Guide to Track User Activity in Office 365

Himanshu Goyal Himanshu Goyal Published On - 05 Aug 2019

Wait a minute! Is tracking the user’s activity in your organization beneficial?

In our opinion, we believe installing employee desktop viewer on the user’s system will let you know what your employees are up to. It not only compels employees to focus on their work but also improves the overall productivity in the organization.

But, what about Office 365 users’ activity? What if your employees are accessing their Office 365 account outside the office premises?

Well, you don’t have to worry about that as well because Microsoft provides activity reports feature that allows you to see how your employees are using Office 365 services. You can examine which users are using the service the most, or who don’t need an Office 365 license at all.

You can generate audit reports for up to 180 days, though reports are not created immediately (it takes 48 hours to generate last activity reports). So, how can you access audit reports in Office 365? Let’s see.

Viewing the Report Dashboard

It’s easy for an Office 365 administrator to check the report dashboard by following the below steps:

  1. Sign-in to Office 365 and go to the admin center.
  2. In the admin center, select Reports and then click Usage.
  3. Click Select a report in the upper corner to select from a list of all available reports to check for more information.

Make sure you have administrative rights to access this option. Office 365 reports are only accessible to Global Admins, SharePoint Admins, Exchange Admins, or Reports readers.

In the Office 365 admin center, you can access activity reports for multiple items, such as Email, Mailbox usage, Active users, Office activations, and many more. Here we will discuss how you can track user emails activity in the Office 365 admin center.

Email Activity Reports in Office 365 Admin Center

With email activity reports, you can analyze the email activity of your employees. Here’s how you can reach the Email Activity report:

  1. Go to Microsoft 365 Admin center and click Reports.
  2. Select the Email Activity widget on the Reports dashboard.

To know more about the earlier email activities of your employees, you can check the Activity and User charts.

Things to Know About Email Activity Reports

There are some things that you should know Email Activity reports before accessing them.

  • You can view email activity reports for up to 180 days. But, if you select a particular day in the report, the table will display only for the last 28 days from the current date.
  • It takes 24 to 48 hours to generate a report for any user activity.
  • The Activity chart helps you understand the trend of the number of email activities ongoing in your firm.
  • The User chart helps you know the unique users who are generating email activities. You can learn about the users who are sending, receiving, or reading emails.
  • Activity chart shows activity type like an email sent, received, or read against the selected date range.
  • The filtering options allow you to check the activity for the specific item like Sent, Received, or Read.
  • The activity table represents you with a breakdown of the email activities at the per-user level. It will display all the users that have an Exchange product assigned to them and their email activities. For example, User name displays the email address of the user, deleted date shows the date the user was deleted, Read actions is the number of time and email read action was recorded for the user, etc.
  • You can even export Email activity reports to Excel or .csv file by clicking or tapping the Export link. It will export the data for all the users that are using Office 365 email accounts.

Likewise, you can view activity reports for Mailbox usage, SharePoint site usage, Email apps usage, Office 365 groups, etc.
However, if you’re interested in viewing the licensing information, then you’ll need access to the Billing section. If you’re a global administrator, then you can follow the below steps to preview license information.

  1. To know how many licenses, you have assigned and unassigned, go to Microsoft 365 admin center and click Billing >> Licenses.
  2. Now, if you want to check the list of active users, then go to Users, and then click Active users. You can click the Views drop-down box to filter the list.

Conclusion

Having information regarding user’s activity in Office 365 allow you to manage your Office 365 in a better way. You can quickly analyze which users are using the most storage space, who is sending, receiving, or reading emails, or how many users are active or inactive. In this article, we talked about how you can track the email activities of your Office 365 users.