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Persona Insight - Configuration Guide


The Persona Insights Library Pack is a turnkey solution allowing you to measure activity across a range of technical and sentiment based areas so that you can build an understanding of the behaviors of Employees as they go about their daily work.

The pack is slightly different to other Nexthink Library Packs in that it is essentially a framework of measurements that enables you solve a multitude of Business requirements. By importing and running the pack, you will discover the Persona-based activities of your Employees - but in fact it is what you do with this information that will provide you with the real power and functionality that the pack brings.


Before installing the Persona Insights Library Pack, for on-premise customers you must be on Version 6.29 of Nexthink, and you must have installed the Digital Experience Score version 2.1 or greater. This requirement is automatically fulfilled for Cloud customers whose platform will always be the latest release.

The Persona Insight pack also uses a new feature, Focus Time, which once enabled, is a data point that is collected to show the usage of applications (i.e. time of the focused window being used). This is documented for reference in the online documentation.

The Focus Time Monitoring feature is available for Windows clients from Version 6.29 of Nexthink and for macOS clients from Version 6.30.

Please note that this feature is disabled by default in both operating systems. Should you wish to enable this feature across your Collector estate please use the necessary script delivery tools to configure it across all Collectors. Note that if you are licensed for Act, you can also set this flag with the remote action Set Collector Configuration which is available from the Nexthink Library.

Manual configuration - Windows:
To enable this feature manually, you will need to create the following registry key on each Collector where you want it monitored:

Also add a DWORD value named “Enabled” which will have to be set to 1.

Manual configuration - macOS:
To enable this feature manually, a config.json file can be provided by Nexthink.


Before starting on the customization of this pack it is best to sit down and consider what it is you want to achieve from the use and application of this pack.

Customization of the pack may be done at multiple levels, depending on the outcome wanted. The most common customizations will be those at a Score level or a Metric level to define new Persona Traits or Personas. It helps to understand what is meant by each term precisely:

  • Persona Trait is a measured gradient-based, scale of how much an employee corresponds to something – from how many monitors they have, to how much they use an application, to how mobile they are, it should all be measurable.

  • Persona is an actionable categorization of an individual, such as “needs more powerful Device”. A Persona can be defined within a score, or alternatively can be defined in a Metric using criteria.

Advantages of Personas or Persona Traits in Scores

The advantage of manipulating at the score level is that the values are always available in Finder views, in Investigations, for use in metric calculations and through NXQL queries when integrating with Nexthink.
Please note that if a Persona you define has perhaps five individual Traits then by defining the persona at the metric level would potentially mean that each time you wished to “use” the persona in a new metric you would have to reference the full set of traits again. By putting them into a score, the score does the work and the output Persona can be used as a simple, single value in a metric definition.

Advantages of Personas or Persona Traits in Metrics

The advantage of defining new Personas or Persona Traits at the metric level is simplicity, there is no complex score manipulation to be defined. However you will need to bear in mind that if this Persona or Persona Trait is used multiple times then it will need to be repeatedly defined in each metric. It will also not be retrievable as a viewable property in Investigations and integrations.

Metric and Dashboard Customization

Persona Insights has two main dashboards out of the box, the Persona Traits Insight and the Digital Experience by Trait Dashboards. Both are expected to be modified as needed.

The Metrics that underpin these dashboards simply look for the Persona Trait with a value greater than 6. Each dashboard is a starting point so that you can understand your landscape. Think about which use cases you are interested in and update the dashboard accordingly.

One metric “Multiple Device Consumer” has a threshold of 5 in order that the use of 2 or more devices is reported.

The simplest customization of all is at the metric level. The Persona Insight pack comes with Metrics to represent all the Persona traits and their current Digital Experience Score in the scores that come with the pack. Unless all of these Traits are required Nexthink recommends removing metrics that are not needed.

Should you wish to modify some of the metrics, it is simply a case of setting the metric as you wish, i.e. it can be a modification of the existing scoring to look for a different value, through to the complete definition of a new Persona Trait based on a new Nexthink data point.

Score Modification

Persona Insights uses two Scores, Persona Traits and Persona Advanced Traits.

Each score contains a core set of Traits being measured, all of which may be modified as needed.

Should you wish to modify the scoring system, take note of the following points:

  • For the two scores in use:

    • Persona Traits – contains the individual Traits plus the parent overall trait, so for example one measures usage of Teams, while the parent measures usage of Collaboration Tools.
      Please be aware of how the parent or composite score operates. Whilst you can reference a composite score via a metric or Investigation the default behavior is for it to show the maximum value of the leaf scores below it, and not their combined usage, which might have been the desired result. For certain groupings; Collaboration Tools, Productivity Tools and File Sharing Tools, a summary Persona Trait Score referencing a summary category has been created to get around this issue and to show the true summation of the individual scores.

      • Should you wish to modify these traits you may do so. Note that most of them refer to a specific entry in a category for simplicity. Rather than modifying the score, you may need to modify the related category instead. For more details, see the section on Categories below.

      • Should you wish to add new Traits, this needs to be created in the category first and then referenced in a new (or modified) score. To add a new Collaboration Tool for example, you simply need to add a new keyword in the category (Collaboration Tools in this case) and then add conditions for the executable name(s). You should then then refer to this category and the new keyword when creating or modifying the NXQL query of the new score.

      • Should you wish to remove Traits you may do so. As Nexthink releases packs which utilize Persona / Persona Traits’ in the future we will list the Personas we expect to be available.

    • Persona Traits Advanced – this Score summarizes the responses to the Pulse Survey Campaign included with the full version of this pack and therefore relates to employee sentiment (and in the future to remote action based Traits). The same rules apply to this as with the above Persona Traits score.

