With the ever expanding amount of contact center data, it can be frustrating to manage contact center reporting. As Brian Hinton writes in “Contact Center Reporting,” from the December issue of Contact Center Pipeline, the variety of data requests and the number of applications that house that data “drive the need to export the data into a warehouse or spreadsheets to meet business needs.” Often, this leads to multiple problems including “data distrust, dependence on individuals, high time demands, duplicated effort, and errors.” Ultimately this negates the value of the data, especially for contact center management purposes.
While most contact center managers are well aware of the value of accurate data, Hinton emphasizes this fact and the key role it plays in management:
ACD reporting feeds the supervisor desktop for real-time, intraday monitoring and management. The supervisor sees information on service levels, abandons, average speed of answer, handle time, and time in work states. Supervisors watch the intraday statistics and react when metrics exceed thresholds. Daily, weekly, and monthly reports help leaders and analysts spot trends. Monitoring historical data ensures that process or technology changes have not had a negative impact – and hopefully validates expectation of positive impact.
In a perfect world, it would be easy to obtain and review all of that data. However, Hinton highlights (and contact center managers are already well aware), that it is not a perfect world. Complex data requirements – such as the need to marry ACD data with ERP, CRM and other enterprise data to reveal the value of the ACD data - often leads to manual reporting strategies and an over-reliance on spreadsheets, which are a tool not best suited for contact center data management. Instead, Hinton emphasizes the value of a contact center focused database warehouse; a database offers auto-save features, dynamic data, and access for multiple users simultaneously. He offers the following key considerations for effectively managing and using data through a database warehouse:
- First, create a reporting strategy. Have a reason and target audience for each report, and identify if there are ways to consolidate reports.
- Second, understand existing reporting tools. Identify ways to use canned reporting when possible.
- Create analytic tools. Use a data warehouse specifically geared for contact centers; this will give you more focused information and provide more confidence in data accuracy.
Hinton’s strategy aligns with Inova Solutions’ goal to facilitate data consolidation from multiple systems. Inova Solutions LightLink software can help contact centers cut through the clutter and consolidate key metrics across platforms (core functionality) and develop and implement a metrics strategy through Inova’s Real-Time Performance Analysis Service. Ultimately, contact center managers will be better equipped to determine the right metrics, “enabling an effective data flow from applications to dashboards, scorecards, and reporting.”