It’s hard to overestimate how much easier the introduction of Microsoft Teams made it for pretty much everyone to work together and collaborate in many different ways. However, there are still some issues that are capable of tampering with the massive potential that Microsoft Teams provides – lack of education or knowledge about different parameters and capabilities of Teams, a habit of leaving inactive Teams groups inside of the system, which generates confusion and cluttering, and so on.

We can elaborate a bit more when it comes to the topic of group management – especially when we’re talking about big projects with a massive number of Teams groups. In this case, even the platform as flexible as Teams would be troubled with handling this amount of clutter – especially if a part of these groups is a literal dead weight and is not used on a regular basis, or groups that have been created for a specific purpose and never deleted after that.

Of course, there is a solution to this problem or even several different solutions. For example, we can just delete the inactive groups to fix the problem – but what would you do in a situation when you have a massive enterprise with hundreds of Teams groups to sort through? That’s right, you’ll try and find a reporting feature inside of the software you’re using.

Luckily enough, Microsoft Teams has such a feature, and it’s called “Microsoft Teams Usage report”. It can be found in the “Analytics & reports” section of your Microsoft Teams admin center, in the “Usage reports” tab. This allows you to see an entire page dedicated to Microsoft Teams reporting feature, with two main tabs – “View reports” and “Down/loads”. Both of these names are a clear indication of what each tab allows you to do.

Before we’ll continue with this process, it is important to mention that the ability to generate usage reports is only available to the Teams users with specific role/status. It could be a global administrator, a product-specific administrator, or a reports reader. Either way, these are pretty much the only positions that would allow you to generate reports in the first place – even channel owners do not have such an ability.

The “View reports” section is chosen by default, and you have several different report types to choose from – Teams device usage, Teams live event usage, Teams user activity, Apps usage, Information protection license, and more. Each of those report types has its own use case, but we’re going to focus more on one specific report type – Teams usage report.

Teams usage report is a type of report that represents information concerning how active are different groups in your Teams environment. As with any other report type, Teams usage report can be generated for several different periods of time – 90, 30, or 7 days. Clicking the “Run report” button generates your Teams usage report on that same page.

There are two main parts of any Teams report: a large diagram as a higher part of the report, and a list of information under the said diagram. Additionally, said report can also be customized in a certain way. For example, here are some of the initial information types that you’ll be able to see on your diagram after generating your Teams usage report:

  • Number of mentions
  • Number of messages posted
  • Active channel count
  • Channel message count
  • Reply count, etc.

What’s interesting is that you can customize this diagram by hiding or showing each of these parts individually. All you have to do is to click on one of the parameters in the “Legend” section under the diagram. Additionally, there’s a list below your diagram that shows all of the information in slightly more detail, as well – with the number of messages, guests, and channels for each Teams group.

That’s not to say that the only information you can see is what you’re presented with after generating a Teams usage report – you can always add (or delete) more columns to the list below the diagram by clicking the “gear” icon in the higher right part of the screen and choosing whichever parameters you want.

While Teams usage report is a rather helpful one, generally speaking – it’s still only general information, and more often than not it’s not enough to generate a definite conclusion about which groups are inactive and have to be deleted. There’s also the fact that Teams usage report, as well as any other report that was generated from inside Microsoft Teams, only goes back as far as 90 days – meaning that you won’t even see a group in your report if it has been inactive for more than 90 days already.

We’ve shown already that Microsoft Teams is capable of generating a number of different report types when it comes to Microsoft Teams usage, in general. But it would be wrong to say that only Teams can create these reports. In fact, there are many different alternatives out there – and one of them is even made by Microsoft themselves, called Microsoft 365.

Since the admin center structure for MS Teams and MS 365 is quite similar, it would be fair to expect them to have the same approach to report generation. In this case, reporting feature could be found in the “Usage” tab under the “Reports” category. Since we’re not generating reports from inside Teams, there are only two categories available for report generation: device usage report and user activity report.

Other than that, it’s fair to say that the report interface is extremely similar for Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365, with diagrams, long detailed user lists, and so on. The only major difference that can be noticed here is the fact that Microsoft 365 allows you to switch between different reporting periods on the fly, going from 7 days to 30, 90 or 180 in a single click. And there’s also the fact that MS 365 reports are extremely slow and often have a delay of 30 days, or even more (meaning that, if you’re requesting a report on Nov. 1, you’ll only get information for Oct. 1 and earlier).

That’s not to say that there are no other options for Microsoft Teams reporting – in fact, there’s an entire market of those, and having a third-party appliance to handle your Teams reports is preferable in most cases. 


  • Mike Souheil

    Author / Writer

    I am a professional blogger/writer and have been writing as a freelance writer for various websites. Now I have joined one of the most recognized platforms in the world.