How can I get analytics for IT support requests?
July 20, 2012 7:16 AM   Subscribe

What's the best (ie fool proof) way for me to get some ongoing analytics data for my department at work?

I work in a 8-10 person IT department that supports about 300 or so users and I'd like to start collecting data about the types of support calls we get (is it hardware, software, location etc...) so that I can show my (new) boss and team members where our supports efforts are being spent and how to leverage our talent better.

I'd like to have it be web based so that any member of our team can log in and enter their data for the day and then I could run reports against it and maybe create some neat visualization graphs to present.

Keep in mind that this would not be used as a support ticket system but only to give me an aggregate view of the types of requests that are coming in.

Does anything like this already exist? Or can you suggest any application or software that will allow me to do this?

Maybe the answer is to just create an Excel spreadsheet but I'd like it to be web based so that it's easier to access. I'd like to remove as many barriers (and excuses) for people to not use this and make it as effortless as possible to contribute.

Thanks in advance.
posted by eatcake to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
If your organization uses SharePoint, then this is pretty easy to set up. In SharePoint you can use custom lists to create web forms that are linked directly to Excel. You can then use Excel to report out on the data you collect via the custom list.
posted by Jasper Friendly Bear at 7:34 AM on July 20, 2012

Google Spreadsheet form?
posted by XMLicious at 7:53 AM on July 20, 2012

The problem with self-reporting (which is what you're asking your folks to do) is that people HATE doing it. The perception is that it interferes with the actual work.

You can use Excel to create a log, and everyone can log calls.

Does your organization use a Customer Relationship Manager (CRM). This would be (Cloud based) or Microsoft Dynamics? There are activity tracking modules in those that could be bastardized for your purpose.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 8:36 AM on July 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

Does everyone work in the same physical location? Perhaps the easiest way to eliminate barriers is to go low-tech - put up a dry erase board on the wall with a grid of different call types - then just have them tally up their calls by category as the day goes. You (or someone else) could record that data to an Excel file at the end of the day and erase the board to start fresh each day.

To keep participation up, give each person a different color marker so you know if someone is neglecting to do it. The team may even turn it into their own little competition to see who does the most calls each day.
posted by trivia genius at 9:23 AM on July 20, 2012

It's a low tech answer but why not give them a daily log sheet with the info you want to capture - they tick the box that applies when they get the call and then turn in the sheets at the end of the day.
You will have spend some time entering the data yourself but then again, this is your project and until you prove out your theory, you don't want to add any extra time into your existing process.
posted by jaimystery at 10:10 AM on July 20, 2012

Ruthless Bunny, I know exactly what you're saying. People already have a hard time logging the actual calls so I know this would add another step (or layer).

We get a daily email report with the previous days requests every morning, so at first I was going to do all the data entry myself based on those reports. It doesn't need to be instant analytics so if it's a few days behind it would be ok.

I don't believe we use a CRM, not for our department anyway. This is a healthcare environment so the majority of the applications in our department is clinical applications.

Not everyone is in the same location. People are spread over 3, sometimes 4, sites.

We do use Sharepoint so I'll try to look into the option that Jasper Friendly Bear mentioned but I think people hate using Sharepoint more than having to use a simple web form or spreadsheet. I don't know if I can get editing privileges though.
posted by eatcake at 10:14 AM on July 20, 2012

jaimystery I may have to end up doing something like that, except paperless, we're in the information services / technology dept after all.
posted by eatcake at 10:17 AM on July 20, 2012

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