Get the most out of Delve in Office 365

Published on: February 14, 2017

Users continue to struggle to discover content in Office 365, due to the many locations documents can be stored. In 2014, Delve became available to Office 365 users. As activity happens across Office 365, new signals are introduced to the Office Graph. The signals contain information about user activity and document context.

Microsoft’s Office Graph powers Delve, the main user interface to this information. It allows users to see their own activity, as well as displaying activities and content from users around them. This includes the peers in their team, their manager and those they work with most often.

The benefit of Delve is that is shows content from across services within Office 365. Users can see:

  • documents from SharePoint
  • attachments in Outlook
  • videos in Office 365 Video

These documents are security trimmed, as outlined in the support documentation.

A recent update is that now takes you to the Delve page; there is no more a long SharePoint URL to remember.

Delve page example showing different features

Key scenarios

There are four main scenarios I use Delve for on a day-to-day basis.

1. People finding

Delve search for CVPs in company

Delve user profiles contain rich information on users. This includes their e-mail, job title, department, office location, skills, past projects, and education. Right now, searching by skills, projects, and education is only available to first release program customers.

I can find people by their photo, or department, or manager, when I can’t remember peoples names. I find this a powerful way to find people with certain expertise when I have questions. I also find it useful when I’ve been on conference calls or in large meetings.

2. Document stalking

Megan can see documents Patti Fernandez has been working on

One of my favorite past times when I was at Microsoft was looking at other users’ Delve profiles and seeing what documents they are working on. You only see the documents that you have access to, as it is security trimmed.

Using Delve I could discover feature spec documents that weren’t discussed in meetings and could raise in the next engineering meetings to ensure we all had visibility. Dean Virag, from our friends at Xgility, uses Delve to stay in contact with his other team members while he is out in the field. Check out their blog article here.

3. Board pinning

Marketing Strategy boards on Delve

On a day-to-day basis, I discover documents that are useful to me in the depths of SharePoint document libraries. I see so many people discovering documents and saving a copy to their own personal spaces. This version of the document becomes immediately out of date once the source is updated.

In Delve, you can create a board and pin documents to it, think of it as Pinterest for documents. You can also share the board with other users.

One big limitation, is you can only pin documents from the Delve interface. There is no way to pin from Office apps when they are open. It would also be great to get notifications of new pins, like Pinterest.

4. Analytics

My own MyAnalytics for a week at Hyperfish

There are plenty of insights across all the activity that the Office Graph is tracking. MyAnalytics shows users how they spend their hours: who they work with and who they’ve lost touch with, how much time they spend in meetings, as well as how much time they spend in documents and e-mail.

I find this useful to analyze whether I’m using my time productively. When I was at Microsoft, it was a great way of reminding me to reach out to those I’ve lost touch with. At Hyperfish, I see them all in the office each day so, for now, this feature isn’t as useful to me.

5. Mobile App

Delve Mobile App

The mobile app is available on each platform. I find this super useful to look up contact details and discover documents on the go. Get the app here for Android.

It does not have all the features as yet, like Boards. I do hope these come, as it is super useful when I want to read documents on my iPad.

Wrap up

Delve is a powerful gateway to the content in Office 365. I encourage you all to add Delve as a default tab in your browser and install it on your smart phone to keep in the loop.

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