29 April 2013

Sixteen Excel Reports On Support Team Performance

Folder HelpDesk logoFolder HelpDesk V13 will have a new statistics feature: Excel reports. With sixteen different reports you can analyze how support tickets have been handled, and you  can also create your their own reports on the Folder HelpDesk ticket data.

Structured IT-support tickets
Many organizations have dedicated staff for IT support, and when this team is connected in a local network Folder HelpDesk for Outlook is a well functioning and easy to learn solution for handling the support requests.

Incidents become structured and efficient to work with when e-mails and web tickets are converted into Outlook tickets. And when a problem is reported in another way, maybe by telephone, a blank ticket can be filled out to get this issue into the same system. All this structured incident data can be studied in statistics  reports.
Folder HelpDesk ticket in Outlook
Known caller group gives more data
When the support staff assists a known group of people you can get even more out of Folder HelpDesk, as details about these people, like department and e-mail address, can be entered in the Folder HelpDesk settings and automatically filled out in the tickets. These details about callers are also included in the Excel reports.

Folder HelpDesk toolbar in OutlookClick a button to run reports
When the support team has been working with Folder HelpDesk for a while it is interesting to analyze what problems have been handled, how much time has been spent on different kinds of incidents, who the callers were and so on.

Ticket data is saved in an Access or SQL Server database, and when you click on the Folder HelpDesk statistics button in Outlook a tool fetches this data and converts it into Excel reports.

Four groups of reports
The sixteen reports are divided into four groups, with four reports in each. All reports have two representations, a pivot table and a graph – or chart as Microsoft calls them.

The first group of reports shows different aspects of time spent on tickets and the second group gives information about the callers. The third group shows data from an incident category angle, and the fourth one has the responsible support team members as the basis.
Folder HelpDesk Excel report
Use all Excel features
The Folder HelpDesk statistics reports are standard Excel reports, so you can use all Excel features with them. You may filter and drill into the reports, and you can add columns and rows that give more data than the default ones. All changes made in a table are reflected in the graph, and vice versa.  Siret shows how to do it in the demo below.

Many graph options
I think managers prefer to work with pivot tables, but when they want to show their results to a bigger group I am sure they prefer to use the graphs. These can be created in many different forms and colors and also saved as a PDF and in several other formats.

Create your own reports
The default Folder HelpDesk reports should cover what most managers want to see reports on, especially if they use the Excel options of adding more data. However, if it is necessary to create a brand new report this can be done too. Siret shows that in her demo also.

Open a new sheet, connect it to the database you use with Folder HelpDesk and create your report using the Excel tools. When it is saved it will be just another report among the rest of them, and it will be updated with fresh data each time you press the statistics button.

Discarded old tool
Earlier versions of Folder HelpDesk have had another statistics tool, my own OLAP Reporting Tool. I created it long ago, when the Office Web Components were automatically installed with Office.

Now this situation has changed, and I see no reason to stick to a tool just because I have created it, if I can give Community Members a better alternative.  It will also be easier for new customers, as they will not have to learn a new tool. Most administrators know Excel well, and there is a lot of information on internet if they don't.

If someone wants to keep the old tool after upgrading to Folder HelpDesk V13 there is a way to do that, but I am sure most users will appreciate the change to Excel reports. Here is a first overview:

By Peter Kalmström
CEO and Systems Designer Business Solutions

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