Social Squared is a Discussion Board tool for Microsoft SharePoint and Microsoft Teams. Rather than using a single threaded discussion through the posts tab, Social Squared provides a structured forum for multiple discussions to take place through discussion topics that are organised into Forums and Forum Groups. Users can post questions within the relevant forum, subscribe to notifications so that they are alerted to new posts or replies, and also moderate posts with moderators set at forum level.
New topics can be created by members of the Team, or SharePoint site, and tagged so that other users can easily search or find your content.
The repository for the Social Squared Discussion board is SharePoint lists that are provisioned within the underlying SharePoint site. This structure provides great performance, and also authentication and authorisation through the Microsoft 365 tenant meaning that there is no additional user management other than what is already in place within Teams.
With the content being housed within your tenant and within SharePoint lists, we can easily report on that content using our Data Viewer. The Data Viewer is a tool designed for SharePoint and Teams that allows reports to be produced in Data Grid or Chart format on data sources such as SQL, Excel, SharePoint Lists, OData, Business Connectivity Services and other web parts using web part connections. The Data Viewer is therefore the ideal tool to use for reporting on Social Squared content and activity.
Below, you will see a dashboard containing multiple instances of the Data Viewer. The first instance (Unanswered Posts) is using the Data Viewers Grid View. Along with a calculated column, the age of each post can be easily created. Conditional formatting is configured on the calculated column to highlight in Red all posts that have gone unanswered for 20 or more days. Posts that have gone unanswered for 10-20 days are displayed in amber, which the remaining posts are displayed in green. This report can provide a fast way to determine if subject matter experts are responding in a timely manner to questions from team members.
The second instance is using the Chart view to display the number of posts per month, along with the number of votes and likes that each post within those months have been received. We’ll look into how this is configured later in this blog post.
The final instance of the Data Viewer is displaying the number of posts per forum within a Pie Chart view. The Data Viewer offers multiple types of Chart including Pie, Donut, Bar, Line, Column, Area, Gauges, and TreeMap.
To configure the “Number of Topics, Likes and Votes” chart, you can configure the Data Viewer to select the SS_Posts list as a data source. If this list is not shown, there is an option to display hidden lists within the Data Viewer.
Once the list has been selected, you can choose the required columns. Note that Topicid, Answered, Votes, and Likes are selected.
On the Display Tab, you can group by the Created Date by Month, and then perform an aggregate function on the remaining columns such as Topicid, Votes, and Likes. Each of these can be formatted to choose from certain types of chart element such as Column, and area.
The Data Viewer is completed flexible for you to design your charts and data grid in the way that you would like them to be displayed. The entire page can then be displayed within SharePoint or Microsoft Teams.