Thought Leadership

5 Ways to Transform Microsoft Teams into an Insights Hub

We have all been there. You are in a meeting, and you need to know the latest information about the project. You ask someone, but they don't know. The next person you ask doesn't know either.

The process of getting the information you need is frustrating and time-consuming. Microsoft Teams can be your solution to this problem by transforming it into a data aggregation tool that solves the last mile problem of getting information to use in meetings, presentations, or reports.

Microsoft Teams as an Insights Hub

Imagine needing to search through thousands of files for some data scattered among various file types and inconsistent indexing. Computers are fast to seek and find answers from an overwhelming heap of information. But when you add human attributes of inquisitiveness, intuition, and decisiveness into the mix and refine your searches — the entire search process turns painstakingly slow.

Microsoft Teams can solve the last-mile problem that many businesses face, where new data is generated at a breakneck pace, but finding it all on one platform has proven challenging. While it was originally built for companies looking for a team collaboration app for internal communications, Teams is surprisingly nifty and effective in data aggregation.

Here, we'll show how you can transform Microsoft Teams into an Insights Hub that extracts content from different channels and surfaces it on a dashboard.

1. Teams as a Platform

What began as a mere chat-based workspace slowly evolved into a platform that integrates into a wide array of services, propelling Teams beyond basic chats and team collaboration app. Teams today is used by both small teams and large enterprises for more than just collaborating on projects in real-time.

Integrations are the key to getting work done in Teams. With integrations, you can easily start conversations, share files, collaborate on documents, and access your team’s data from within the app. Microsoft Teams naturally integrates with other Microsoft services such as SharePoint, OneDrive, and Yammer, but its integration with other services is also just as seamless.

Teams has integrations with many other popular applications such as Dropbox, Box, Salesforce, and Slack. You can also connect to third-party apps like Trello or Jira to get more done. These integrations make it easy for teams to collaborate on documents or share files without leaving the application.

Integrations with services like Data Studio 360, Power BI, ModuleQ, and Qlik Sense, ensure that users get access to the information they need in one place and helps them get their work done faster. All these integrations have made Teams a de facto part of enterprise technology in various industries like healthcare, education, finance, manufacturing, and retail.

2. Leverage Microsoft Viva in Teams

Microsoft Viva is an employee experience platform with a suite of apps that bring together enterprise information. The platform enables knowledge and resource sharing among employees, improving their productivity and efficiency.

But it’s when you start leveraging the power of Microsoft Viva in Teams that it really starts to get interesting. Microsoft Viva has six tools that turn Teams into a knowledge-sharing powerhouse:

  • Viva Connections. Delivers all news and resources related to the company straight to the employees. They get access to these on their desktops or on their handheld devices. The information is also readily available in Microsoft Teams.

  • Viva Topics. Topics uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to organize knowledge sources relevant to the organization and makes them accessible by creating a single page for each topic. Topics speed up the learning process — particularly during the onboarding of new employees. These topic pages show up as ‘Topic Cards’ in Microsoft Teams.

  • Viva Learning. This module makes it easy to integrate into existing workflows. All learning activities are readily available to employees in a snap. When integrated with Teams, employees can share learning contents among themselves through a simple Teams message.

  • Viva Insights. This tool focuses on improving the user’s health and well-being and provides a way to track habits and work patterns. All this gets delivered directly to Teams through a unified dashboard.

  • Viva Sales. A seller experience module that connects Office 365 to Microsoft Teams to help automate data capture into CRM. 

  • Viva Goals. This new feature allows for goal-setting and OKR management to help align teams. You can set your organization's strategic priorities and make sure that everyone is working towards enterprise objectives and goals. 

3. Aggregate Insights with ModuleQ's People-Facing AI

ModuleQ’s People-Facing AI delivers personalized, timely insights when they are most relevant to an individual. The platform uses highly accurate predictive analytics to ensure that all relevant information is being surfaced, without causing information overload or forcing a user to track down that information.

  • ModuleQ has deep third-party application integrations, which turns into a powerful data aggregator that generates timely reports and accurate insights, surfaced inside Microsoft Teams.

  • ModuleQ systematically arms users with personalized "must-know" insights and valuable content based on the context of their work data.

  • As users offer feedback on what works and what doesn’t, ModuleQ's People-Facing AI improves its ability to deliver only the most relevant information for that individual.

4. Connect the Power Platform

The Microsoft Power Platform is a set of tools and services that help organizations store, manage, and analyze their data. MPP is designed to make the data-driven world more accessible to companies.

All the tools in the Microsoft Power Platform are geared towards enabling users to process, build, and automate workflows in order to to make better business decisions. The Power Platform integrates with Microsoft Teams, allowing you to easily share “complex data simplified into easily understandable nuggets” and share them with your team in real-time.

Power BI, for instance, generates reports and insights from data, while Power Apps helps build custom low-code/ no-code apps, and Power Automate can automate recurring and menial tasks.

And you can bring up any of these powerful tools in your Microsoft Teams with a single click. They usually reside in their own tabs in your Teams dashboards, and you can fetch any of the information without too much of a fuss.

5. Create a Data-Driven Culture

A data-driven culture values data, feedback, and metrics. It is a culture where the team members are not afraid to use data to make decisions and take action. When you adopt a data-driven culture, you make more informed decisions, improve customer satisfaction, increase employee productivity, and reduce costs.

Microsoft Teams encourages a company to adopt a data-driven culture, which can be used for both internal and external collaboration. Such culture makes it easier for teams to share their knowledge and resources with one another. A few ways Microsoft Teams can enhance and cultivate a data-driven culture include:

  • Provides ease of access to data insights and analytics.

  • Centralizing collaboration on easy-to-use platform for data visualization, management, and analysis.

  • Intuitive interface is easy to use and understand, with a variety of features that are useful for most types of users, from analysts to executives.

  • Provides tools that allow users to easily import data from other sources and connect with other applications such as Excel, Power BI, Tableau, or RStudio.

  • Scalable platform designed to grow as the company’s requirements grow.

Wrapping up

Microsoft Teams is an excellent hub for teamwork that provides insights on what you need to do, who you need to talk to, and what needs your attention. You can see who’s available and what they’re working on in real time so that you know when they have time to talk or help with a project. It has room for teams of all sizes — whether it’s just two people or an entire company, Microsoft Teams has the tools needed to make collaboration easy. Teams also offers an in-built data visualization tool Power BI, and it enables you to create interactive reports, dashboards, and visualizations.

If you haven’t been using Microsoft Teams for data aggregation needs, then now is the time to change that.