3 Top Tips to Improve ITSM Reporting

By Tek-Tools on September 29, 2020

IT Service Management (ITSM) software enables you to set up and manage your company’s IT systems. It’s a key solution for modern businesses that rely on complex and growing IT infrastructure. However, without ITSM reporting tools, it can be hard to make decisions with concern for your internal systems.

ITSM or service desk reporting enables you to take information your software compiles and present it in an easily understood manner. In most cases, it reports rather than raw data that will inform the decisions you make to improve your internal processes.

Why ITSM Reporting Can Improve Your Workflow

Reports aren’t something to be intimidated by. At their core, we’re simply talking about compilations of data at a high level. With in-depth ITSM reporting, you should be able to identify bottlenecks and issues in your IT infrastructure and come up with prompt solutions.

To use an example, let’s imagine your help desk is constantly receiving nearly-identical support requests. Without periodic reports, you might not notice there’s a pattern at all.

What’s more, depending on how detailed those reports are, you should be able to glean the following information:

  • What software or hardware is linked to those support requests
  • Which users are running into this problem
  • When the errors began to appear
  • Who’s been handling the support requests

When you combine this information in a readily understood manner , finding solutions becomes much simpler. In this scenario, service desk reporting would enable you to narrow down the cause of a fix potentially creating significant downtime for users. You can also simultaneously prevent further monetary losses.

3 Top Tips to Improve ITSM Reporting

It’s not enough to use an ITSM solution with reporting capabilities. If you want to maximize the usefulness of your ITSM reports, you’ll need to “tailor” or optimize them. Here are three techniques to help you achieve this.

1. Focus on the Right Metrics for Your Business

Not every business stands to benefit from the same metrics. For example, if you manage hundreds of support requests per day, you might want to track overall ticket volume and incident response times. There are dozens of service desk metrics you can track, so identify which metrics best align with your team and organization’s goals.

By tracking and analyzing response times and resolution times, your ITSM reports can highlight how long it takes on average for your agents to close tickets. If those times are too high, you can provide your team with tools to lower them by performing the following.

  • Expanding your internal knowledge base to provide more and better information
  • Setting up a self-service user portal to cut down on the number of incoming requests
  • Using collaborative tools enabling agents to tackle complex technical issues together

For a business with a more targeted clientele, on the other hand, resolution times might not be as important as overall customer satisfaction. In this case, CSAT reports should include data gathered from user surveys, which will yield insights into how to provide a better service (or confirm what’s working well already).

Ultimately, your ITSM reports should include data aligning with your business goals. If your reports lack focus, key information can get lost in the noise.

2. Provide the Right Reports to the Right People (At the Right Time)

ITSM reports provide decision-makers with the information they need to lead your team(s). Depending on the size of your organization, however, you might need to keep several people in the loop.

Most modern ITSM solutions enable you to configure who should receive notifications for new reports and when. For example, the service desk manager might need to look at a monthly incident throughput report to see how many incidents each service desk technician is handling to measure effectiveness. Management may benefit from a recurring incidents heatmap report to spot high volume times of day/days of the week to optimize staffing. Determining who needs to see what metrics and the ideal cadence for reporting is essential to ensuring key reports don’t get lost in inboxes or go overlooked.

Scheduling reports in advance also enables you to run a more organized operation. Depending on the influx of data, you might want to get new reports daily, weekly, or even monthly. Knowing when information will come in means you can plan meetings ahead, set time aside to analyze reports, and more.

3. Use Plenty of Visuals Within Your Reports

Since we’re not machines, processing huge amounts of data is never an easy task. The more complex your ITSM reports are, the more essential it becomes to include plenty of visual elements.

By visual elements, we mean any of the following:

  • Tables
  • Charts
  • Graphs
  • Diagrams
  • Lists
  • Heatmaps

The goal of these elements is to help you clearly communicate critical information. Keep in mind, in many cases, the people who see these reports might not share the same technical background as IT employees.

Using the right type of visual element can enable you to highlight the information you need stakeholders to focus on. It can also help readers go through reports more efficiently, ultimately leading to faster solutions.

Conclusion

If you want to maximize the usefulness of your ITSM reports, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Focus on the right metrics for your business
  2. Provide the right reports to the right people
  3. Use plenty of visuals within your reports

The goal of ITSM software is to help you ensure your software and hardware infrastructure are always working in top shape. Moreover, ITSM solutions can help you identify technical issues and areas where you can improve efficiency. All of that, however, is only possible with in-depth ITSM reporting.

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