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Ignite 2016 New Feature Release Day 5: More Pivots by Popular Request

Sep 23, 2016 by Emma Robinson

As you may have seen, earlier this week we released our new Licence Pivot report. Due to the positive feedback we received from our beta testers, and their frequent requests for other pivot reports, we quickly got working on building the same functionality into other areas of our Office 365 reporting tools. So to finish our week of new features to celebrate Microsoft Ignite 2016, we are extremely excited to introduce three brand new Pivot Reports for Skype for Business, Mail Traffic, and Mobile Devices. And in case that’s not enough, we are also launching a Custom Pivot tool – so you build your own bespoke pivot reports.

So what does this new pivot functionality do?

Our Pivot Reports make it possible to see vast amounts of data grouped together by different attributes simultaneously. The tool will enable you to break down large data sets in a way that has not previously been possible with Cogmotive Reports. Currently, some of our customers export their reporting data from our application into Excel in order to create pivot tables. Our new pivot functionality means that you can do this directly in the Cogmotive Reports application, saving you even more time.
How do they work?
All of the Pivot Reports have the same configuration tool. You can select and input all of the data fields you need by clicking on ‘Configure Pivot’, and place your chosen fields into either filters, rows, columns, and set values based on sum, count, max or min.
Before we get started, here are the different value types and how they can be used:

  • Sum: This value will give you the total figures for a certain attribute. For example, if you wanted to find out how many minutes of Skype audio sessions had taken place in total.
  • Count: This value can be used to group relevant attributes together. It does not deal with numerical values directly, instead it will count the number of fields, grouping them logically, rather than adding them together. This means that it can be used to consolidate non-numerical data. This value is particularly useful for the Licence Pivot Report as it can show you the ‘count’ for each licence type your organisation has.
  • Max: This value can be used to find the maximum value for a certain attribute. For example, if you wanted to see which department or user was sending the most mail in the Mail Traffic Pivot, you would use this function.
  • Min: This value works in the same way as the above, but for the minimum value of an attribute.

The Pivot Report is a powerful feature, but can appear complicated if you’re not familiar with pivot tables in Excel, so here’s some guidance on how to leverage the tool and get more control over the way that you analyse and display your data, starting with Skype for Business.
The Skype for Business Activity Pivot
What would you use it for?
There are a number of ways you can use the Skype for Business Activity Pivot. It allows you to see a breakdown of user activity filtered by country, city and office, right down to department and user-level. The report can deliver extremely detailed usage information, which could be used to monitor trends, identify problem areas, and drive adoption rates.
In order to make it easier to get started with this Pivot, when you arrive at the report you will see we have populated the pivot fields by default to provide some guidance. However, the report is fully customisable, so you can use the drag and drop functionality to configure it to your specific needs.
Skype for Business - blog pivot
The Mail Traffic Pivot
What would you use it for?
Like the Skype for Business Activity Pivot, the Mail Traffic Pivot can also be used in a number of different ways. It includes all the Mail Traffic attributes (displayed in the ‘Field’ column on the left in screenshot below). The pivot fields will be populated by default for guidance, but any of the Fields available can be selected and arranged as required to break down the large volume of mail traffic activity information typically generated by a large company.
Whether you want to track outbound mail trends by country or office, or compare total mail sent across departments, the Mail Traffic Pivot can help display this information in a way that is easy to review and digest.
sent internal mail
Here’s an example of how these Pivots could be used: Usage and Adoption 
A large organisation has fifty offices spread across the US, UK, and Singapore. The IT team (based entirely in the head office in New York) have been gradually deploying Skype for Business organisation-wide and want to measure the adoption rates across all areas of the organisation, segmented by the different countries and offices so that they can compare between locations.
A primary objective of the Skype for Business project was to encourage employees to use IM internally rather than email. The intention was that this would reduce internal mail traffic, speed up the response time for internal issues, and create an overall boost in productivity.
Using the Skype Activity Pivot, the IT team can see the total number of IM messages sent in each location. To do this, they would place ‘Country/ Region’, ‘City’ and ‘Office’ into ‘Rows’ so that they can see a full breakdown for each location. If they would like to filter between each location in order to isolate a particular country, they would simply need to add ‘Country/ Region’ into the ‘Filter’ section to make it easier to show just one place at a time. In the values sections, they should place ‘P2P IM sessions’ and select ‘sum’.
Once the Pivot Report is configured, they can see that the New York office has the most IM messages sent, which is where the technology was first implemented, and is to be expected.  They can also compare the number of messages sent across each office, and use the information to identify any areas where more training may be required.
The IT team can configure the Mail Traffic Pivot to show whether there has been a reduction in internal mail traffic, and compare this against the trends in Skype IM messages. If the two reports correlate, then they can directly attribute the reduction in internal mail to an increase in Skype IM usage – demonstrating that their project has been successful.
If this is not the case, they can use the reports to identify problem areas, and target their efforts in the specific areas where there is a lag in adoption.
Next up, the Mobile Device Pivot
Mobile Devices can be extremely difficult to keep track of, particularly in large organisations with thousands of employees using them. One of the many ways you could use the Mobile Device pivot is to help get better visibility of which devices are where.
For example, a multinational organisation is planning to replace their handset provider. Before they can do this, they need to take a full inventory of which devices they currently have, and where they are located, so that they can ensure that the provider is able to supply devices where they need them.
Using the Mobile Device Pivot, the Business Technology team are quickly able to see how their handsets are distributed by country. By default, the pivot fields will be configured to show you how many of your staff use each device OS, as well as where they are located. In order to get the detail they need in this particular instance, the team would need to remove ‘Device OS’ and replace it with ‘Device Model’  into the columns section. They could also add ‘Country/Region’ into the filter in order to drill down into particular countries.
Finally, the Custom Pivot
Now to our final Pivot Report of this week, the Custom Pivot, and we think we’ve saved the best until last. The other pre-defined Pivot Reports we created aim to provide some direction as to how the functionality can be used, they have default configurations for guidance but can be customised, and they include the data fields that are directly relevant to the particular areas of Office 365 that they deal with. But with the Custom Pivot, the possibilities are (almost) endless. Using the same fields as our custom report builder, you can add in any attribute you would like to see, and create a Pivot based around it. If you can’t find what you need in one of the predefined pivots, it’s likely you’ll be able to find it here (and if you can’t, let us know we’ll try our best to build it).
An example of how to use the Custom Pivot: Compliance
The Custom Pivot can be used to audit your organisation’s mailboxes settings. Many companies that operate in strictly governed industries such as law, finance or government use litigation hold on mailboxes in order to ensure that important, sensitive or confidential email information is stored appropriately, so that it can be dealt with according to company policies.
A large international law firm needed to verify that every user in their legal departments had litigation hold enabled on their mailboxes. To demonstrate and validate compliance with company policy, hold needed to be enabled for every legal department worldwide. To see this information, they configured their Custom Pivot as below, adding ‘Department’ into ‘Filters’ so that they quickly isolate the legal departments from the full list.
If you have a Cogmotive Reports subscription why not log in and test it our new Pivots for yourself?
If you haven’t tried Cogmotive Reports yet, why not sign up for a free 14-day trial, and see what detailed, automated, powerful Office 365 reporting could show you.
Cogmotive is the leading global provider of enterprise level reporting and analytics applications for Office 365. Find out more now.