Slack Guides

Slack Logs 101: Everything You Need to Know

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11 mins to read

In 2019, Slack had over 10 million daily active users, a figure that has doubled since then. It's understandable why so many enterprises and teams choose to use Slack as their primary communication tool. Everything from the Slack dashboard to the Slack analytics is designed to improve teamwork and collaboration. Another gem in Slack's arsenal is the Slack logs. 

Think of Slack logs as your virtual team diary, recording every conversation and action that takes place within the workspace. Even better, these logs are time-stamped. So, you know exactly when something happened or was updated. 

But why would you need Slack logs? To answer that question, let's take a closer look at what Slack logs are and how to use them effectively.

What Are Slack Logs?

Slack logs refer to all the information the platform records during the course of your team's interactions. Here are some of the key components of Slack logs. 

Types of Slack Logs

Slack Chat Logs 

Possibly, the most important information in Slack channels is the conversations. A conversation isn't merely limited to messages. It also includes the files people have shared with each other or the threads where a team member has tagged another. 

Slack logs this data as activity logs. You can view and export these logs from the desktop app.

An important thing to remember here is that Slack doesn't have a built-in Deleted or Recycle Bin for messages. So, there are no Slack logs of deleted messages. Instead, you'd have to use other, more complicated methods to retrieve Slack messages that have been deleted. 

Slack Access Logs 

You might need to check access logs if you suspect an unauthorized person has accessed your team's workspace. The ability to check these logs is available in the following Slack subscription plans: 

  • Pro
  • Business+ 
  • Enterprise Grid

If you're an admin or the owner, you can use access logs to see sign-in attempts from all members in a Slack workspace. 

Here's what the access logs show you: 

  • Date and time for every new sign-in 
  • IP address of the device used 
  • Devices that have been used to access every account 

Slack updates these logs once every hour if you're actively using the platform. It generates new entries if you: 

  • Sign in to your Slack account 
  • Enter the Slack app on your phone or desktop
  • Switch availability from Away to Active 
  • Sign into your Slack account with a different IP address and device (mobile or desktop) 

Slack Analytics Logs 

Slack analytics is the section in Slack where you can view detailed statistics of your team's activity. The information here includes data about Slack channels, members, and usage. Here's what you can find here: 

  • Number of files exchanged
  • Data about the inflow and outflow of messages 
  • Amount of Slack storage usage 
  • Number of weekly active members
  • Number of monthly active members 

The analytics data is present in visual charts and graphs, making it easier to understand and analyze. You can also export this data for further analysis or to present it in meetings. 

Slack Audit Logs 

Slack audit logs are only available for the Enterprise Grid subscription. These logs show you all the actions taken by members in your workspace, including adding or removing users, creating channels, changing settings, etc. 

You have two options to access Slack audit logs. One, you can see them directly in Slack and then download them as a CSV file. Two, you can use the Audit Logs API to access these logs programmatically. 

Slack Member Logs

Every Slack workspace has a record of all members who have joined or left the workspace. It also tracks the roles and permissions assigned to each member. For instance, the logs give you a detailed account of the access privileges each member has within the workspace. 

Why would you need Slack member logs, though? Well, these logs will show you how each member contributes to the workspace, their activity levels, and whether they have been granted the appropriate access. You can view or export this data, depending on your use case. 

What Can You Do With Slack Logs?  

Here's a question: what's the point of having all this data? The answer is simple: insight. Here are a few things you can do with your Slack logs data. 

Review Communication History

Let's say a team member was on vacation. They'd been gone for a week and weren't connected to the work chat during that time. 

They want to catch up on what happened while they were away, especially if important decisions were made. Slack logs make it easy for them to catch up on all the conversations they missed. They can also see who was involved in these conversations in case they need to follow up with someone. 

Find Information

Whether you use Slack for customer service, project management, or internal communication, there's a lot of information shared there. You might need to download Slack conversation history for a specific topic or project. 

Then, you can find all the relevant information you need. Slack logs allow you to search for keywords or phrases, making it easier to find what you're looking for. 

Document Decisions 

Remember how we mentioned earlier that Slack logs are time-stamped? That comes in handy when you need to document decisions. 

You can refer back to the exact conversation where a decision was made and use that as a reference for future discussions. It also helps keep track of who was involved in the decision-making process. If there were any updates or subsequent decisions made about the same topic, you can easily trace back to the original conversation. 

Ensure Compliance 

Suppose you're a healthcare or financial institution that needs to comply with strict regulations. For example, a healthcare organization would have to follow the HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) texting rules.

You need to conduct internal audits of all electronic communication to make sure you're not violating any regulations. The best way to do that is by using Slack logs. 

You can filter and export Slack conversations by date, channel, user, or keyword. Then, you may review the exported conversations to check if it's compliant with the regulations. 

How to Use Slack Chat Logs to Export App Activity 

The type of data you can export from Slack will depend on your subscription plan. Enterprise Grid has the most extensive data export options, such as exporting conversation data that a single user has participated in. However, if you want to schedule recurring exports, the Business+ plan would allow you to do that. 

