MyAnalytics: What is it? How Does it Work? How Can it Help Me?

What is MyAnalytics for? Ultimately, to Help You to Improve Your Productivity.

The purpose of MyAnalytics is to provide a dashboard within Microsoft 365 that shows your work patterns for the last 4 weeks; focus, wellbeing, network, and collaboration.

For example, how much time you had to focus, your number of quiet days, the people you collaborated with, and your time spent collaborating. So, those 4 sections on the home page of MyAnalytics are then available as 4 options that can be found using the menu on the left.

Screenshot of MyAnalytics dashboard

There are four sections on the homepage

Where Can I Find MyAnalytics?

MyAnalytics can be found within Microsoft 365 either by searching the Apps, see below, or by going to: https://myanalytics.microsoft.com, where you will be asked to sign in using your Microsoft 365 subscription details.

List of apps within a desktop

Microsoft can be found within Microsoft 365 apps

What is ‘Focus’ Within MyAnalytics? What is the Focus Edition?

The question that the Focus section begins with is:

“Do you have enough uninterrupted time to get your work done?”

The purpose of the focus option is to help you to have more focus, thereby improving your productivity. This section helps you to schedule time for you each day to get focused work completed, and also gives you insight. For example: ‘During working hours, you read over three-quarters of your emails within 30 minutes of receiving them’.

Screenshot of MyAnalytics Focus edition

The MyAnalytics Focus Edition

 

If you work through the focus plan selecting options of how much focus time you want and how often, then it adds this to your diary:

Screenshot of a calendar with 'focus time' slots

The focus plan can then be added to your diary

What is ‘Wellbeing’ Within MyAnalytics?

The question that the Wellbeing section begins with is:

“Explore: Are you able to disconnect and recharge?”

This section is all about making sure that you get enough rest to do what you need to do well. Insights such as, ‘You compromised your nightly recharge every day last month by working past midnight.’ provides a stark fact that we need to look after ourselves more. Yes, it can seem a little like a gym membership, nagging away that we need to go to the gym. Also, it can be a good reminder that working past midnight is not a good work/life balance.

What are Quiet Days?

Quiet days are based on whether you send and read emails, attend meetings, take calls, or send chats during your quiet hours. Your quiet hours are outside your working hours of 08:00 to 17:00 and also include your weekends. This matters, according to Microsoft because people who disconnect daily from work report lower levels of stress and anxiety.

What is ‘Network’ Within MyAnalytics?

The question that the Network section begins with is:

“Explore: Are you growing your network?”

This section shows the people that you collaborate with, in total and how many are active. I am struggling to find the real value in this section beyond an ‘ok, cool’. But the ‘map view’ of collaborators is nice to look at though. Just toggle on the ‘List’ option in ‘Top Collaborators’.

Screenshot of MyAnalytics Network page

The network section shows people you can collaborate with

What is ‘Collaboration’ Within MyAnalytics?

Screenshot of the MyAnalytics collaboration section

Collaboration let’s you work with others

The question that the Collaboration section begins with is:

“Explore: Could your time working with others be more productive?”

The collaboration section is split into 3 parts; Weekly average, meeting habits and communication habits.

Weekly Average

The weekly average shows your collaboration percentage. This is an estimate of the time you’ve spent in the last 4 weeks in meetings, email, chats, and calls. It is measured as a percentage of your working week which is based on the activity in your working hours. It matters because Microsoft believes that ‘47% of meetings are considered unproductive’.

Screenshot of Weekly average section of MyAnalytics

Your weekly average shows you how you’ve split your time

Meeting Habits

This section is useful because it shows how many hours you spent in meetings & whether you arrived on time, and your overlaps with other meetings. This is how MyAnalytics looks at this data:

  • During working hours – meetings you organised or accepted during your working hours.
  • High attendance – meetings you organized or accepted that had > 50% response rate.
  • No emails or chats during the meeting – meetings during which you did not send a significant number of emails or chats.
  • Invitations sent with at least a day’s notice – invitations you sent with > 24-hour notice before scheduled start time.
  • Online meetings joined on time – Skype for business online or Teams meetings you joined on time.
  • No overlap with other meetings – meetings you organized or accepted which did not overlap with another meeting​.

The meeting habits tool can have a habit of telling us off. For example, the number of times we chatted during a meeting can make us reply with, ‘They asked for a link in the chat’, rather defensively. Or, ‘I’m always late attending because of my boss!’. Ultimately, this tool is checking our habits based on some simple rules. Used positively, meeting habits can serve as a handy reminder of how we can be more productive.