Note that the scores look for the activity over the past seven days, this should be kept as a standard in any new scores created.

Nexthink advises the use of new scores for any new items defined. This will allow you to keep customizations separate from changes to the built-in scores should a future version of the pack be released with updated content.

Take care to be clear on how the Score is working. If duplicating an existing score be sure to check the score rating matches your expectations. The scoring for Excel (Spreadsheet Consumer) is higher than Microsoft Project Consumer, for example, as it is assumed that heavy spreadsheet use will exceed the heavy use of MS Project over the course of a week.

Score Calculations

The thresholds that have been set both in terms of the Persona Trait (which is based around the amount of data transferred) and the Persona (which is based on the score of the Trait) should be tuned according to the actual data transfer values you see within your Organization.

Multiple-Device / Multiple-Engine troubleshooting

Please be aware that there is an issue with the way scores are calculated when employees are using multiple devices across multiple Nexthink Engines. When measuring Persona Traits such as Focus Time, network traffic, execution duration, etc. the score will be an average, not a sum, of the values across the Engines. For more information, and suggested mitigating strategies, please refer to this troubleshooting guide.


This pack contains a campaign called “Pulse Survey” with 5 measurements:

Responsiveness (to the Campaign itself)
Sentiment - “How have you been feeling at work during the past week?”
Work Location - “How satisfied are you with your current work location?”
Learning and Growth - “How satisfied are you with the learning and growth opportunities at work?”
Work-life balance - “How satisified are you with your work-life balance?”

The scored responses to these questions should give you a real feel for the employee sentiment within your organization, and of course a low scored response to a particular subject will give you a clear action point on an issue that should be addressed.
As with all Campaigns certain simple elements will need to be customized before it can be used, such as the organization name and the email address included in the campaign. More advanced customization could include changing the wording of the questions, or the scoring.

Category Configuration

It is important to understand the use of categories in this pack. From version, the use of categories was changed significantly so this should be of particular interest to those customers who are familiar with earlier versions of this pack.

The multiple categories included in this pack are used to group types of applications or business tools together to be referenced by the corresponding scores.

All scores concerned with application measurements now contain a direct reference to an entry in a category, rather than the application executable itself. There are two main reasons for this. Firstly, should an application change it’s executable name, or a web resource change it’s URL, this can be changed in the category rather than modifying the NXQL query in the score. Secondly, multiple executable names can be listed for the same application, which can now include macOS references.

Shown here is the score entry for Zoom Consumer in the Collaboration Tools grouping. The NXQL statement refers to a Collaboration Tools category, with an entry called “Zoom”

Shown here is the Collaboration Tools category referenced by the score, showing the keyword for “Zoom” and the executable names associated with it (zoom.exe for Windows and for macOS)

If you wish to add a new application, a collaboration tool for example, you should start by simply adding a keyword and the corresponding conditions to the “Persona Insight – Collaboration Tools” category. This new entry will then need to be referenced by a score, either by modifying an existing score, or creating a new one.

The pack uses the following Categories:

  • Persona Insight All - For certain application groupings there is a need to show usage across all similar applications in summary form. For these summary groups; Collaboration Tools, Productivity Tools and File Sharing Tools, a new category has been created listing all common applications of the type. These summary categories are referenced by three corresponding summary scores.

  • Persona Insight – Browser Apps  - This category contains references to all of the main corporate browsers that may be in use in your organization. Where possible, each browser entry contains conditions for both the Windows and macOS executable names. Please note that whilst there are conditions and corresponding scores for six separate browsers, only four are referenced by metrics and widgets in the dashboard. A certain amount of customization could therefore be required depending on your organizations individual policies.

  • Persona Insight – Binary Compliance – This is used to monitor unwanted activity. One keyword is actively used, “Forbidden Binaries” which is in the “Shadow IT” Persona Trait and this should be configured to match your Organizations need. The other two, “Corporate Browser” and “Malicious Binaries” are present as categories which can be used, if wished, in extending the Scoring to monitor this kind of activity.

  • Persona Insight Cloud Storage Tools – This category contains entries for the locally installed client for three popular cloud storage tools; Dropbox, Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive. Each category entry contains conditions for both the Windows and macOS executable names.

  • Persona Insight Collaboration Tools – This category contains entries for many popular collaboration tools, such as Microsoft Teams, Zoom and WebEx. Each category entry contains conditions for both the Windows and macOS executable names.

  • Persona Insight Data Scientist Tools – This category contains entries for popular tools such as Microsoft BI, Tableau and Oracle BI.

  • Persona Insight Designer Tools – This category contains entries for both Backend Tools (e.g. Python, Powershell) and Frontend Tools (e.g. Figma, GitHub Desktop).

  • Persona Insight – Domain Profile – This is used in the score under the “Web Apps” Persona Trait grouping and each item within it, Social Domains, Reference Domains, Business Domains, Learning Domains and Non-Business Domains can be filled appropriately with entries for your Organization. The Score is then looking at the last seven days activity on these locations.

  • Persona Insight Email Client – By default this category contains one entry for Email Client containing conditions for both the Windows and macOS  executable names for Microsoft Outlook. This is in recognition of the fact that, whilst popular, Outlook is not always the chosen email client for all organizations. Alternative applications can therefore be listed instead of, or in addition, to this default entry.

  • Persona Insight Productivity Tools – By default, this category contains entries for all of the applications in the Microsoft Office suite. The keywords referencing the individual executables are generic however, allowing easy customization of this category with no further changes to the score, metric names, or dashboards required. The Microsoft Office entries listed by default contain both Windows and macOS executable names where possible.

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