Reporting in contact centers is vital. The old adage, "if you can't measure something, you can't manage it" is very true in this industry. Contact centers are awash with data on agents, queues, wait times, priorities, SLAs etc., so how best to manage? Here is our take on some fundamental points:

1. Reports must be simple to specify and build. However, the reason for generating the report should be understood so results can be analysed from the correct view point and acted upon accordingly. For example, is the objective to assess certain operational aspects of the agents or the effectiveness of a campaign and its impact on customer satisfaction?

2. Dashboards must be able to be displayed in a variety of ways using different formats, from large display boards to smartphones and every device in-between.

3. The system must be interactive – if reporting information exposes areas of concern then changes should be made to resolve the situation. The reporting then needs to continue to show what effect such changes have had.

4. Database management and the selection and presentation of data for use in reports must be fit for purpose. For example, there will be a trade-off between how much real time data is accessible, the detail and quantity that can be stored and frequency of aggregation. Make sure that your vendor has a solution that uses the right technologies for big data and has a model that can scale as history accumulates.

5. But just when you think you have got the big data model right demand comes for a report that holds the key to total enlightenment and big data can't manage! So there will always be a need to get at the raw data generated by the contact center software and make this available to the end user.

In practice most users worry about the first three of these points – because they are dealing with real things we can see. But the real key to success lies in the last two points – making data available in the right form.


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