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4 Ways to Use Advanced Analytics in Service Desk Forecasting

05/15/2014 by: The SunView Team

Data analytics processes are starting to have an impact on just about every operational sector, including the IT service desk. Organizations that apply analytics processes to their service management strategies can position themselves to take full advantage of their personnel and technology resources. The end result is a much more streamlined, intuitive service desk setup in which businesses can use data to forecast how different strategies will impact operations.

Being able to anticipate issues that will have an effect on IT service management plans can play a key role in guiding many management tactics, making forecasting enabled by business intelligence (BI) tools critical.

These 4 forecasting benefits of BI particularly stand out:

1. Anticipate How Company Growth Will Impact the Service Desk
Every time a new user is added to the business, the service desk needs to be ready to handle a certain volume of incidents and processes that come with onboarding that individual and having another person using company technologies. The same goes for new customers, whether they are internal or external. Each time a business grows it puts a greater burden on the service desk, but quantifying the affect of expansion can be difficult.

Business intelligence platforms help corporate and technology leaders identify precisely how new employees and customers impact the service desk and plan their staffing and resource management strategies accordingly.

2. Plan Training to Minimize Disruption
Many businesses face significant challenges when it comes to educating employees and helping them grow into more demanding roles. On the one hand, service deskworkers can be so busy that finding time to train them in new areas can be extremely difficult. On the other, failing to keep them educated about new technologies, operational principles and business strategies can lead to service quality problems.

Using BI solutions to identify times when the service desk team will likely be less busy can make it much easier to plan training effectively and get workers informed on key areas of expertise without sacrificing stability within support operations.

3. Get Employees Comfortable With New Technology
This issue piggybacks on the previous training discussion, but is a bit different. New applications and services can impact business departments even more than they affect the service desk. Furthermore, corporate discomfort with new solutions can lead to more work and problems for support teams. BI solutions can help business and technology leaders identify how users will be affected by new applications or support strategies and enact training in advance.

Releasing a new application that plays a key role in business operations can be an incredibly disruptive process, creating costs in lost productivity. Effectively forecasting these issues makes it easier to prioritize and manage training for non-IT workers who will be dealing with new technologies.

4. Identify How Different Incident Types Impact Operations
Many incidents are caused by underlying problems, but deciding which IT problems to address first is a matter of closely analyzing how various incident types impact end users. Some incidents may be such an easy fix that they barely affect employees, while others may be difficult enough to resolve that they must be prioritized. Deep data pertaining to ticketing response times, how many workers are needed to handle a support request and how often users face incidents can play an integral role in guiding problem management strategies.

Problem management helps companies prevent incidents by solving the underlying issues that cause them. BI tools provide the forecasting functionality needed for support team leaders to figure out which incidents provide the greatest difficulty and plan their problem-related operations more effectively.

BI use within the IT service desk can prove invaluable as organizations seek ways to get the job done more intelligently. Forecasting is particularly important in this area as it helps companies anticipate issues, not just respond to them.

| ITIL / IT Operations