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One of the 5 things you need to know about Office 365 reporting: New Office 365 Admin Center

29 Jan 2016 by Doug Davis

It’s a pretty open secret now (i.e. not a secret at all!) that Microsoft is going to launch a new Admin Center Report dashboard sometime this year. Still no definitive date but new features are popping up from time to time.  Alan has been blogging about it for while, see the latest here and here so this is just a general review and some points about a few challenges that will remain.
The following represents just one of the five things you need to know about Office 365 Reports. Want to know the others? Register for our upcoming webinar.
The reports shipping now are fairly limited, with a simple list of static reports like this:
Each report is of value, but you have to drill into each one to see even the top level info and there isn’t a lot of data in many of these. Also, there is a lot of variance in terms of look and feel and features, like export, within each report.
And expect to see a lot of this while you wait, as the current reports are not all that optimized for performance or scale.
After waiting around for a while you get the end results which, while functional, leave a little bit to be desired.
So a good start but still a source of some frustration as folks ramp up on Office 365.
However, soon the Office 365 native reports will move to a more fully fleshed out report experience such as this, where you have a sense of a dashboard and some core licensing and usage reports. Think of these as reports 2.0 for Office 365.
Check out all user activity across all Office 365 products
And they are pretty zippy with a new back end and look and feel they’re moving in the right direction.
Mail Traffic
So a few points here:
The reports still aren’t fantastically rich and numerous, and will remain a step below 3rd party reporting tools that are in the market now. Still, for those looking to get some core data about their Office 365, it is a nice leap from the previous effort and will satisfy that initial need for reporting.
The delegation problem will remain. These views are for administrators only so, unlike a tool such as Cogmotive where you can provide any user with access to specific reports and data, you need to be an administrator with full rights to get this.
As of now the mobile experience is a bit off. Not sure if Microsoft will improve this going forward but right now things need improving.
The arrival of the Admin center is one of the 5 things you need to know about Office 365. If you want to know the other four, register for our webinar where I’ll be covering these plus an overview of some of the challenges of reporting and analytics.