Application Usage Logs - how does it work?

New Contributor III

I have been playing around with the Application Usage Logs, and the timings reported don't match up with my tests. I've looked for documentation on specifically how this counts time for each application, and I haven't found anything. Is there documentation somewhere that spells out exactly what "application usage" means?

In my testing, it's clear that "time in the foreground" is not what it is counting. If I spend a day watching training videos in Chrome, and have Chrome in the foreground for 10 hours, it will register in the Application Usage Logs as something like 2 hours.

Is it using mouse / keyboard input to register "time active"?

If so, is it literally just the time the keyboard and mouse inputs are actively changing, or does it "count" for say 15 seconds after the last input was detected?

Color me confused!



New Contributor III

I still have not figured this out, but I have some new understanding that helps a little.

  • Usage is only collected when inventory is collected - once per day, not every check-in. So if a computer last checked in in the middle of the day, that day's data will be incomplete, even if it was several days ago.
  • "Inactive" usage does seem to be reported, but not accurately or consistently. If I leave a computer playing YouTube for a long time, doing nothing else, that activity is reported. However, some days usage is obviously incomplete - 12 hours of usage shows up as <4 hours.
  • I'm currently wondering if partial-day activity reporting is considered "complete" after some cut-off or something. For instance, if my laptop checks in at 1PM Friday, my usage up until 1PM is reported, but then if my laptop is shut down for the next 3 days, it never goes back to update my usage from 1PM - 7PM. This is just a guess at this point - I have zero actual evidence.