Screenshot of MyAnalytics meeting habits page

Meeting habits shows you the types of meetings you’ve attended

Communication Habits

This section is the most useful of MyAnalytics because it shows data that we have never been able to see – emails sent and emails read. On a 4 weekly rolling basis you can see how many emails you sent, how many you read, and your busiest ’email hours’. This is very useful if your business is ’email locked’, and wanting to reduce your emails – Ask us. We can help with this.

Screenshot of Communication Habits section of MyAnalytics

Your communication habits show you how much time spent on emails, calls and meetings

If you find that your emails are not being sent when you thought, it is likely that your timezone is wrong. To check your timezone, go to configuration settings on the bottom left of your screen and then head to ‘Change time zone’.See below:

How do I Use MyAnalytics in Outlook?

Within Outlook MyAnalytics works in a similar way. Only more concentrated on helping you to be more focused by asking you to set a lunch break, prepare for an upcoming meeting, deal with outstanding tasks, etc. The 3 most useful pieces are reminding you to add a contact that Outlook has found in an email, to your contacts, viewing outstanding tasks you have created, and offering you to book focus time for yourself.

Screenshot of how to use MyAnalytics in Outlook

This is how your MyAnalytics will look in Outlook

How Can You Change the Configurations?

You can update your configurations to change the days of the week that you work and the hours that you work. By changing these options to better reflect your working pattern, the insights from MyAnalytics will be more accurate. See below.

Screenshot of the MyAnalytics Configuration page

Your configurations can change the days you work

The configurations page means you can update your timings during your working week

Can Employers see MyAnalytics?

This technology can seem a bit odd. ‘My productivity is being measured’ – ‘They can see what I am doing’. The truth is yes. Your employer can view the same information as you – MyAnalytics. This can seem a little ‘Big Brother’.

Over the last few decades as people and as employees we have had to debate the morals of public CCTV, phones being tracked with GPS, and now employers potentially reviewing our productivity. Our opinion on this topic is that an employer should review the productivity of their people. That is part of their responsibility to their shareholders and customers, to ensure that each employee is providing value for money. The difference is the key in how it is managed.

Is it Private?

A good employer will review the average information across the workforce and offer coaching and training to improve where they see opportunities to do so. Alternatively, to use the information to inform a personal development plan, or to encourage an employee to use the information to seek support to improve. After all, most people want to be the best version of themselves.

On the other hand, a bad employer will use the information to make judgements about productivity and make decisions accordingly. We believe that the future of this technology is to get better, providing more data, and insight into how we can improve our productivity. Our choice is therefore whether we use it. Personally, here at MBM, we’ll be embracing this change and seeing it as an opportunity to improve.

Privacy Policy

Microsoft explain their privacy policy about MyAnalytics and it is summarised in these 6 points below:

  • It is not designed to enable employee evaluation, tracking, automated decision making, profiling, or monitoring.
  • MyAnalytics does not give employees access to new personally identifiable information on other coworkers.
  • The data is processed and stored in the employee’s Exchange Online mailbox.
  • MyAnalytics supports General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance.
  • It can be configured so that individuals must purposefully opt-in.
  • MyAnalytics reminds people that their data is private and secure.

How do I Turn it Off? Why Did I Get a MyAnalytics Email?

When you are signed in to MyAnalytics you will notice a gear icon at the top right of the screen. See below. By clicking this gear icon you can then switch off ‘Generate insights…’ to turn off MyAnalytics. If you keep the insights turned on you can also have a weekly email sharing your productivity insights. However, if you are opt-out, you can opt back in at any time.

Screenshot of the MyAnalytics Collaboration page

You are able to turn off your weekly update email at any time

What Plan Level do I Need to see MyAnalytics?

You can find out here about the various Microsoft plans and which ones have which level of MyAnalytics.

Screenshot of the MyAnalytics plans

You can get many different plan on MyAnalytics

Plus, to find out which Microsoft plan you have that can be done here.

Screenshot of MyAnalytics own plan page

You can also find out what plan you currently have

Concluding Thoughts

I believe that Microsoft is on a journey to support us to be more productive. The tool is a little basic and based on rules, but I think it will develop into a useful tool that can help us to be more productive. Many people will be concerned by an employer spying on their stuff, which is understandable. But, similar to the introduction of the web, it can be a force for good and a force for good. Employers that choose to use this tool to support their employees to improve will therefore win, and I hope that’s how it will be used.

For me personally, I am just getting to grips with MyAnalytics and using it to help clients to monitor and manage their use of email. In order to, hopefully, enable them to not be imprisoned by email. But to realise that it is a tool that has its place in the modern working environment, but so does speaking with people, inspiring them, and still being ‘human’.

You can find the complete Microsoft 163-page book (pdf) on MyAnalytics here.

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