Summary: We’re celebrating the release of Intranet Connection’s Intranet Analytics & Insights! We discuss the beneficial configurations of the software when it comes to tracking employee engagement from a technical standpoint.

The release of our much-anticipated Intranet Analytics & Insights software brought a lot of excitement, not only around reporting, but the technical advancements made. The Intranet Insights technology was created from a user’s perspective, work-shopping with our current client base. The sleek design, blazing-fast speeds, and easy-to-use interface are sure to please. From a business perspective, valuable statistics, reporting, and analytical insights will prove to be monumentally beneficial.

For those tech-savvy among you, we reveal the technical goodies behind our new intranet analytics tool.

Background

Web technology has evolved a lot in the time since Intranet Connections first launched. Our software’s story began in 1999. Founder, Carolyn Douglas was tasked with building an intranet for her organization. Not being a technically savvy person, Carolyn decided to build an intranet using Coldfusion and jQuery (user-friendly options for the non-technical person). Upon successfully launching the intranet within her organization, she offered her out-of-the-box intranet solution to anyone who found themselves in a similar situation. Coldfusion and jQuery established a great base to build an incredibly robust intranet solution. That being said, we are continuously looking for ways to improve and the new Intranet Insights tool was the perfect opportunity to advance our technologies.

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The nuts and bolts

With Intranet Insights, we wanted to spice things up by leveraging new technologies. One of the most exciting is ReactJS, a relatively new JavaScript library that’s amazingly adept at quickly rendering views. React is cutting edge technology, used by Facebook, giving us the highly sought after ‘single-page application’ aka SPA. ReactJS has allowed us to build a complex user interface that can display a large amount of constantly changing data. We coupled this technology with Redux, a predictable state container that provides us an easy way to centralize the state of our applications. This allows us to write applications that behave consistently.  By not having to constantly refresh a page, the end-user won’t lose focus.

With the new SPA approach, we aim to have a better separation of concerns, making the front-end entirely decoupled from the backend. This ensures any changes on the frontend (such as re-designs, new dashboards, or rewriting content) have zero impact on the server side (API).

Definition Single-Page Application: Web apps that load a single HTML page and dynamically update that page as the user interacts with the app. SPAs use AJAX and HTML5 to create fluid and responsive Web apps, without constant page reloads.

What it means for you

The most noticeable thing will surely be the speed. Since the software doesn’t have to refresh the browser every time you click a button or navigate to a new page, it becomes incredibly responsive.

Not having to refresh every time you navigate to a different page means you do not have to use extra queries to the server to download pages, you are simply asking for data. For instance, when data is reloaded, the ‘states’ would change. ‘State’ includes your filter options, such as date range and table sorting options which will be quite valuable to you when pulling reports. For example; pulling a report for intranet usage in the Marketing Department in the month of September. Refreshing the page would mean your ‘state’ would be lost and you’d have to resort to items such as; cookies, form submission, session storage or, worse still, having to change your filters every time you change pages.

Here at Intranet Connections, we strive to design the best intranet software for your business as well as your tech team. Have you compiled reports for your intranet? We’d love to hear from you in the comment section below!

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