Reporting against a collaboration environment – meaningful metrics

chartI have an interest in reporting against Alfresco for a while. But more in general, what do you want to know about your ECM system, or maybe a collaboration tool in general? I am preparing some sample reports for a new release of my Alfresco Business Reporting project/tool, and I am running into some questions about meaningful metrics. (I prefer to see standard Alfresco Share as a target to report against.)

There are (at least) 3 types of roles interested in reporting against a (collaboration) repository;

  1. People responsible for maintaining the system – who has access, who is abusing the system, who has what permission against a site/project/folder/file, who do login, and what accounts happen to fail logging in and how often, who are external users but having the power of a SiteManager/Project owner?
  2. Quality-like people – how is the environment used? What Sites/projects are used, what Sites/projects can be archived, who are good contributors, what content has been updated, what content has been stored but never changed again?
  3. Specific business uses – different for each business. Overview of why specific processes are overdue, Overview of publication frequency per region of the world, personal ‘expense reports’ based on ‘bookings’ modelled in the system,…

I think I got category 1 covered already by the tool. Category 3 is interesting use, but  not generically reusable.

Category 2 is the category 0f interest for now.

In my world, I see some Sites are actually being used, some Sites have their content dumped-in at day one, and never touched again. Some sites have content added now and then, and existing content revised now and then. Some sites were ‘in use’ for a period of time, but content has not been added or modified for x months now.  It is better to backup your project documents in the ECM repository and never touch again, because then we know it exists. But ‘good use’ of the tool is something different. What are meaningful ways of listing/ranking my Sites/projects by ‘good use’? You should know how your repository is being used in order to act if the use is not as intended.

What is ‘good use’?

Possible parameters having influence on ‘good use’

  • Number of active users in a site/project (making edits)
  • Number of versions of a document
  • Variation in creation/modification date of all content in a Site/project
  • Time since last modification of any content in the Site/project (it could have been ‘good’ in the past)
  • view count would be interesting (but doubtful too, as well as it can be heavy load on the system)

What is a meaningful metric?

  • percentage of content having more than one version
  • average number of versions per document?
  • average number of versions per updated document?
  • average number of days between updates of any piece of content? Or of the content having most versions? Last updated?
  • average number of days between creation date and last modified date?
  • number of users with write) access to a site versus the number of users actually creating or modifying
  • number of users creating content versus number of users modifying content

Anyone a thought to share? Experiences with this quantifying ‘good use’? Please post your reply in the box below…

Thanks in advance!

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