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ActivTrak Review

Skye Schooley
Skye Schooley

ActivTrak is a cloud-based software-as-a-service platform that is compatible with a variety of devices, and it is our choice for the best employee monitoring software for workforce analytics. It collects a wealth of workforce information and breaks it down based on user intent. We like that the software provides useful data not only for employers but also for managers and individual employees. We were also impressed with the software's personal insights section for each employee, a feature that allows them to view and aptly manage their own productivity and work balance. In addition to advanced workforce insights, ActivTrak has other essential features we looked for in employee monitoring software, including website and app monitoring, activity tracking, reports and alerts.

ActivTrak

ActivTrak

The Verdict

ActivTrak is effective, easy-to-use employee monitoring software that provides insight into your workforce and employee productivity, with a focus on transparency and user-friendly dashboards, all of which make it our best pick for workforce analytics.

ActivTrak Editor's Score: 9.2/10

Price/value 8.2/10
Features 9.5/10
Compatible operating systems 9.3/10
Ease of use 9.7/10
Customer support 9.3/10

Why We Chose ActivTrak for Workforce Analytics

When demoing the platform, we liked how ActivTrak not only gives users a wealth of workforce analytics data but also presents it in a clear, intuitive way. ActivTrak can provide analytics on important user activity, like how much time employees spend on productive and unproductive tasks, how focused they are each day, whether teams are being over- or underutilized, what type of applications are being used, and how everyone is doing in relation to their goals and key performance indicators (KPIs). You can see how teams stack up against one another or drill all the way down to see how each team member is progressing toward their goals. ActivTrak has this data broken down into scannable stats, charts and graphs, and separated into tabs based on user intent.

Activtrak dashboard
The main dashboard shows helpful analytics, like productivity and your top users and groups.

ActivTrak also offers a feature called ActivTrak Coach to enhance the use of its workforce analytics platform. The virtual productivity coach consistently gathers and reports actionable insights about employee activity. These personalized insights can help you tailor coaching strategies to maximize each team member's productivity and engagement. Productivity coaching can be a valuable way to get the most out of your workforce analytics, but it isn't something many competitors offer.

FYIFYI: ActivTrak's employee monitoring software is beneficial for organizations that want to use workforce analytics in a transparent, growth-focused way.

What We Like About ActivTrak

  • ActivTrak offers free and paid plans.
  • It displays workforce metrics in easy-to-understand reports and graphs.
  • Monitoring settings can be configured for each user.
  • ActivTrak offers privacy controls for trust and transparency.
  • Employees have access to their own data so that they understand what is being tracked.

What We Don't Like About ActivTrak

  • ActivTrak does not offer keystroke logging or cell phone monitoring.
  • Paid plans have a five-user minimum.
  • ActivTrak only offers annual plans.

Ease of Use

When testing out ActivTrak, we liked how easy the dashboard was to navigate; it has separate tabs based on what type of employee information you want to view and analyze. This makes it relatively simple to get started with ActivTrak. Your workforce analytics are broken down into easy-to-understand statistics, charts and graphs. Each set of insights is separated into intuitive tabs, so your team members can easily navigate to the information that is relevant to them.

Activtrak Team Pulse
You can use the Team Pulse view to get a snapshot of team productivity across your organization.

Features

ActivTrak blends activity monitoring features with productivity tools. The plan you select determines which features you get, but here are some features that stood out to us:

Workforce Insights

ActivTrak's advanced workforce insights and analytics distinguish it from the competition. The data found under the Insights tab can help employers easily identify where employees are excelling and where they need improvement. These insights are also ideal for improving efficiency, creating a better workload balance for employees, reducing the potential for burnout and identifying important technology.

When testing ActivTrak, we liked that the insights features were easy to use and clearly broke up employee data into usable information. The dashboard also offers tips on how to apply your company insights so you can make sure you get the most out of the software. Here is a breakdown of the different tabs and the info they display.

  • Executive Summary: This tab is for top-level employees to see key productivity indicators across the organization and improve overall business performance. When looking through this tab, we liked that it included easy-to-digest company snapshots. It shows details such as team comparisons based on productivity goal achievement and team utilization.
ActivTrak executive summary
The Executive Summary tab is easy to navigate
  • Team Comparison: This tab is also for top-level employees, but it drills down one step further by comparing teams side by side. You can view metrics, such as employee productivity and focused hours versus goals, to maintain business health. If one team is excelling at something, it is visible, and you can have that team teach the rest of the organization what to do differently. If a team is working too many hours, you can shift activities to another team.

