objectives of the department.
  2. Historical reports: Provide a longitudinal view into the state of IT within an organization, will be most helpful to those at the executive level within a company as they work to define the long-term and overarching goals for not only IT, but for the entire organization.
  3. Specialist reports: Provide insight into specific topics not related to employee productivity, serve an organization by providing granular information about specific items of concern, such as potential security breaches.

M365 provides IT administrators with the means to generate most of these varieties of reports on all sorts of topics.

However, native M365 tooling provides limited means (you can see the full comparison between CoreView and Native Microsoft 365 here) to store data to be reported long-term.

This makes it difficult to generate reports with data points collected over a long enough period of time to be especially useful for executives to glean meaningful insights into the ways that their organization’s use of technologies is evolving over time and how well it is aligning with larger goals within the organization.

Today, we’ll look at five of the most powerful reports your IT team can leverage in Office 365 and the ways in which these reports can be tailored to best suit each of the use cases outlined above.

Microsoft Purview Audit Logs

Microsoft Purview is a collection of compliance, risk, and governance tools that helps organizations provide secure, remote access to M365.

It works – in part – by logging specific information, such as IP addresses, usernames, and the like any time an M365 resource is accessed remotely. This feature is essential to maintaining a strong security posture and increasing your Microsoft secure score, as it allows IT teams to identify unusual access patterns that may indicate an attack.

It is worth noting that Microsoft Purview audit logs are enabled by default for M365 organizations but may not be enabled by default for Office 365 organizations.

Log-on reports

Log-on reports are a particularly powerful tool for IT departments, and they can be tailored to suit many of the above use cases.

For example, as IT organizational level reports, they can provide IT management a holistic view of the percentage of licensed employees who are actively using M365 at a given point in time, which can inform departmental practices such as new employee onboarding if users aren’t logging on regularly, as that may indicate a degree of unfamiliarity with the platform.

Perhaps more importantly, log-on reports can serve as specialist reporting tools, in that they provide insight into the number of successful and failed log-on attempts from specific IP address ranges. This can alert IT to potential attempts to gain unauthorized access to M365 resources by highlighting unusually high numbers of failed log-on attempts.

Microsoft 365 Reports in the Admin Center

The Microsoft Admin center includes reports related to employee usage of specific M365 features and applications. These too can provide meaningful insight for multiple use cases outlined above.

Email Activity

Email activity reports can provide insights into company-wide communication trends over time. Specifically, executives can use these reports to identify any communication gaps between departments. For example, they can include the number of meetings scheduled as well as the volume of email communication between departments.

Microsoft Teams User Activity

Microsoft Teams user activity reporting offers a parallel look into an organization’s internal communication patterns. As Microsoft Teams continues to increase in popularity, this metric is emerging as an excellent means of identifying and closing organizational communication gaps.  

Active Users

Active users reports provide organizational-level insight into the specific M365 applications that are being used within an organization. This can help IT managers to identify any M365 applications that are not being fully utilized, and they can thereby help to inform internal training efforts.

Licensing Reporting

Inactive licenses must first be reclaimed into a pool of unassigned licenses in order to be reassigned to a new user. Microsoft licensing reporting provides operational-level information that help-desk admins need to onboard new employees. It also provides insight into the number of unassigned licenses a company has, which can inform future licensing purchasing decisions.

How CoreView Can Help

CoreView’s automation features make it simple to generate any of these reports at any interval that best serves your organization. By leveraging this powerful aspect of CoreView, your IT team can provide a clear view into the company’s evolving use of, and potential concerns around, technology over an extended period of time, which is exactly what those at the executive level need to inform their overarching goals and objectives for the organization.

Moreover, this same approach of generating reports at regular intervals with automation tooling will ensure timely specialist reports, which is often critical for them to be most useful.

To learn more about how CoreView can help your IT team automate your various M365 reports, schedule a demo today.

Get a personalized demo today

Created by M365 experts, for M365 experts.