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What Can We Do with All This Issue Data Collected Through By Our Help Desk Software - White Paper #0005

What Can We Do with All This Issue Data?

So you've got a few months' worth of data. All those calls and responses. What can be done with it? In one word … trending. Most, if not all, of the latest help desk software programs have a built-in reporting feature. Generally, this feature allows you to make inquiries to your database and generate output that can depict your call desk environment. Reports can be produced which provide information on issues in summary, detailed, or statistical formats. You can filter the data by specifying a query. Most help desk software query programs give you the ability to print routine and custom reports.

  • Routine Reports. Help desk software programs should be able to produce reports that present data for everyday questions. Most systems have a variety of pre-defined reports to give you output on such questions as:
    • What departments, customers, billing areas, etc., call?
    • Do selected departments or customers call more frequently?
    • What is our average number of customers in the queue?
    • How long does it take for the average call to be resolved?
    • Are certain technical support individuals overutilized, underutilized, or never utilized?
    • Are certain pieces of equipment breaking down more often than others?

  • Custom Reports. Although help desk software programs have various reports to deal with the most common queries, no system can do it all. Senior management is bound to want SOMETHING that the canned reports cannot produce! But don't fret. Lots of problem management software enable custom report creation. Some help desk software systems allow this via coding within the program's language, such as C, C++, SQL, etc. Others allow you to create your customized reports in report program such as Seagate's Crystal Reports® and then transfer it to the help desk software programs reporting structure. Naturally, custom report generation may require the skills of a programmer to code these specialized programs. Costs notwithstanding, you will be able to create the kind of reports that all facets of your organization demands for doing trending analysis.

Naturally, the answers to the questions that drive these reports will inevitably save you money. For example, looking at a trend of which printers break down more frequently may persuade your management to buy more cost-effective printers, lessen calls about those devices, and reallocate staff for other problems. However, it's not always about money … sometimes it's customer satisfaction. If view trends that show a high rate of calls on Mondays between 9-11 am, customers may smile more if more personnel are hired to respond to issues at that time.

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