  • Activity Breakdown: This tab is for managers to compare team members. You can see what tools they're using, and that information can help you coach employees to foster their growth.
  • Work Efficiency: This tab, also for managers, gives an overview of employee behaviors, like team productivity and focus, efficiency, and uninterrupted work levels versus organization levels. This type of data is extremely helpful for balancing teams and identifying sources of inefficiency.
  • Workload Balance: This tab provides an easy-to-interpret graph that shows patterns about employee work hours, breaks and burnout potential. When testing the software, we liked that this tool can quickly give managers insight into which employees are working long hours and thus may be close to burnout. This type of workforce data is great for redistributing work as needed.
  • Technology Usage: ActivTrak can monitor the types of applications your employees are using. This data can help you ensure that your team is using the right technology to stay productive. We also like that this data can be used to eliminate unnecessary license costs if employees are using applications with overlapping functionalities or you are paying for a platform that no one is using.

  • Benchmarks and Goals: This tab is for managers to review previous usage and performance to set better business goals. We were impressed with the ability to view KPIs by team member to ensure continuous improvement for each employee.
ActivTrak Benchmarks and Goals
The Benchmarks and Goals tab displays trends over time.

Personal Insights

This feature, in particular, stood out to us, as it lets employees view their own personal data. This isn't a tool many other employee monitoring solutions focus on, but it can be a great way to get buy-in from your employees and to improve productivity. When testing the Personal Insights tab, we were instantly presented with a wealth of data that was easy to scan.

This tab shows a quick snapshot of the employee's personal screen time per day, productive hours per day, focused hours per day and collaboration hours per day. We found it helpful that it also shows the user whether these metrics are above or below their goals, and it presents a graph of how these metrics shake out over the week. This allows employees to keep track of their daily performance and gives them a chance to course-correct before needing manager intervention.

When scrolling through this part of the software, we noticed that the employee can also see team benchmarks, weekly averages, time breakdowns, applications and sites affecting their focus, hours spent focused versus collaborating and multitasking, and work balance and wellness habits. The software also gives the employee tips on how to focus, balance work and wellness, and use technology, which is a neat bonus.

Reports and Notifications

ActivTrak offers several detailed reports to help track the productivity levels of individual employees as well as the entire organization. You can review real-time productivity metrics and reports for team members, as well as see the top users, employee working hours and availability status (active, passive, offline), top websites and applications, trend reports, and other detailed logs of user activities and events. We found this to be competitive with the industry standard.

Time Tracking and User Activity

ActivTrak allows you to track the number of hours your employees work each week and what they do during those hours. Instead of monitoring specific keystrokes and recording video as some competitors do, ActivTrak focuses on tracking productive versus unproductive behavior. Users can designate websites, applications and activities as productive or unproductive, and then ActivTrak measures the amount of time users spend on each one. Because ActivTrak also monitors mouse movements and keyboard activity (not keystroke logging), you can identify whether your employees are active or passive during the day.

ActivTrak employee hours
ActivTrak can compile employee working hours into a report.

Security and Compliance

ActivTrak can help maintain a secure workforce by blocking users from accessing certain websites. You can modify access by computer, user or user groups, which is great for multilevel teams that need unique website or application access. It also allows you to set boundaries or restrictions on social media usage.

ActivTrak also includes security options, like audit trails, automated responses for email and Slack, and alerts on USB device activity to protect the copying of sensitive information. We liked that you can establish user risk scores with severity levels to understand activities that violate company policies.

Admins can tailor the settings that define how ActivTrak captures data and set alerts related to prohibited activity, both to notify employees and to capture evidence. For example, you can set an alert to warn employees that an activity, such as scrolling endlessly on social media while on the clock, is prohibited.

TipTip: Before you implement a monitoring program, be sure to create an acceptable use policy and review it with your employees.

Pricing

ActivTrak has four comprehensive employee monitoring plans, including a free plan and three paid plans, billed annually. The company also offers a 14-day free trial, which is pretty standard for the industry.

  • Free plan: This plan can be used by up to three users in perpetuity. It includes user activity visibility, activity alarms, email notifications, automated website and app activity classification, and a variety of reports regarding top applications, top websites, top users, top categories and productivity. Support is available only via email, and no add-ons are offered with this plan.
  • Advanced plan: This plan costs $9 per user per month. It includes everything in the Free plan, plus a team productivity pulse, a working hours analysis, advanced Slack and Microsoft Teams alerts, alarm-triggered screenshots, group productivity classification, remote installation, and detection of USB devices and file transfers. We like that support for this paid plan is upgraded to phone, email and web chat. It also includes diagnostics and health checks, as well as onboarding and enablement resources.