We'll look at the methods to export Slack chat logs for different subscription plans

Slack Free and Pro Plans 

Follow these steps to download Slack logs: 

  • Click on your workspace's name in the desktop app. It should be in the sidebar. 
  • Go to Settings & Permissions in the menu. Click on Workspace settings. 
  • Select Import/Export data. 
  • Click on the Export tab. 
  • Choose the Export data range. For example, if you want to export chat logs for the past 7 days, choose it from the drop-down menu. 
  • Click on the Start Export button, and wait for Slack to email you with a notification when your file is ready to be exported. 
  • Go to the export page through the link in the email. 
  • Click the Ready for Download button. You'll get a zip file that includes all your workspace's data in JSON format. It will also have file links shared in all public Slack channels. 

Slack Business+ Plan

The procedure to export Slack data is the same as the free and pro plans. However, you'll also have the option to schedule recurring exports in this plan. Plus, you can export chat data from DMs and private channels, too, provided you have the approval to export this data. 

To get the approval, follow these steps

  • Go to Settings & Permissions in the menu. Click on Workspace settings. 
  • Go to the Import/Export tab and then click on Export. 
  • Click the ''submit an application'' link. 

The Slack Support team will review your request and send you an email with the approval decision. 

Slack Enterprise Grid Plan 

In this plan, you have the option to export chat logs from all conversations and channels in your company. Here's how it works: 

  • Go to Settings & Permissions in the menu. Click on Organization settings. 
  • Select the Security tab from the left sidebar and click on Exports. 
  • Choose the export type of your choice and click Export. 
  • Select a data range for exports and choose if you want to download Slack data for a specific workspace or the whole organization. 
  • Click Start. You'll get an email when the export is ready. 
  • Click the link in the email to go to the export page. Select Downloads on this page to access the zip file.

How to Use Slack Analytics Logs

The Analytics tab is easily accessible in Slack, letting you see data and insights on how your team communicates. But what if you want to review this information outside of Slack? That's where the Analytics Logs come in. 

  • Click on your workspace’s icon and select Tools. 
  • Click on Analytics. 
  • Choose the Last 30 days from the top right corner to get data for the past month. You'll see the data in the form of graphs and charts.
  • Select Export from the top right corner to download the Analytics Logs. 

In the Enterprise Grid plan, this process is even more streamlined. You can choose columns like members, workspaces, or org-wide to customize your data further. The logs are exported as CSV files. 

Similarly, you can choose a custom date range for specific apps, members, or channels. Slack lets you access information from as far as 13 months. 

Benefits of Slack Analytics Logs 

You can use these analytics to: 

  • Determine which channels are most active and use this information to streamline communication and improve team productivity. 
  • Identify the most used apps and integrations, giving you insights into what tools your team relies on the most. 
  • Track the number of messages sent by specific members, giving you an idea of who is most engaged and who may need more support. 
  • Analyze trends and patterns in your team's communication, helping you identify areas for improvement or potential issues. 

How to Use Slack Access Logs 

Here's how: 

  • To use Slack Access logs, go to Settings & Administration in the menu and select Workplace settings. 
  • Click on Access Logs. 
Slack settings and Permissions

That's it. You'll find all the information you need to manage and monitor user access in your workplace. 

Benefits of Slack Access Logs 

You can use these logs to: 

  • Track and monitor user activity, ensuring that only authorized users have access to your workplace. 
  • Identify and address any unauthorized access attempts or security breaches. 

How to Use Slack Audit Logs 

Again, start by going to Settings & Administration and selecting Organization settings. Then, do this: 

  • Go to Security in the left sidebar and select Audit logs. 
  • Filter the log entries through the drop-down menu by event, date range, affects, or acting user. 
  • Click the Export Logs button to download the logs in CSV format. 

The audit logs feature is only available for the Enterprise Grid plan. Primary owners in the organization can allow admins to access these logs by assigning them Audit log system roles

Benefits of Slack Audit Logs 

Slack audit logs give you the ability to: 

  • Keep track of all changes made to your workspace settings, channels, and files
  • Monitor any suspicious activity or potential security threats
  • Use the data for compliance and regulatory purposes

How to Use Slack Member Logs 

Slack member logs aren't as well-known as the previous two, but they are just as useful. 

To access them: 

  • Go to the Settings & Administration page in your workspace and select ''manage members.''
  • Filter members by their authentication status, billing, and account type.  
  • Click on the Export Member List option to get access to all members’ information. 

Benefits of Slack Member Logs 

It's quite simple. The member logs let you see if any foreign or rogue accounts have accessed your organization's workspace. 

Thanks to filters, you can identify and manage any inactive members, saving you valuable resources. 

Use Slack Logs to Keep Track of Your Customer Support 

Do Slack logs get saved? Yes, they do. Does that mean you can use Slack as customer support insight? Absolutely. 

For that, you'll need a customer service tool like JustReply that lets you manage your support conversations directly through Slack. The powerful search, smart editor, and help center further enhance the experience. 

Whichever support conversations pass through JustReply will also get stored in your team's Slack channel, allowing you to: 

  • Access and analyze past customer interactions
  • Use the data for training purposes and identify areas needing improvement
  • Collaborate with your team in real-time to provide better support 

Get started with JustReply to see these benefits in action. 

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