Do you want more usability out of Office 365? Do you find that it’s difficult to train new employees to use the necessary Office 365 tools – and maybe confusing for experienced employees as well? You should consider Delve, an important Microsoft addition to O365 that significantly increases usability and makes navigating data far easier.
Analytics and Top-Level Perspective for Office Graph
Microsoft Delve is an Office 365 application that draws on data from SharePoint, OneDrive, and Office Graph (as well as social apps like Yammer) to give a broad overview of documents and what people in the organization are working on. One of the past complaints about Office 365 was that it was a little too complicated, and it is hard to find specific documents or make sure that the papers were where they needed to be. Delve was designed to fix this issue by providing a “hub” where all significant O365 activity is shown, and where documents can be quickly and easily shifted, edited, and organized as needed, on a person-by-person basis. Anyone in Delve can create a board of their own and pin documents they find in SharePoint libraries, emails, Windows folders, and many other related locations.
If you have experienced frustrations with using Office 365 and haven’t tried out Delve yet, you should see if it fixes your struggles.
Collaboration and Contacts
Delve is designed around collaboration, and in many ways resembles other cloud collaboration tools, although with a more advanced, professional interface. The system has card-like icons for all documents, along with the means to add documents to favorites, see exactly who is working on a document, and assign group documents to a team. It’s ideal for remote work situations as well, where a team may be separated by distance but still need access to all the same documents in a way everyone can understand.
Delve also makes it particularly easy to find in-company contacts and networking opportunities. Many people have been in a situation where they want to find a particular team member or partner that they worked with, sometimes years previously. Delve keeps records of what people worked on what documents and has a dedicated team section where you can find all employees in your organization that uses Office 365. That makes it easy to find who you are looking for with only minimal information – and network as needed.
Tracking Document Changes
With collaboration comes the importance of tracking. Accountability and workflow tracking require a trail to follow, and Delve excels at creating a clear trail of who edited a document and when. This makes it easy for managers to check on the progress of a report or team, and see what specific tasks need to be completed or what went wrong during the workflow.
Performance Analytics for Personal/Management
Speaking of Delve benefits for managers, Delve also provides deeper analytics for company activity. This was once called Delve Analytics but has been renamed MyAnalytics, but you can still find it on the Delve dashboard, where it waits on the left-hand side with a treasure trove of information. Use this tool to access information about how much time was spent in email, how time spent in documents, how much after-hours work you did, and so on. Managers can access this information for the whole team, and both employees and managers can set specific goals in these areas for performance purposes.
Some employees may worry that everyone will be able to see their documents, even private documents, on Delve, which leads to privacy concerns. However, if a document is set to private (the default state for most documents), then it will only appear in your Delve dashboard. When you share that document, it will appear in other dashboards. At any time you can click on the dots at the lower corner of a doc and find out exactly who can see it.
Working Across Devices
Like most Office 365 features, Delve can easily sync information across devices, which means you can access updated information from your phone or tablet no matter where you last worked on a document. Delve is also quite intelligent in what information it pulls from various tools. Read an email with a great attachment on your Surface tablet, and when you pull up Delve on your desktop, that attachment will be one of the document cards in your dashboard, ready for you to work with.
Microsoft would like Delve to have increasingly broad applications for everyone who uses its cloud services and Windows for work-related purposes. It is likely to become more important for businesses as time goes by, so if you intend to continue using Office 365, make sure that Delve is part of your toolset!
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