Understanding Group Activity email and file sharing

Groups inside Google are phenomenally interesting and at GAT we spend quite a bit of time thinking about them. At a simple level, a group can act as an email alias for a function, ‘sales@generalaudittool.com’.  A group can also form a platform for email collaboration, ‘new-ideas@generalaudittool.com’. It can also form the basis of a mini-community, ‘development@generalaudittool.com’, where the group name can be used as the basis for sharing documents, emails, access rights, etc.

In reality, any group once established, tends to function to varying degrees in all three roles inside the organization. In addition, you have the situation that members of one group are often members of other groups. Looking at the output of the members, you can never tell if the mail is group related.

GAT+ does a very comprehensive analyses of groups to find when they are last used OR next likely to be used. The results are sorted on the first column.

You will see some groups say ‘In a year’ for last used. This means they have calendar appointments to which groups have been invited for up to 1 year in the future. Removing these groups will remove the invites to the members.

We also check under email (where everyone thinks of looking), under file shares (where groups are used to share files to collections of users) and under group events. such as when a group was active in having a membership change for example.

With GAT+ Groups  you can see some important details

1) How busy, in general, members of that group have been.

Under the ‘Groups’ audit, select the Last used, the search for the group you are interested in, then Admin can view the usage of this group in terms of Drive, Email and Calendar activity 

2) The amount of email sent specifically to any Group (where the group is viewed as a collection of members), which domain and which user it came from (internal or external).

Here we use GAT+ Email audit we search for the group we are interested in. 

In the example above we are searching for emails sent to an email group. Once the result is found and displayed we simply select Sender/Receiver tab. 

Here we can see in the table everyone inside and outside the organization involved in sending email to that group address and the volume of email involved.

A list of Internal and External senders and receivers to the selected email address. 

In addition, you can search for all the emails sent ‘from’ a particular group address, which will expand the search for emails sent From and To group email address and all details alongside. 

3) To what degree that group is directly involved in document sharing and collaboration

In this case, we go to the ‘Groups audit on the homepage.

In this audit we can search for a group of interest and from there we can see details like the Group email and File use date showing when a member of the searched group last used a Drive file.