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May 8, 2021

ActivTrak Analytics and Productivity Software Review

ActivTrak

ActivTrak

ActivTrak is an employee and workforce analytics and productivity management Software-as-a-Service. Its features are great for small and mid-sized businesses but can also be used by large enterprises. It sports all the features you would look out for in an employee monitoring system. Yet, its focus is on monitoring and improving employee productivity. This is opposed to many other competitors focused on being spy tools for monitoring employees and teams.

The vendor set out to provide a system based on data and analytics to help improve employee productivity. As a result, you can determine when your contractors or employees are most productive through tracking time from its Insights. You can do this on a group level and an individual level. You can also base it on specific deliverables or projects.

If you are considering whether to go with ActivTrak or a competitor, you will need a detailed look into its features and how they can (or cannot) help you achieve your goals. Before diving into further details, here are some of its pros and cons.


Pros

  • It has an easy to install agent
  • You can improve employee coaching with its monitoring insights
  • It can determine the leading (and most used or visited) websites and apps
  • Its user interface is intuitive and easy-to-use
  • It tracks productivity on per project, individual, and group basis.


Cons

  • You cannot customize the dashboard widgets
  • It does not sport OCR to enable keyword search within screenshots
  • You’ll have to do some fine-tuning to define productivity metrics for users and groups
  • It does not have keystroke logging

Now that we have gotten ActivTrak’s pros and cons out of the way, let’s get into some more details.

On the company’s website, it states that the software enables companies to unlock productivity potential. It also says that with their award-winning software, you’ll get expert insights that will help you empower your people, optimize your processes, and maximize your technology. The question is: “How true?”

With a growing customer base of over 8000 customers and more than 250,000 users, that claim can only be valid. This large (and growing) customer-base provides data and insights for its Workforce Productivity Lab. The Productivity Lab is a global center for world-class expertise and cutting-edge research that enables businesses to accept and embody the future of work.

So what do you expect to get when you sign up for an ActivTrak account?

The following are some of the ways the platform enables companies to boost and increase productivity.

You can:

  • Measure indicators of trends, productivity, and benchmarks across teams.
  • Determine and compare productivity trends across employees working at the office and remotely.
  • See the websites and applications that either hinder or boost your employees’ productivity. You can also determine which applications or websites help employees reach their work goals the most.
  • Spot workflow bottlenecks across technology, processes, and people.
  • Spot operational compliance gaps originating from offsite access to your systems.
  • Keep a pulse on your in-office and remote workers’ engagement levels.
  • View working hours for teams and individuals. This includes their weekly and daily productive time.
  • Generate Working Hours reports to help you determine “Passive” and “Productive” time.
  • Determine how best an employee should be using his time and where he needs to make adjustments. You will also identify environments that are distracting and practices that are wasteful.
  • Monitor teams for their workload and burnout risks.
  • Find out discrepancies in workload and opportunities for redistribution.
  • Find out what is the underlying cause of spikes in employee workload.
  • Identify who your top performers are and what their success patterns are to determine what is repeatable and which can be shared with other team members.
  • Protect your employees’ privacy using data redaction, role-based permissions, and scheduling.
  • Use insights from the data generated to spot and review any high-risk activities.
  • Save cost by analyzing usage reports for all platforms to determine renewal plans and technology adoption.
  • And many more.




ActivTrak Login

Logging into your ActivTrak account is pretty straightforward. To do that, go to app.activtrak.com and press enter. When the page loads, provide your ActivTrak ID (the email you signed up with) and your password and click on the login button. Once completed, you’ll be redirected to your dashboard immediately.

On your dashboard, you will see all the metrics and features that your plan has access to. You will find a few vital details that include the number of people your account allows and how many are currently being monitored at the top right of your dashboard. You will also see a button to download the ActivTrak agent.

ActivTrak Login




App ActivTrak

The ActivTrak agent is available for a Chrome browser installed on any desktop OS including Linux, and FreeBSD. It can also currently be installed in Windows, Chrome OS, and macOS. Besides these desktop installations, ActivTrak has a mobile app that can be installed from Google Play Store and Apple App Store for mobile devices running Android and iOS, respectively.

The mobile device currently works as a data viewer and has to be used in conjunction with the ActivTrak platform for effectiveness. You cannot monitor other mobile devices with the mobile app version.

The app features include a real-time activity feed, easy-to-read reports, a streamlined dashboard, editable subscription settings, screenshot viewer, and configuration manager.

The mobile app was created to enable you to monitor your employees and read reports from your phone. If you wish to make one or more changes to your account, it has to be done from your desktop browser.




ActivTrak Pricing

ActivTrak offers two options. You can start with a freemium option that enables you to monitor up to 3 workstations. As expected, this option is limited in features and does not include integration for other services such as Slack, Microsoft Teams, and more. It does not support remote install, comes with only one screenshot per activity but does not support redaction of sensitive information on screenshots.

