I have seen over time that new users have asked about reporting in SharePoint. Usually it is in a forum post which isn’t always the best place to provide an answer as the answer can be quite detailed, so I decided to do a write-up and if someone asks, I can direct them here instead of re-writing in a medium that isn’t quite as nice for the requirements of the answer. Not only that, I have seen blog posts with posts that are only about one report and not about any of the others. I would like to discuss all the OOTB reports in one place so anyone looking can find them all. This isn’t going to be anything new or cutting edge for the experienced SharePoint user. It’s intended for the person that is new to SharePoint or looking for basic info on SharePoint.
To put it bluntly, SharePoint doesn’t have a lot of OOTB reporting. You aren’t going to find a lot of user reports or detailed usage logs within SharePoint. Microsoft provides methods to build reports, but doesn’t provide a lot within SharePoint itself. Companies like AvePoint, Share-Gate and Metalogix have provided user teams with much needed reporting, but we are here to talk about what SharePoint gives you OOTB.
SharePoint Web Analytics (SharePoint 2010)
While I know that we are in 2016 and SharePoint 2013 has been out for 3+ years, I still want to include this even though it was pretty much removed in SP 2013 (at least as Service). What is left of Web Analytics has moved to be part of the SharePoint Search Service in SP 2013 and (I am assuming) SP 2016 as well. It was removed because it didn’t scale well in large enterprise environments. More information on this can be found in the feature change list of SP2010 to SP2013.
SharePoint web usage analytics will meet the needs of most businesses. It provides OOTB reporting on site traffic, search usage and even system inventory (number of sites, space used, etc). You are able to view reports at different levels within your environment. These levels include per web application, per site collection, per sub site and for search you can view per search service in your farm.
Enabling Web Analytics in SharePoint (SP 2010)
- Access Central Admin of your farm and select Manage Service Applications under Application Management.
- Fill in the fields as necessary (create a proper name, select or create a new application pool, etc)
- Update the DB Server as needed and set the staging and reporting DBs to fit your farm’s naming scheme.
- Set your retention period (don’t put out too far as the space required will out-way the benefit of the data)
- Click Ok to provision the service.
Not done yet
- Select System Settings from the Quick Link section on the left.
- Find Web Analytics Data Processing Service and Web Analytics Web Service. Enable both of them.
Ok, now you are done.
Viewing Web Analytic Reports (SP2010)
Web Analytics provided three flavours of reports:
- Traffic based reports – Reports on Page views in your site, referrals to your site, top users of your site and things like top daily user, frequent browsers and such.
- Search based reports – Reports on number of searches, most used search terms, searches with high failure rate (search didn’t return anything so user searched again or left entirely), etc)
- Inventory based reports – Reports on site architecture (no. of sites, space used, etc).
View Sub-Site Reports
To access the reports click on Site Actions – Site Settings. Next click on Site Web Analytics reports under the Site Actions section.
From there you can select the type of report that you wish to view. And how far back you want to go (just remember to be on the Analyze tab). You can create custom reports but today I am just showing you what is OOTB.
View Site Collection Reports
To access the Web Analytics Report Site Collection, you actually need to be at the site collection level. The steps to access it are the same (Site Actions – Site Settings), but his time you will notice there is both a Site Web Analytics reports and a Site Collection Web Analytics reports link under Site Actions. Obviously this time we want this second report:
The report page looks very similar to the web report, but you have a few more options available to you. You now have some more inventory options and an entire section on search:
Usage Reports (Web Analytics) in SharePoint 2013
With SharePoint 2013 there are no services to enable. Web Analytics within SP2013 is a feature of search and are now known as Usage Reports. So if you have search enabled (and I hope you do) then the usage reports will also be available to you… at least as far as SharePoint provides OOTB. To access the reports you simply click on the gear (sprocket) and select Site Settings. Like SharePoint 2010, the site collection reports are not available to you unless you are at the site collection root level. From there you are looking for one of two options:
- Sub-Site Reports: Popularity Trends
- Site Collection Reports: Popularity and Search Reports
SharePoint 2013 Web-level Web Analytic Report
Like other Sharepoint Audit Reports, the usage report is simply an export that SharePoint generates for you into an Excel report. It is very basic, compared to what you got in SP2010. In fact you only get number of site hits and unique users. Broken up by Day and Month. It does give you some graphs to go along with it, but then again, so does SP2010.
View Site Collection Web Analytic Report
Like SP2010, you get more at the site collection level. In SP 2013 you get the following usage reports OOTB:
- Usage – Exactly the same as the sub-site level report, except reports on all access to the site collection.
- Number of Queries – Provides the number of times search was utilized. Creates a tab for each search scope within the site collection and a summary of all (so you will have two tabs if only one scope enabled).
After the Usage reports, SharePoint also provides a number of Search specific reports to run:
- Top Queries of the Day – Shows the top queries of the day. Each tab is a different day within the previous two weeks
- Top Queries of the Month – Shows the top queries of a month. Each tab is a different month for the past year
- Abandoned Queries (Day and Month) – Reports on queries that didn’t result in solution clicks.
- No Result Queries (Day and Month) – Often used queries that didn’t return any results.
- Query Rule Usage (Day and Month) – Shows how often your specific query rules (if you have any created) are used within searches.
All reports generate Excel spreadsheets and do not contain raw data like other audit reports.
Library and List Reports
One feature that you didn’t have with SharePoint 2010 is the ability to see the usage reports for a specific List or Library. You can view how often a document is accessed by different people and you can see the which documents in a library are accessed the most often. You will get a usage report the same as the ones above, but for that file specifically. Getting the information is pretty straight forward:
- Select the item you wish to view the usage of
- Click on Files
- Click on Popularity Trends
To get a report of the most used documents in an entire library do the following:
- Click on Library
- Click on Most Popular Items
You will now be presented with a search results screen that will display recent file access as well as the number of times the document has ever been accessed. Also, because you are in search you can look at the most popular items by file-type, by author and over specific times OOTB. I would show you a screen shot, but my demo environment doesn’t have any analytics to report and I can’t use my clients’ results for obvious reasons.
So that’s it for Web Analytics in SharePoint. I hope this helps answer any questions you have concerning SharePoint Web Analytic reports and what is available to you OOTB.
Thanks for reading!
Images are missing in this post
Thank you for letting me know Cynthia. I recently moved to a new host and I guess some of these links were broken. I will have to go through them and update. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.