What is collaboration in G Suite?

What is collaboration?

Google, rightly, talks a lot about the importance of collaboration and about how G Suite enables and enhances the collaborative experience in the workplace.

We have thought hard about what collaboration might be and how we could measure it in the Google environment. Sharing a document with someone is not collaboration, it is a connection. Only when that document is read or edited does it become collaboration. Likewise firing emails off at targets is not necessarily collaborating with them, only when replies come and threads are built up do we start to collaborate. In all, Google currently gives us three areas where we can, with reasonable accuracy measure collaboration, these are documents, emails and calendar appointments.

From this data, you can estimate how each individual is collaborating (at least inside G Suite) with everyone else. However, for organizations, it can be even more interesting to understand how teams are performing and how strong the collaborative performance is over a period of time (by default we look at the last 6 weeks)

Group Analyses

As mentioned a collaboration score for an individual is useful to know, but in fact from a G Suite perspective the collaboration inside a group is something that is really interesting. Google groups are core to how we split up our workforce. Groups can cross OU boundaries and can often represent teams.

Groups collaboration needs to be measured along three axes, volume, degree and time.

Volume represents the amount of collaboration between the members of a group.

Degree represents the number of members each individual member collaborates with.

Time represents the period over which collaboration happens.

GAT, because of its highly accurate auditing can measure not just connections, but collaboration for not only docs, but also for emails and calendars. In addition it can do this over a period of time and because it understands Google groups, it can calculate both the volume and degree for each group.

Group analyses presents this information to you.

In a simple, yet powerful table, GAT pulls out every Google group on your domain (presents groups of 5 or more members by default but you can select smaller), looks at the internal behaviour of every member of each group over the the last 6 weeks (you can set your own time window) and then lets you rank the groups by highest average volume and/or degree of collaboration. In one click you can see which groups are working for you as collaborating groups and which you need to look at more closely to see if that group is still useful.

To explore a group in detail, just click on the group name. You will see the group is expanded to show you the individual detail behind the collected averages. This can be very useful to help identify the top collaborators in a group.

Using this data you can start to correlate other performance indicators with collaboration. You can now start to ask and answer questions like ‘do collaborating sales teams close more deals?’, ‘do collaborating support teams have higher customer satisfaction scores?’. It will also allow you to identify unnecessary groups, perhaps allowing for them to be formally wound up, allowing for the better use of resources.

Using some carefully chosen mathematics (to accommodate the fact that degree is upper bounded by group size) we blend both collaboration event and degree to give you a single unique ranking system taking into account both Volume and Degree. This will allow you to sift the highest collaborating groups to the top in a single sort.

Only with G Suite and GAT+ is this sort of analyses now possible.