This post is brought to you by Eliza Seim, Content Marketing Manager at BetterCloud, the maker of FlashPanel, a management and security tool for cloud-enabled organizations. Check out the FlashPanel blog for more Google Apps best practices and follow FlashPanel on Google+.

Google Apps users can all agree that Drive has revolutionized the way we work, collaborate, and share documents among colleagues and clients. If you centralize file storage and sharing in Google Drive, in turn making it your users’ work hub, there are several metrics you should monitor to ensure your organization’s Drive is working securely and efficiently.

Quota Consumption

Storage within Google Apps is shared among Gmail, Drive, and Google+ photos, with a combined 30 GB. If your users are passing large files back and forth, such as photos, videos, or spreadsheets, whether via email or Drive, they could come close to exceeding their quota.

If a user does exceed quota, he will not be able to send or receive mail, or upload/create new Drive files, meaning productivity will plummet. Look to the Google Admin Console for graphs on usage quotas on a domain-level, or individual users for their usage in GBs.

To dig even deeper, use a third-party admin tool like FlashPanel to find out additional information, such as:

  • Which file types are taking up the majority of Drive, .pdf, .xls, .mp3?

  • How many files are >10MB?

  • How much of your storage is consumed by uploaded files?

Publicly Shared Docs

The average enterprise Google Apps domain has 4,971 publicly shared Drive files. There are several scenarios when documents need to be shared publicly, but with the ability to share your organization’s data on the web comes the risk of data loss.

For example, when a user is sending an email containing a link to a Drive file, he will be prompted to share the document with “Anyone with the link.” Since only the email recipients need access, this could cause several documents to be shared publicly by accident. To combat this, offer users training on when each level of sharing is appropriate.

Type of Docs Created

Aggregate metrics—like those provided within the Google Admin Console—are useful if you are a small organization or have rolled out Google Drive to everyone at once. But if you have multiple offices or have introduced Drive gradually over time, you’ll want to segment this information further.

Through FlashPanel’s Drive reporting you can look at natively created Google Drive files, number of collaborators, and number of uploaded files all by Org. Unit, making it easy to measure how different parts of your organization are adopting Google Drive. Look for varied file types, like Docs, Spreadsheets, and Presentations, to see if users are making the most of the suite, then zero in on areas—or Org. Units—that could use more training.

Final Thoughts

Drive can increase collaboration, productivity, and generally change how your organization operates. And similar to changing the way users work, admins need to adapt to the different style of managing their domain on Google Apps, regularly monitoring metrics like these.