  • Premium plan: This plan costs $15 per user per month. It includes everything in the Advanced plan, plus more comprehensive features to optimize business processes and productivity. For example, you get advanced efficiency insights, workload balance and technology use, individual and team benchmarks, goal setting and tracking, team and personal productivity dashboards, an organization health dashboard, and virtual coach recommendations. It also includes additional support features, like comprehensive productivity lab recommendations and a learning hub.
  • Enterprise: Large organizations can contact ActivTrak to customize a employee monitoring plan to meet their organizational needs. Custom pricing is available.

ActivTrak also offers ActivConnect as an add-on feature for $2 per user per month with any paid plan. ActivConnect is used for data exportation, application integrations and prebuilt productivity dashboards.

FYIFYI: The free plan is available for up to three users, and the paid plans have a five-user minimum.

Implementation and Onboarding

ActivTrak simplifies employee monitoring. You can access a free demo to learn about the dashboard, or view product videos online. Once you have an account, you can get up and running with ActivTrak in no time. To speed things up, ActivTrak already has 90% to 95% of activities and apps listed as productive or unproductive upon installation, but you can edit them as needed. 

The remote installer makes downloading a monitoring agent onto a new computer a simple, one-step process. Once installed, the agent can run stealthily in the background and begin delivering data to the administrator's dashboard. 

Customer Support

One thing that really stood out to us about ActivTrak was its robust customer support, including via phone, email and webchat. We like that the company provides 24/7 coverage, product demonstrations and multilanguage support. You can also access a dedicated team of workplace design and productivity experts for onboarding, training and classes. Self-guided resources – such as blogs, case studies, templates, how-to videos, whitepapers and webcasts – are also available.

To help small business owners measure employee performance and productivity against industry standards, ActivTrak offers its Productivity Lab. This unique resource includes global trends and advice on topics such as optimal work hours, burnout risks, collaboration habits, common roadblocks, distractions and interruptions, culture and innovation, and strategy shifts. With this information, businesses can make educated decisions on how to manage their workforce and technology for optimal productivity. 

Limitations

One drawback of ActivTrak is that it does not perform keystroke logging. Keystroke logging tracks what your users are typing across all web browsers and applications, and provides a date and timestamp for those keystrokes. This function can be useful for some businesses, but many people find it invasive. If you are looking for this specific feature, check out our Teramind review.

Another potential limitation is that ActivTrak does not offer continuous screen recording. This feature can be beneficial for users who need extensive security features in their monitoring system. Keep in mind that ActivTrak does offer alarm-triggered screenshots, which can be a valuable tool for securing your system; it depends on how extensive you need your screen monitoring to be. If you want continuous screenshots, read our InterGuard review.

Methodology

We researched and analyzed dozens of systems to identify the best employee monitoring solutions on the market. We looked at pricing, contracts, hardware, platform compatibility, tracking features, content filtering and blocking, reports, integrations, security and compliance, usability, and customer support. We also watched product videos and conducted demos when possible. When looking for the best employee monitoring software for workforce analytics specifically, we prioritized features such as time and activity tracking, workforce insights, reports and notifications, usability, and application monitoring.

FAQs

Does ActivTrak work without internet?

Yes, if you experience an internet disconnection, ActivTrak can continue to record the employee's activity data, as long as the agent is still running on their device. The data will be saved locally on the employee's device.

Does ActivTrak run silently?

Yes, ActivTrak can run visibly or silently in the background, depending on how you want to monitor your employees. Keep in mind that even if you run it silently, your employees may still know that they are being monitored if they view their personal productivity reports. ActivTrak recommends being transparent with your employees about what you are monitoring.

Bottom Line

We recommend ActivTrak for …

  • Organizations that want detailed workforce analytics.
  • Companies that need real-time productivity metrics.
  • Employers looking for a user-friendly monitoring dashboard.

We don't recommend ActivTrak for …

  • Employers that want keystroke logging or continuous screen recording.
  • Companies that need to monitor employees' cell phones.

Image Credit: undrey / Getty Images
ActivTrak

ActivTrak

The Verdict

ActivTrak is effective, easy-to-use employee monitoring software that provides insight into your workforce and employee productivity, with a focus on transparency and user-friendly dashboards, all of which make it our best pick for workforce analytics.

Skye Schooley
Skye Schooley
business.com Staff
Skye Schooley is a staff writer at business.com and Business News Daily, where she has written more than 200 articles on B2B-focused topics including human resources operations, management leadership, and business technology. In addition to researching and analyzing products that help business owners launch and grow their business, Skye writes on topics aimed at building better professional culture, like protecting employee privacy, managing human capital, improving communication, and fostering workplace diversity and culture.