Intranets Reimagined: Have Intranets Become Like Electricity?

Intranets Reimagined: Have Intranets Become Like Electricity?



In partnership with the Worldwide Intranet Challenge, we’ve applied econometric principles to the results of over 200 intranet surveys and statistically pinpointed which intranet attributes most impact a user’s perception of their intranet. This fourth post in a seven week series is focused on the data analysis of “intranet performance” factors – showing which intranet performance metrics have the biggest impact on how employees view their company’s intranet.

No One Is Talking About Intranets!

What Your Employees Want From Your IntranetFree Download: What Your Employees Want From Your Intranet

In this download, you will find the following information:

  • Ways to increase your employees’ rating of your company’s intranet
  • How to invest your intranet redesign money to get the biggest return
  • Key intranet fundamentals to ensure employee engagement

How often do you talk about your electric company? Not that often right? That is until the power goes out. At which point your beloved electricity provider becomes all you talk about. But you should probably talk about your electric company a bit more to be honest, at least to see if you are actually getting the best deal when it comes to your bills. Depending on your provider, you might actually be paying more then you need. That’s why it would be a good idea to check out something like (they can help business owners and home owners, compare energy providers so that they can get the cheapest one). Bet you’ll be talking about your energy providers a lot now. As it turns out, intranets (and the teams that provide them) might not be that different. Based on our ongoing econometric analysis of intranet survey data from more than 200 companies, with 99+% confidence we can conclude that:  

The intranet always being available increases your employees’ overall valuation of their intranet. 

In other words, they value the intranet being always on. For years, I have been hearing (not all, but a fair number of) executives and enterprise sales professionals say that intranets are not that important. On go the rants, “intranets are not at the top of our agenda”, “no one is talking about intranets”, “no one would really know if our intranet went away” … Are you sure? Just because not everyone is talking about it all the time does not mean it’s not “important”, “critical”, “valuable”, etc. Is being able to find the people and information you need to do your job important? Yes. Just as important as that electric-powered hot water heater, right before you take your shower in the morning.

Intranets Everywhere!

When was the last time you found yourself in a location without electricity? Unless you’ve been camping recently, chances are it has been awhile. And that is exactly what we have come to expect. We expect electricity to be available where we are — whether at work or at home, whether in a restaurant or an airport. Again it appears we feel the same way about our company’s intranet. With 97.5% confidence we can conclude that:

Being able to access the intranet off-site increases your employees’ overall valuation of their intranet.

In other words, they value being able to access the intranet from wherever they are working. Is this justification for a mobile intranet? Yes, we think so, but the numbers do not make the case based on the data we have. The statement that WIC survey participants rated related to mobile was “I can access the intranet using a mobile device”. According to the data, our econometric analysis showed this statement was not statistically significant, or positive. Why? Well, one reason could be that not many mobile intranets existed during the time period for which we have data. From a statistical perspective, we also see that being able to “access the intranet offsite” and “accessing the intranet using a mobile device” is likely picking up a lot of the same influence based on employees ratings. That said, we believe that as mobile intranets become more common the data will exist to support employees materially valuing the mobile aspect of their company’s intranet.

To see the details on how we came to the above conclusions, please grab a (strong) cup of coffee and read the following section.

Behind The Numbers

All econometric issues including specification error, serial correlation, and heteroskedasticity are accounted for.

Statement                                                                                      Coefficient           P-Value 

The intranet is always available                               0.326                 0.000

Pages on the intranet load quickly                           0.027                 0.739

I can access the intranet offsite                               0.208                  0.024

I can access the intranet using a mobile device     -0.14                   0.134

Adjusted R²: 0.111 

The adjusted R² tells us that this category of statements about the performance of the intranet explains 11.1% of the variance in the valuation of the intranet by your employees.

The two statements that your employees value the highest within your intranet performance are that The intranet is always available and I can access the intranet offsite. The two variables accounting for the availability and accessibility from places other than your desktop really show that your employees want your intranet to be available at all times through multiple mediums and places.

  • With 99+% confidence we can conclude that the intranet always being available to your employees increases the value that your employees place on the intranet.
  • With 97.5% confidence we can conclude that being able to access the intranet off-site results in an increased employee valuation of your intranet.

Interpretation Of The Coefficient:

  • When looking only at the performance of the intranet, given your answer to the WIC statement “the intranet is always available” was ranked one rating higher (better) in the WIC ranking system for that statement, the way that you were ranked in the valuation question “In general, I would rate the intranet as” was on average 0.326 ranks higher (better), holding all other variables constant.

Through this data we see that mobile is not significant and actually not positive within the data that we have. We see that being able to access the intranet offsite and accessing the intranet using a mobile device is likely picking up a lot of the same influence based on employees’ ratings. Also, we believe that as mobile apps for your intranet become easier to use that your employees will value the mobile aspect of your intranet more than they ultimately do today.