IT service desk investments can be a huge commitment, so it's no surprise that many organizations put plenty of resources into solutions that help them optimize their staff and their technology. Business intelligence tools are IT service management features that can go a long way toward helping organizations find new ways to understand their service desk and maximize their system and processes.
Big data is the key cog in helping you use BI tools effectively. While big data is just one of the major buzzwords flying through technology industry conversations, it is more than just hype. Big data tools provide detailed information about how your service desk operates, offering insightful data that can reveal patterns and relationships between data that would be otherwise impossible to notice. Three ways you can use big data to gain a deeper understanding of your service desk include:
1. Reveal causation
A basic analytics effort can help you see data that is correlated. For example, you may identify a situation in which three different data sets seem to respond to various circumstances in the same way, creating a clear correlation. However, correlation alone is not enough to ensure effective decision making. Complex systems like the service desk feature so many variables that statistical analysis can lead to huge margins of error. As such, figures that seem to have a correlative relationship can be insightful, but you need to spend a great deal of time and analysis to figure out how those correlations impact your support technologies and workers.
Big data digs a bit deeper than basic analytics, often giving you a wide or deep enough look at information to move beyond correlation and find patterns in data that point to causation. The result is an opportunity to make intelligent decisions when managing staff members or investing in new technologies.
2. Create nuanced KPIs
Key performance indicators provide a vital snapshot of how well workers are getting the job done. However, an overly simplistic KPI measurement can leave you thinking workers are performing in ways that aren't accurate. For example, only examining the average time it takes for a ticket to be resolved by a support worker is helpful, but it is also limited because you don't know details like the complexity of tickets that employee handles, if that individual is unusually good at interacting with the customers and takes longer because of that friendliness or if he or she lacks training in a key area.
Simple KPIs can raise red flags about possible problems or help you identify workers who are doing well on a basic level however, you need deeper, more nuanced KPIs to get a detailed feel for your service desk.
3. Turn data into knowledge
This isn't so much something that big data does as it is something you should keep in mind when digging deep into analytics. It can be easy to get so focused on the raw data and what it tells you that you forget to stop and think about the situation you are analyzing as critical. Big data is only as valuable as the people using it, and you need to make sure you train managers and other service desk leaders to take the information revealed by big data and turn it into knowledge. Effective knowledge creation supports better decision making and can turn analytics data into a resource for the entire support team.
Big data is a powerful tool in any sector, and it can give service desk professionals an opportunity to get a deeper understanding of their support technologies, processes and workers.