I’m writing this article to document and let you know about the most recent feature we are incorporating to our already famous Company Communicator variant.
As I said previously here in this blog, improved reporting is the number one request for customers using the platform and usually something that creates blockers for the deployment. No more!
What is Company Communicator Insights?
Company Communicator Insights – The analytics framework and insights dashboard that allows admins and authors, collect, analyze and report on company communicator activities.
Microsoft Power BI was used to collect data from the communication platform and generate interactive dashboards that provide a variety of insights and details.
The CC Insights Overview Dashboard provides information about notifications and related messages generated. You have access to the total number of notifications created, sent, the ones marked as important or scheduled.
The dashboard also plots a graphical view and offer detail on the top 10 most popular notifications sent. The popularity is calculated based on the user reach and number of read operations.
The CC Insights Notifications Dashboard offer more data for specific notifications, including details on each message sent as well as a graphical view of the total, failed and viewed messages.
When authors send notifications using the composer, they also have the chance to double click on the sent messages and get the number of reads for each one of the messages.
If you are excited about the reporting capabilities, note that you can even get more customized reports. We are providing a Power BI PBIX that can be edited and customized according to your enterprise or personal needs.
How can I use CC Insights?
You need to update your Company Communicator deployment with the latest code and then configure the PBIX file to point to your Azure storage account.
First of all, make sure you have the 4.1 version deployed, then follow the steps below to update the App Service and the three Azure Functions used by Company Communicator.
- Open your Azure Portal and authenticate using admin credentials.
- Open the resource group where you installed Company Communicator.
- Select the App Service being used by CC and click on Deployment Center, under Deployment.
- In Settings, click Disconnect under External Git.
- Click OK to disconnect your deployment.
- Under Source, select External Git.
- In Repository, type https://github.com/cristianoag/microsoft-teams-apps-company-communicator.git
- In Branch, type master
- Leave the Repository Type as Public, and click Save.
- Click Sync.
- The whole update process will take a few minutes. Make sure you see Success (Active) on the logs tab.
- Now repeat that for each one of the Azure Functions you have on the same resource group. Those are the resources listed as:
Power BI Configuration
Now that you updated the CC deployment, you need to download and configure the PBIX file. You can download it directly from GitHub clicking here.
Save the file on your computer and open it using Power BI Desktop. If you don’t have Power BI Desktop yet, install the latest version from the Windows Store.
When you have the file opened using Power BI Desktop, click on Tranform Data and then select Data source settings.
Select the data source that is available and click on the Change Source… button.
Provide the storage account name. You can get that name on your Azure portal, just select the storage account being used by your Company Communicator deployment and copy the name. It is usually available on the top left corner of the screen.
Click ok and then click Edit Permissions… now provide the Storage Account Access Key. You can get the key selecting the Access Keys, under Security + Networking on your Azure Portal. You may need to click Show Keys to see your key. Paste the value and click Save. Then OK and Close.
Now that you refreshed the credentials, go ahead and click on the Power BI Refresh Button. You will be able to see and interact with your data. You can also Publish the report and interact with its web version.
Please note that without a Power BI premium license you will only be able to interact with personally with the report. You won’t be able to share it with others and collaborate.
Disclaimer – The information contained in this blog post doesn’t represent the official Microsoft guidance or best practices. It is just the view of the author on current alternatives, implementations and workarounds for common issues and/or business needs. Please refer to official Microsoft documentation and evaluate carefully any steps, code or procedures documented herein. The author doesn’t offer any warranty. Use this information at your own risk.
October 15, 2021 at 2:34 pm
Cristiano, thank you for the amazing work on this! We are using the enhancements and having the multiple buttons and upload custom image features are amazing.
I was able to download and update the PBIX file with my storage account name and key, it’s pulling the correct data, except for one thing. I have noticed is that Views are not going up. It will track the total sent, succeeded and failed just fine, but views remain at 0. Do i have to have something enabled in Azure or Office 365 in order to be able to track the views of these chats?
October 15, 2021 at 3:51 pm
No. Just keep in mind that the tracking will only be done for future messages. The ones already sent will not have statistics.
October 15, 2021 at 4:17 pm
We did send a test message to validate the custom image and multiple button feature worked. The previous messages have no value, but the test messages we sent after implementing this update do have a value, but it’s 0. We confirmed that the users did receive the message and read it.
October 15, 2021 at 4:53 pm
Sent you an email so we can sort it out.
October 19, 2021 at 5:29 am
Great new feature, we’re in the middle of testing CC for use in our IT teams. I have set up the PBIX template but have the same issue as John V – the Views column is not populating even after new comms are drafted and sent. Have refreshed the data but it Views continues to show as blank.
October 19, 2021 at 9:25 am
Got it. I tried to repro the issue but I couldn’t, in my dev and test environments the readings are recorded ok. I’ll be checking John’s setup later today in an attempt to find out what is going on. Are you sending individual messages (per group or to all users) or posting messages into Teams channels? Asking that because with the current implementation, the framework only measures readings for individual messages, not for posts.
October 19, 2021 at 9:48 am
I’m selecting the option to send it as a Chat message to members of a Microsoft Team. I am a member of that Team and I receive the direct IM, open it up to read it but the View value remains blank in PBI. Should the API permissions of the app be updated in AAD to add something in to read this specific piece of data? Also just a note, I use the Teams web app for my test environment but not sure that’s relevant. Thanks in advance for any info you can provide!
