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3 Ways Reporting Helps you Get the Most From the Service Desk

02/12/2014 by: The SunView Team

Investing in an advanced IT service desk will often give IT leaders access to reporting data and analytics that allow them to make more intelligent decisions on a variety of topics. In many cases, features like change management and a CMDB will prove to be key to a company's decision to implement a service desk. But secondary considerations like reporting should not be neglected as organizations make their choices.

When it comes to service desk functionality, there are three ways that reporting capabilities really pay dividends for organizations:

1. Staffing
Imagine you have two service desk groups with five employees in each. Each serves a different set of offices, and both are overwhelmed by the number of tickets they are handling on a day-to-day basis. This is leading to the employees getting behind on handling change requests because they are too bogged down supporting end users. How many new service desk employees do you hire?

You could ask around and get a feel for what is needed based on discussions with your current staff, but that information still leaves you guessing. A service desk that features reporting functionality can eliminate the guesswork. You can look at how many incidents, on average, each worker is handling on a daily basis. How many change requests and problems the system gets each day and what workers were able to handle back before they had too much to do. With this information, you can precisely measure what tasks an experienced employee can perform each day and use that data to identify precisely how many new hires are needed to solve the operational problems facing the two service desk groups.

2. KPIs
Key performance indicators are different data sets that clue managers and business or technology leaders into how employees are performing. These data sets can take just about any form depending on a business' priorities. For example, one company may consider the ratio of incidents handled per day compared to tickets received as a KPI because it gives them clear insight into the pace at which an employee can work. However, another business that handles fewer problems, but faces more complex issues, may choose KPIs that deal with problem identification, change request handling and other more sophisticated processes.

Regardless of the KPIs you need, having a service desk that can feed you that data is an invaluable part of employee evaluation. Furthermore, this data doesn't just let you see the quality of workers you have, it can also clue you in to what internal training could be most beneficial.

3. Performance insight
Which aspects of your service desk, as things stand, are underperforming? Where is the technology limiting operational efficiency? These are the kinds of questions that IT managers need to ask themselves all the time in order to improve functionality and find the right solution for their ever-changing needs. But the answers are not always particularly clear. Reporting functionality within the service desk can make it much easier to figure out where the technology is performing well and where it may be lacking. It can also provide vital insight into ways that operational ideals and technological capabilities are not aligned.

This information can help IT managers develop clear strategies and timelines for adding new modules to the service desk or implementing plans to upgrade to a service management solutions.

Essentially, reporting data provides the factual analysis that IT leaders need to couple with their observations and knowledge to make the best decisions possible. Businesses may be able to get by solely on the skill of their technology employees, but a service desk that features advanced reporting tools gives companies the data they need to support those workers effectively.