If you don't improve, you're left behind - that's the maxim of the modern workplace. Ensuring optimal use of data, analytics and AI by everyone is critical to ongoing learning and informed business decision-making. Microsoft 365 has powerful capabilities that empower you to make better, data-driven decisions.

KPIs and dashboards

Constant distractions make it difficult to keep employees focused on the few KPIs that really matter in the business. To create a shared sense of purpose, you can use the analytics capabilities in Excel and Power BI to create and publish a dashboard where key business metrics can be viewed by people across the organization. These dashboards can be created by virtually anyone and can also be accessed via the web or a mobile device. They give employees the power to visualize business data, gain deep insights, perform in-depth analysis, and understand how their actions affect overall results and priorities. Searches can even be formulated in natural language. Data prepared in diagrams or graphics is then returned. For example, consider creating a dashboard to monitor sales growth, gross margin, and customer satisfaction. Employees could then not only gain insight into this important data but also identify trends by geographic location, product line or customer segment.

Employee insights

Many of our activities in private life are now measured and recorded. You can record the number of steps you walk or your calorie consumption. You can even measure how often you wake up during the night. The goal is always the same: increase health, happiness and well-being. It is interesting, however, that many of us lack this consistency in our work habits, even though we spend almost half of our waking hours at work. This is where My Analytics comes in. The service provides employees with a personal dashboard where they can see what and with whom they spend their time at work. Data-driven changes in work habits can significantly increase productivity: those who use My Analytics typically saves four to five hours a week through more efficient meetings, shorter emails, and proactively freeing up time for important tasks. It is also important that My Analytics protects the privacy of the individual. The personal data on the dashboard is only visible to the employee himself.

Enterprise-wide insights

It is often not easy for decision-makers to track down serious problems that are slowing down productivity in the company. Here, for example, the following questions arise: How should the work areas of the employees be organized in order to optimize company-wide cooperation? How can characteristics be identified and promoted that increase productivity in sales? How do we contain employee motivation problems and maximize efficiency? Workplace Analytics can help you make better business decisions. Workplace Analytics provides meaningful insights into how your organization works using aggregated and anonymized email and meeting data from Office 365 and company-specific data sources. Use them to become more productive.

Entrepreneurial aspects

As part of fostering a new work culture, there are also new ways to manage and secure the productivity infrastructure—while minimizing cost and human impact. Microsoft 365 convinces Macs, PCs, and common mobile platforms alike with simple and effective administration and supports you with a number of intelligent security functions in meeting these requirements.

Leverage the built-in security and compliance capabilities of Microsoft 365 to successfully address complex security threats and important new compliance requirements such as the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). These advanced capabilities process myriad signals from the Microsoft Intelligent Security Graph to protect employee credentials, thwart advanced phishing attacks and protect critical company data from falling into the wrong hands. Microsoft 365 complies with key industry standards such as ISO 27001, HIPAA, and FISMA. With advanced compliance capabilities, you can meet data residency requirements, respond to eDiscovery requests, and ensure data is properly classified, managed, and archived.

You may be wondering what your first steps on the way to the modern workplace could look like. We've created a customer success service, Microsoft 365 consulting, to help you get business value fast. Part of the Microsoft 365 plans, this resource provides a set of best practices, tools, resources, and experts to help IT pros plan, deploy, and transition to the solutions needed for rapid change.


We know that transforming the employee experience isn't easy. On the one hand, sustainable changes in this area require the right digital solutions, but on the other hand, sustainable action by decision-makers. In conclusion, we make the following recommendations:

• Simplify idea generation and reduce the time from idea to prototype with new co-authoring, inking, 3D, and business intelligence capabilities in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneDrive

• Capture, bundle, and share ideas from any device with digital notes in OneNote

• Find and use relevant information and integrate internal and external experts - with personal insights and integrated LinkedIn profiles

• Ensuring that employees can be productive on the go by promoting Office apps such as Outlook, OneNote, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint on employees' mobile devices

• Encourage employees to create a central place for teamwork, especially when starting important projects or forming virtual teams - with Microsoft Teams

• Maximize meeting productivity and engage participants better with Microsoft Teams voice/video meetings and Microsoft Whiteboard inking capabilities

• Foster a sense of community and motivation among employees with regular employee meetings and the creation of a company-wide Yammer platform for discussions on key topics

• Make internal training and employee communication
more effective - with the enterprise video service Microsoft Stream

• Keep management up to date on various topics and modernize distribution lists with the new group functions in Outlook

• Build data culture and shared purpose with dashboards and reports available to all team members using PowerBI

• Help employees adopt healthier work habits (how and with whom they spend their time) with the intelligence of MyAnalytics

• Identify and address the critical issues that are preventing your organization from being productive with the analysis and reporting capabilities of Workplace Analytics

• Defend against advanced security threats and meet compliance requirements like GDPR with solutions built right into Microsoft 365

Al Rafay Consulting will accompany you on this path and support you in promoting a new work culture in your company.

Author's Bio: 

Office 365 has been the foundation of business for many years. We help businesses make the most out of it through our Office 365 consulting services.