Microsoft Teams has come up as one of the hot new collaboration platforms for businesses and other professional sectors. With the features of setting teams and channels, online video calling, screen sharing, document sharing, audio conferencing, online meetings, and plenty of others, it is a comprehensive collaboration platform. But with such high functionalities, there is a rising concern that how much does Microsoft Teams tracks the users. In this blog, we are presenting all the details about what Teams tracks and who gets access to such analytics.
Microsoft Teams & its Tracking
To be quick and clear, Microsoft Teams is tracking and storing every single activity you do in Teams, such as joining a meeting, sending a message, the content of chat, duration of a meeting, and all other minor to major details. The purpose of such tracking isn't for Microsoft to store information about you, but it let organizations go back and retrieve the data about their employees during any kind of investigation or other purposes. Usually, only the HR or the compliance department of an organization has access to such data.
How to see Microsoft Teams Tracked Data?
To access the tracked data, you need to go to different admin centers inside the Office website. But you can only access such information if you are an "Admin" and might also have some higher authority. So, sign in to your account if you are eligible and go to the below stages to see the tracking data from different admin centers:
Stage 1. Microsoft 365 Compliance Center
Click on "Admin" from the vertical menu bar at left side after you have signed-in to your Office account. It will take you to the "Microsoft 365 Admin Center". Now click on "Show all" from the left side and then click "Compliance". You are now in the Microsoft 365 Compliance Center. Here you can access all the organization activities related to Microsoft 365 apps usage and also specifically related to Teams, such as private channels, direct messages, etc. From the left side, click "Show all", then click "Content search". Here you can search information Microsoft stored against specific keywords or search by directing writing the employee email id or name. The search will show all the stored information against the requested search element. For example, it will be showing the emails send by that employee and the other activities performed in Microsoft 365 associated apps.
Stage 2. Microsoft Teams Admin Center
From the Microsoft 365 Admin Center, click on "Teams" located at the bottom left side of the vertical menu bar. It will take you to the "Teams Admin Center". Now click on "Analytics & reports" and then "Usage reports". Here you can see several different types of reports, such as apps usage, PSTN blocked users, PSTN minute and SMS, Teams device usage, Teams live event, Teams usage, Teams user activity, and call diagnostics. Basically, this is the main place where almost all the data that Teams track and store is accessible in a user-friendly interface.
Stage 3. User-Level Information
From the Microsoft Teams Admin Center, click on "Users" from the menu bar on the left side. Here you will see all the users associated with your organization. If you click on any user, you will get all its Teams usage statistics, such as the number of meetings, call quality, call history, etc.
Stage 4. Higher-Level Reports
From the Microsoft 365 Admin Center, click on "Reports". You will see the option to view different reports, such as productivity score, usage, and security & compliance. These comprehensive reports help organizations to see how productive they are in utilizing Microsoft 365 apps, the amount of their usage, and lots of other valuable insights.
What if you don't have Access to Admin Center?
The above-listed insights are only accessible from Microsoft 365 Admin Center, but there are other ways to track such insights. If you are involved in Education, then Microsoft Teams gives you access to the "Insights" feature. Open Microsoft Teams, click on the ellipsis, search "Insights", and put it in the left menu bar. Now if you click on "Insights", it takes you to the dashboard where you can see daily active users based on the activities. You can select all activities or view specific ones, such as meeting, communication, files, and assignments over the specified time frame. From there, you can also generate "Report" which shows a user-level activity report for the specified time frame. For example, how much time the user spent on meetings, the number of meetings, replies, posts, etc.
Meeting Attendance Reports
Like in the case of Microsoft 365 Admin Center, the above "Insights" feature is also only accessible if you are a teacher within an education account. So, other than the above two approaches, Teams also gives meeting hosts an option to track users. During a meeting, open the participants view, click the ellipsis from the top right side and then click "Download attendance list". It will download a CSV format file that will show who joined the meeting, who left it, who rejoined, and similar other statistics.
Microsoft Teams is a feature-rich app of Microsoft that is going to become one of the widely used tools in organizations all over the world. Although it tracks every single activity performed in it, still the stored information is not accessible to everyone. Only the higher authorities or the HR/compliance department in an organization will have access to such data. Therefore, it is true that you are tracked by Teams, but the platform also ensures that your information is not easily accessible.