This is part 3 in a 3 part series on the topic of analyzing Notes database usage. The goal is to help you understand what to look for when determining how much your Notes databases are being used.

Ask users if they are using the database 

There are many times when the database usage information seems to be incomplete or insufficient to make a decision on rationalization. In most cases, it is prudent to contact database owners and/or primary database users with a simple survey.

You can look for names of possible database owners in the database Access Control List (ACL), About Database document, and Using Database document. Names of primary database users can be found by looking at who created or modified most of the documents in the database - see the second blog post in this series.

You can use whatever survey application available in your organization. Ideally, you want to have a notification and a reporting capability.

Below are some survey questions to assist you in collecting information. You can modify these questions to serve your own organization needs. We recommend keeping the list of questions short so that they can be answered quickly. Also, some users may have ownership of multiple Notes databases / applications. They may want a feature to copy their previous survey answers over to the next survey or be able to answer multiple applications with one survey. Sometimes, respondents use a free text field to indicate that their response applies to multiple Notes databases / applications. Thus, you should provide clear instructions on answering one survey per Notes databases / application.

We also recommend reviewing these questions with key stakeholders before sending them to users. This should be part of an overall communication plan. You will also want to determine if the organization wants to survey all Notes databases or perhaps only the ones that appear to be used in the past 12 or 24 months.This process can be time consuming. The organization's management can review the technical usage data and state which Notes databases should be archived with no further survey effort.

Survey Questions

The first set of questions are used to identify the application owner. This helps to filter out respondents who may not be responsible for the database. You may want to let users exit the survey if they are not a user and cannot identify the application owner.

1. I am ______ of this application. (Select the highest level)

a. The Owner
b. The Manager
c. The Developer
d. A User – (Enter New Data)
e. A User – (Read Data)
f. Not a user

2. This application primarily belongs to the following department / business group: _________________

3. I am not the owner or manager of this application. I know that ___________ is the owner or manager.

The second set of questions are used to identify how critical the Notes database is to the business. In effect, it helps to identify how much the Notes database is used and how important that usage is.

4. How often does a typical user use this application? (Select one)

a. More than once a day
b. Once a day
c. Once a week
d. Once a month
e. Rarely
f. I do not know

5. How long do you plan to continue using this application? (Select one)

a. Indefinitely
b. 24 months
c. 12 months
d. 3 months
e. Not used
f. I do not know

6. How important is this application to you (Select one)?

a. My daily work is dependent on it.
b. I can complete my daily work without it; but I will need to update the application later.
c. I can complete my daily work without it.
d. I rarely need this application to complete my work

7. When I have problems with this application that prevent me from completing my work, I contact: (Select one)

a. IT Support / Help Desk
b. My immediate manager
c. One of the co-workers on my team
d. No one is available to contact

8. This application is used by: (Select one)

a. Only me
b. Only my team
c. Multiple teams in my department
d. Several departments
e. I do not know

9. When it comes time to migrate, the data in this application

a. Must all be migrated to the new application platform
b. Needs to be migrated – but only the last 12 months of data. Everything else can be archived.
c. Does not need to be migrated – but everything must be archived.
d. Does not need to be migrated or archived.

Question 9 above is really the most important question. All of the previous questions help to qualify the importance of the answer to question 9. We recommend that you keep the answers relatively easy. You can always follow up with individual respondents if you need more details.

Of course, there are more questions that you can add to gather details on regional requirements, application dependencies, and content (PII, financial,etc). You need to capture enough details to determine if the database requires special treatment for the migration. 

There is a bit of a challenge with consolidating multiple responses for a single Notes database; but the value of good data should exceed that of having no data at all.

Next, you can link the consolidated survey data with the technical data that was collected with the Notes database analysis process. You now have a more complete set of data to analyze and rationalize your Notes databases. You can use the survey data with the usage data to decide which Notes databases should be migrated and the appropriate priority.

Please contact our Professional Services Organization if you need more assistance with the analysis and rationalization effort.

The first topic in this series is about how to read usage analysis.

For current customers, you can download Migrator for Notes to SharePoint here.

For customers that are interested in evaluating Migrator for Notes to SharePoint, you can sign up for a trial here.

As with all new releases, we love to hear any and all feedback.  Tell us what you like, don't like, and if you have any ideas for future enhancements, please let us know on the discussion forums!

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