However, it sports up to 3GB of storage, HDD-based data storage, unlimited account IDs, exporting activity log CSV, website blocking, and real-time view. The free plan features ads in the UI, so be aware.

The second option that ActivTrak offers is the Advanced plan. It costs $7.20 per month per user charged annually. As you would expect, it sports all the features that an employee monitoring system should have, making it an incredible option for SMBs. This plan’s only drawback is that it starts with a minimum of 5 users, meaning businesses with less than five employees who get this option will be paying for more than they require or have to stick with the freemium version. This also makes it costly for such companies.

Besides that, there are no ads on the UI (dashboard). The plan features remote installation, unlimited data storage, SSD-based data storage, multiple screenshot alarms, and phone and live assistance (which the free tier doesn’t have). Other features include support for unlimited users, SSO (or single sign-on) functionality, integration with Microsoft Teams and Slack, multiple screenshots with the option of screenshot redaction using an add-on.

With its focus on productivity and productivity measurement, it’s only normal that this plan also sports options to report on working hours, productivity, and group reporting. You can also access analytics for team productivity pulse and group-based classification, both used for measuring productivity.

In addition to these, some other features that only advanced users can access are file transfer and USB detection, activity and user risk scoring, and some add-on features. These features include raw data access, screenshot redaction, screenshot flagging, and video playback.

The company bills separately for these add-on features, which would typically be included in other more comprehensive employee management systems. This move might be to keep the features to the most important basics while maintaining a smaller cost for SMB. If you need the add-on features, you will have to discuss them with an ActivTrak rep to get precise pricing.

First-time users get free 14 days trial of ActivTrak’s premium features if they sign up for a trial account.




How to tell if ActivTak is installed

If it is not immediately apparent that you have ActivTrak installed on your computer, there are different ways to find out. You might be wondering why and how ActivTrak will be installed on your computer, and you will not know about it. The answer is simple: it is one of those software designed to be installed remotely (from another computer in a network) without detection, in layman’s language.

As we have said above, ActivTrak focuses on employee productivity and, as such, involves the employees in the process. But your employer can install it remotely on your work computer or home computer if you work from home.

To tell if ActivTrak is installed on your computer, do one of the following.

  • Navigate to your installed programs to find out if it is listed there: To do this, go to your PC’s Control Panel and click on “Programs and Features.” When the list completely populates, go through it, searching for ActivTrak.
  • Check through your processes tab: To do this, simultaneously press the “Ctrl,” “Shift,” and “Esc” keys to open your Task Manager. When it does, look through the entire list of processes to see if ActivTrak is listed there.
  • Check your firewall: Go back to your Control Panel and click on “Windows Firewall” and “Allow a program through Windows Firewall” in the next step. If you are presented with User Account Control, click “Continue.” Click on the “Exceptions” tab and go through the programs displayed in the list. It should appear here if it is installed.
  • Download an anti-malware tool and scan your computer with it: An example of a tool to use is Malwarebytes. You can also use a free online anti-malware tool to scan your computer without the need to download it. If ActivTrak is installed and the program you use is good enough, it should detect it.

Any one of the above methods should immediately help you find if the program is installed on your computer. You might decide to try any combination to be doubly or triple sure.




How to uninstall ActivTrak

If you want to uninstall the ActivTrak agent, there are two ways. You will need access to the ActivTrak account no matter the route you take.

The first way is to use the installer. You will have to download it from your dashboard. Once it is on the computer you want to remove it from, run it. Follow the instructions from the setup wizard and choose “Uninstall” or “Remove” when prompted.

Note: If your version of ActivTrak is outdated before you can uninstall it, it will upgrade to the most up-to-date version. After updating, you will need to run the installer again to proceed with uninstalling it.

The second method involves uninstalling it through the remote uninstaller. Be aware that uninstalling it through the remote uninstaller removes any data you have saved for this user. Therefore, you should export any data you intend to retain before removing the agent.

To uninstall using the remote uninstaller, go to your dashboard, click on “Accounts” and then “Storage.” When the UI loads and populates with the computers being connected, scroll to the computer you want to remove and click on the remote uninstaller icon next to the computer’s moniker. A pop-up dialogue box with instructions to delete will be displayed. Type in “Delete” as instructed and confirm. That’s all! The agent will be uninstalled from the said PC.




How to remove ActivTrak

We just covered this in detail above. Removing ActivTrak is the same as uninstalling ActivTrak.




Conclusion

ActivTrak is an excellent employee monitoring and productivity management software. It is most suitable for SMBs with five or more employees. It has a focus on employee productivity as opposed to being another workforce surveillance tool. It’s an affordable system with a free tier that allows you to use some of the basic features of the service. If you are more focused on getting your employees to be more productive, it is the service of choice, so long it can help you reach your other goals for workforce management.



For more software reviews, visit Stealth Agents.

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