Service desk reporting is critical to understanding capacity, service quality and learning about areas to improve. Sarah Bilton of TOPdesk explains the art of service desk metrics.  

Reports are incredibly useful to any service desk – but they can lose effectiveness if you aren’t sure what purpose you generated them for. The solution: cut down the amount of reports you generate, and make sure they have a purpose by aligning them with your goals. Here are my tips for improving your service desk reporting. 

Make sure your goals are clear
The task of analysing your reports becomes much easier if you know what you are looking for and what reports you actually need. When I hosted a roundtable about reporting at SITS 2017, one person mentioned that they run reports on absolutely everything (and even brought some – I mean a lot – of examples). I asked if the department uses the reports, to which the response was essentially “no”.

On the other hand, the person who said that they only generate eight reports was happy to say that they were all useful and supported their goals. A good lesson, and a result of knowing what you want, and what figures you need to make sure you are on track!

Don’t be afraid to keep it simple
Remember that while you may instinctively assume that more in-depth reports are better, this isn’t always the case. You can get a lot out of simple call entry stats, for example.

Keep track of what users are logging calls, who aren’t, any specific trends and if any specific call is logged a lot. Stats like these can be very useful for a lot of things – like getting a good understanding of how your self-service portal is used in the organisation, or if a department who is logging a lot may need some attention.

Never be afraid to show these simple stats off to your managers, by the way. You may feel like you need to bring your “A-game” to a meeting by showing off a lot of complicated analysis. But clear and effective stats will already have a huge impact. And quick stats are more instantly relatable than very complicated graphs.

Group your stats
You can keep track of the process of a project by selecting a group of simple reports that will inform you about the key metrics.

Remember that service desk metrics are not just metrics about the service Desk performance, but about any aspect of your service delivery. One of our customers has a system where they log every time a call is escalated to 2nd-line with the specific reason: “needs specialism”. If a certain call or specialism comes up a lot, 1st line will be trained in this in order to decrease call response time and further their learning.

Deep-dig in top-level reports
Another interesting exercise is to look at specific data for a specific subset of users. For example, you can see what tickets new Starters are logging within their first three months of working by making a selection in your service desk tool. If a specific call comes up a lot, there may be something you can optimise in your onboarding experience to combat this.

But bear in mind correlation vs. causation. If many first starters log calls about a printer malfunctioning on floor 1, it’s probably not actually because every one of your new starters can’t operate a printer. It is more likely to be a problem with the actual printer (though, you never know).

Be pragmatic
Lastly – don’t slavishly follow frameworks. Sometimes, you as an organisation will need a specific piece of information, but the option to record this isn’t there. Add it! Always be open to changing form fields or input methods to make them work for your current circumstances. All organisations are unique, and maybe you have a problem that ITIL didn’t foresee.

More inspiration
If you are into strategy, planning and continuously improving your IT-department, download this IT Strategy e-book for more: Six Ways your IT Department Can Think More Strategically

Guest post by:
Sarah Bilton, TopDesk

Sarah Bilton

Sarah Bilton is service management consultant for TOPdesk.

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