October 19, 2021 at 12:21 pm
I tested and in my environments reads are being tracked ok. You can test syncing your deployment to master.debug. That is a version that will print the tracking URL in all cards sent by CC. URLs must be formed with a valid key and rowid of an existent record on the sent messages azure table.
October 19, 2021 at 5:44 pm
John’s issue was associated to cache. After you send the message and have someone reading it, go to the authors interface, click the message listed on the Sent Messages group and check if the reads were tracked there. You will see the number of reads there, together with the other indicators. Make sure you are using a client with the cache cleaned (you may use the web version to check). If the number is different than zero, then you can go to the PBIX file and refresh it clicking on the Refresh button. The report will be updated.
October 20, 2021 at 12:20 pm
So I think my issue must not be related to the PBIX template – I actually do not have any “Read” field at all in the “Results” section of my posts. Just the Success and Failure fields. I’ve installed version 4.1.4 of the app, should this Read indicator be visible on this version? Sorry for all the questions, I really appreciate your help!
October 20, 2021 at 12:46 pm
No Stephanie. 4.1.4 doesn’t have any of the new features. The “variant” I’m describing in this article is based on the version 4.1 and needs synchronization to a different GitHub repo before being used. You basically need to redeploy the app from the updated repo before see any of the new features. You won’t get reports on the version 4.1.4.
October 19, 2021 at 10:52 am
hi how are you ? in the power bi cc_insights the option of viewed message show blank ,i followed the instructions posted here, some tips do fix this ?
October 19, 2021 at 12:18 pm
Have you refreshed the PBI report after sending the messages? Do you see 0 when clicking on the message sent?
October 19, 2021 at 2:36 pm
hello, I’ve updated it, when I send a message through the cc it appears in the report how many were sent and failed, in powerbi the field with “blank” appears
October 26, 2021 at 3:34 pm
the report is ok the problem is that my cc is not computing views in most messages, how can i fix this please?
October 26, 2021 at 7:04 pm
Thanks Antonio for your time earlier today. We found a bug where duplicated messages were not being tracked. For those of you facing messages not being tracked, please resync App Services and Azure Functions again.
October 19, 2021 at 5:45 pm
After you send the message and have someone reading it, go to the authors interface, click the message listed on the Sent Messages group and check if the reads were tracked there. You will see the number of reads there, together with the other indicators. Make sure you are using a client with the cache cleaned (you may use the web version to check). If the number is different than zero, then you can go to the PBIX file and refresh it clicking on the Refresh button. The report will be updated.
October 26, 2021 at 11:40 am
hi how are you ? even after doing what I said in the report the views appear 0 in almost all messages as shown in the image below, do you know what I can do to fix this?
October 26, 2021 at 11:42 am
Hey. Your report already has all the views Antonio. Your image already has the number of views on the last column on the right. Your deployment is working ok.
October 26, 2021 at 3:13 pm
in this case, there were few messages that it detected that someone saw, most have 0
October 21, 2021 at 8:09 am
Thanks for the great work.
Is the feature from dev ” ability to have groups of authors targeting only a limited set of users” now also in the master Branch available/combined?
Thanks for all your work.
October 21, 2021 at 8:10 am
October 26, 2021 at 6:56 am
Hi Cristiano, what it counts exactly the “viewed” ? Clicks in an URL or something else?
October 26, 2021 at 11:43 am
We have a hidden image that accounts for the read operation. Each user accounts just one time. So the viewed is the number of users that read the message you sent. That number versus the amount of messages sent accounts for the popularity of the message.
October 27, 2021 at 5:58 pm
Hi Cristiano, thanks for the new features !!
It is possible to visualize the reactions (emoji like, heard, laugh, etc) and if the users press any of the buttons ?
October 27, 2021 at 7:18 pm
Here is the thing with reactions. The current backend framework I implemented here supports registration of reactions but Teams still doesn’t support adaptive cards with feedback controls (https://github.com/microsoft/AdaptiveCards/issues/3054). I can easily implement reactions using buttons with action urls, but those will make Teams open a browser just to record each reaction. I tested and the experience is just not good for the end users. I’m checking if I can leverage the BOT to collect the feedback, but that is something that needs more testing.
November 4, 2021 at 1:41 pm
Is it possible to insert line breaks in the messages?
November 4, 2021 at 3:00 pm
Use two blank lines to separate paragraphs.
November 9, 2021 at 6:14 am
I have tried it but in the final publication the line break does not appear, any other idea?
November 9, 2021 at 2:24 pm
I just checked and there is a Teams client bug opened for that. It is going to be fixed in the upcoming Teams client releases. Stay tuned.
April 15, 2022 at 4:52 am
Hello Cristiano, thanks for the amazing features. Where in the code is the hidden image for view tracking, and how are you able to keep track of unique users viewing it? I’d like to add an option to see which users have seen the message and who did not, rather than number of views. Do you think it is possible?
April 18, 2022 at 8:21 am
Two places. The SentNotificationsController has a tracking web method that is responsible to record the reading operation. The send Azure function builds the tracking url with the hidden message that is generated by the tracking web method.
April 18, 2022 at 6:35 am
With the newest update it only shows “Reads” without a number.
the dashboards shows the read-count but it doesn’t show it in the summary of the sent card.
how long does it takes to be populated?
Thanks for your help
April 18, 2022 at 8:17 am
That happens when you update only the App Service. You need to update it and all Azure Functions. Just click each Azure function, go to deployment center and click sync. Make sure the synchronization process finished correctly. You can click the log tab and check for the Success (Active) message.