Why measuring your intranet is critical

Measuring your intranet performance in different ways is critical for the success of your platform. Using data that reflects how employees use your intranet, what they feel about it and how the intranet impacts your organisation is the best way to deliver a modern, relevant channel which will keep on improving.

Knowing how to measure intranet effectiveness by creating a robust intranet metrics strategy allows you to:

  • make informed decisions on how to improve your intranet content management, right down to the page level
  • improve the performance and impact of content and internal communications
  • engage and motivate site owners and community managers to optimise and advance their own areas of the intranet
  • demonstrate the success of your intranet to senior stakeholders, which can reflect ROI and contribute to making a business case for more investment
  • drive a process and culture of continuous improvement
  • help your intranet to deliver strategic benefits to your organisation
  • reveal insights about your workforce through intranet usage statistics
  • fit in with standard reporting processes already in operation in your organisation
  • validate decisions which might be unpopular with some stakeholders

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Key intranet metrics

Intranet metrics are quantitative and qualitative measurements used to evaluate the performance, usage and impact of an intranet within an organisation. The intranet dashboard can provide a comprehensive overview of some of these metrics, allowing administrators to monitor performance indicators in real-time.

Some key intranet metrics that provide valuable insights into how employees engage with the platform include:

  • Intranet Adoption Rate: The percentage of employees actively using the intranet, indicating which employees are embracing the intranet.
  • Page Views: The total number of times intranet pages are accessed by employees, showcasing the level of engagement and interest in the content available.
  • Unique Visitors: The number of distinct individuals accessing the intranet within a given time frame, reflecting the reach and breadth of employee engagement.
  • Time Spent on Site: The average duration of employee sessions on the time, which illustrates the level of engagement and depth of interaction with the platform.
  • Employee Feedback and Surveys: Intranet survey and feedback mechanisms can help gauge employee satisfaction, intranet ROI, and identify areas for improvement.
  • Employee Contributions: The number and quality of contributions made by employees (i.e. comments, posts, shares and uploads) demonstrate active participation and collaboration.
  • Search Queries: Analysing the most frequently searched keywords or phrases on the intranet will shed light on the information needs and interests of employees.
  • Mobile Usage: Tracking the percentage of intranet usage on mobile devices, reflecting the need for an effective mobile intranet that supports remote workers.
  • Task Completion: Measuring the percentage of employees successfully completing specific tasks or actions on the intranet, reflecting its effectiveness as a productivity tool.

8 ways to approach intranet metrics

Intranet metrics don't come with a hard and fast set of rules. However, if you want to know how to measure intranet effectiveness, there are some smarter ways to assess your intranet performance, which can help you get the most out of conducting an intranet health check.

1. Gather metrics before, after and throughout adoption

If you’re introducing a new intranet, delivering a new capability or experimenting with new content and want to show the impact, don’t forget to measure before you start. You can’t compare the impact of a new intranet if you don’t have the equivalent numbers for the old platform!

Similarly, to track trends in intranet user behaviour, you’ll need to continue to measure the same elements in a consistent way over a set period of time, likely to be years. Be sure to use the same intranet analytics tools, such as the intranet itself, business intelligence tools and Google Analytics to measure your intranet.

2. Find the right mix of measures

Don’t just focus on a single set of metrics when conducting an intranet health check.

When it comes to intranet performance measurement, some sets of numbers give valuable context to others. You will need a mixture of different types of metrics to give you a more accurate picture of what’s really going on with your intranet.

Also compare and understand intranet metrics on mobile, tablet and desktop. For example, if employees are visiting your form pages on mobile, but few fill in a form, that could indicate that your form design needs to be revised to optimise the experience on mobile.

3. Allocate resources appropriately into analysis

We know how busy intranet teams can get. Intranet metrics are important, but there are other equally important tasks and activities to carry out in the everyday management of an intranet.

It’s important to allocate an appropriate amount of effort to measurement based on your level of resourcing. If you’re spending lots of time reformatting your beautiful monthly intranet metrics PowerPoint deck, and that’s at the expense of posting important content, then you may need to rethink core activities.

4. Use data to weave a narrative

Intranet metrics only tell half a story. Numbers on their own do not give the whole picture and can be misinterpreted or be taken out of context.

Sometimes an anecdote or story can be more illustrative and impactful in demonstrating the value of your intranet platform. Adding stories, analysis and context to your intranet reporting will give a more rounded and complete view of what’s happening with your intranet.

5. Look for trends, not absolutes

Intranet metrics can be open to interpretation. You can get some one-off strange anomalies that can be hard to explain. Different conclusions from the same set of results can be drawn. Before making any decisions on intranet ROI or the success of various intranet collaboration tools, make sure you’re interpreting the numbers in the right way. After all, correlation doesn’t always indicate causation.

You can be more objective by looking at trends which have been happening over a number of months and across more than one set of numbers, or by digging deeper to find out what’s been happening. Avoid jumping to conclusions on intranet user behaviour based on one single metric or number.

6. Align metrics with your intranet strategy

There’s a lot of information that can be gathered from measuring your intranet's performance. It’s worth having a sense check to ask “is this worth measuring?” before collecting the data." Mapping the numbers you choose to capture back to your intranet strategy and related objectives is a good way to find those metrics that reflect your deeper intranet aims.

Likewise, you can identify areas which you’re not really measuring, such as employee engagement metrics or intranet survey and feedback usage.

7. Use metrics at the site or community level

Part of the remit of central intranet teams is to support site and community managers, helping them to achieve standards, improve their sites and deliver best practices. Using metrics at the site level is an excellent way to prompt individual managers to improve their own sites, especially if benchmarked against other similar sites or communities across the platform.

8. Act on what you measure

There’s no point measuring for the sake of measuring. Intranet metrics should suggest interventions and actions, or help you make decisions that can improve company intranet success. The numbers may validate your decisions or show what resonates.

It’s important to act on what you measure, otherwise, all value from the exercise is gone. To make sure this happens, record regular reviews of metrics and associated actions as part of a formal review process. Your intranet metrics will then deliver real value.

Get started with measuring your intranet’s performance

For more information on how to improve intranet ROI while maximising workforce efficiency, read our Ultimate Guide to Measuring & Improving Intranet Success.

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The guide outlines what you should be measuring with a focus on 7 different areas:

1. Usage
2. User satisfaction
3. Engagement and participation
4. Mobile usage
5. Usability and productivity
6. Impact on other channels
7. Organisational KPIs

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