Top 3 Data Blind Spots in Service Management
Service-desk managers rely on accurate data to run a smooth ship and keep customers happy. Your main focuses as a service manager are to meet your service-level agreements (SLAs) and deliver the most superior quality of service possible, and a large part of achieving both of these goals involves monitoring reports in order to spot trends and identify areas for improvement. Your motto could be, “Stuff happens, we fix it, and the next time stuff happens, we’re prepared to fix it faster.”
While you’re no doubt performing these tasks as well as your current tool set allows, the reality is that the tools you’re using today may be stifling your efforts to best serve your customers and achieve greater efficiencies, holding your organization back from the greatest level of optimization possible, and creating improvement blind spots — areas in which your business could improve significantly, but that remain out of sight due to the shortcomings of traditional reporting tools.
As you might imagine, a help-desk solution vendor’s priority is developing features that create, update and close tickets. Reporting tools are also mandatory, but often, for a variety of reasons, not much attention is given to providing a robust reporting system to service-desk managers like you. In fact, what these software vendors typically do is simply embed an existing reporting solution — the most popular being Crystal Reports (also known as Business Objects) — instead of building their own.
If you’re one of many organizations using reports like these that come with your help-desk software, you’re being left behind with a set of generic, hard-coded, out-of-the-box reports that offer you only the most basic types of ticket information — data that is in no way customized to your environment or your needs.
In this scenario, the only option that seems viable in the event that you require more detailed information than this is to use builtin query functions that allow you to manually search for tickets, then export the necessary information to Excel as your reporting mechanism.
The majority of service-desk managers 5000fish has worked with have this amazingly robust Excel spreadsheet with enough formulas built into it to drive a PhD in mathematics wild. On top of this, many are running queries in their help-desk systems on a daily basis, copying them into these Excel spreadsheets, saving those spreadsheets as PDFs, then sending them off to management.
Does this sound like the most optimized or efficient way to do things — especially in the busy life of a service-desk manager? Whether or not this sounds familiar, you know the answer to that question.
If it does sound like you, though, consider this: You have a good grasp of the standard metrics service-desk managers should be watching — things like the number of tickets per period; the average time it takes to close a ticket; and tickets by priority, status and category. You know exactly what data you really need from a reporting tool.
But you also know you’re missing out on some of this key information simply because it’s too hard to customize those out-of-the-box reports provided by your service-desk vendor’s solution or because the intern who built all the formulas in that spreadsheet you’re using has moved to another department and you don’t dare try to change it, for fear of breaking the only data-analysis system you have.
Therein lies the conundrum of moving away from the way you’ve been doing things — functional, but not optimal — to a system and process that allows you to access more information and use it to help your business really shine. At this point, you might be wondering, “How much of an impact can this extra data really have?” so let’s take a look at some of this obscured information and see what a difference it could make for your organization if you had greater access to it.
In this guide, you will learn the top three data blind spots that you should keep an eye on in service management.