Forums/Documentation/Web portal (Zendesk Classic)

Analyzing forum activity (Web portal) (Plus and Enterprise)

Anton de Young
posted this on November 02, 2011 16:27

Note: If you joined Zendesk on or after August 21, 2013, you have the Help Center instead of the Web portal. If you landed on this page by accident, see the articles on using the Help Center. Also, see our support tip for Using Google Analytics with Help Center.

To more closely monitor how active your knowledge base and forums are, Zendesk provides forum analytics for Plus or Enterprise accounts. For each category and forum, you can see activity data for the last 30 days. This includes the number of new articles created, how many users have viewed the articles, and the total number of votes, subscriptions, and comments.

Forum analytics is available in the Plus and Enterprise versions of Zendesk. The statistics are only visible to administrators and agents who have permission to moderate the forums.

You can view forum analytics from your forums or through the Reporting dashboard:

  • Click your profile icon in the upper-right corner of the page header, then select Go to web portal. Click Forums in the menu bar.
  • Click the Reporting icon () in the sidebar, then click the Forum tab.
Zendesk Classic: To open your forums, click Forums in the menu bar. To open the Reporting dashboard, select Manage > Reporting, then click the Forum tab.

When you see the forum analytics, click any of the five data sets at the top; the Topics data set is open by default.

By clicking one of the five data sets, you see a more detailed graph that contains a node for each day. Hover your mouse over the nodes to see the total number for that day.

The detailed graph also compares each data set to its average from previous months, as shown in the detailed graph below.

Activity statistics are provided at each level in the Web portal forums: the overview level, at the category level, and for forums and articles. When you select one of the statistic types (for example, Views, as shown above) the top 25 articles are displayed below the Stats dashboard. They are sorted from highest to lowest (for example, most views to least views). The number of views is shown next to the article title. In the example below the total number of views for the most viewed article is 1521.

Each of the article lists is a persistent URL (for example: https://support.zendesk.com/categories/12132-getting-started#stats/...) that can be bookmarked.

Forum analytics are displayed in your forum pages by default. If you don't to display them there (and instead just use them in the Reporting menu), follow these steps to disable it:

To disable forum analytics in your forum pages

  1. Click the Admin icon () in the sidebar then select Channels > Web portal.
    Zendesk Classic: Select the Settings menu and then select Channels > Web portal > Edit.
  2. Deselect the Forum & Search analytics > Show option.
  3. Click Save.

How statistics are calculated

The statistics are calculated based on the following:
  • All activity for the last 30 days
  • Access by both end-users, agents, and administrators
  • Each page request is counted as a view

When you move an article to a different forum or a forum to a different category, the item's statistics are not added to the container's statistics. This is because statistics are only calculated for a container (a forum or category) if the activity occurred within the container. 30 days after you've moved the item, the container will accurately reflect the activity that occurred within those 30 days. The moved item, however, retains all its accumulated activity statistics. Likewise, the container that the item was moved from retains the item's statistics until 30 days after it was moved.

 

The subscriptions statistic is based on the total number of subscriptions to the articles within a forum. Subscriptions to the forum itself are not calculated.

It can take up to 24 hours before new activity data is displayed in the Stats dashboard.

Note:

Forum statistics are only gathered when end-users access the HTML versions of the forum pages via a Web browser. Statistics are not gathered when accessed via the Zendesk API.

How you can use forum activity statistics

Forum analytics gives you insight into how your knowledge base and forums are being used. You can then take action based on this information. Here are several examples of how you can use forum analytics to monitor your knowledge base and provide better support to your customers.

  • Monitor unanswered questions and create tickets

    If you create a forum for asking and answering questions, you can track what questions have not been answered within 24 hours (for example) and either respond to them or assign the question to an agent by clicking Escalate to ticket. Monitoring this type of forum can also make you aware of the types of information that should be addressed in your knowledge base.

  • Update popular articles

    At the overview, category, and forum levels, you can easily see what the most popular articles are by number of views. Select Views from the Stats dashboard and you'll see the list of top 25 articles by views over the last 30 days. You'll see the total number of views per item and also the article author and the creation date. You'll want to ensure that your most popular articles are closely monitored and are always up to date.

  • Measure your knowledge base content effectiveness

    Using forum analytics, you can measure how effective your content is in creating deflection by answering questions before they are asked. For example, a high number of votes can indicate that an article is useful. An article with many comments can indicate that the content is confusing or incomplete and requires your customers to ask follow-on questions.

 

Comments

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Alan Conroy
Project CS Beta Testers

How are you measuring this?

I've looked at one subject in our forum that according to ZD stats has 32 views but in the same 30 days google analytics has on 7 views. Perhaps each system is measuring different metrics so I'd be interested to see how ZD create theirs

November 09, 2011 09:34
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Jill Kaselitz
Zendesk

Hi Alan, within Zendesk forum analytics a 'view' will be counted each time a page is requested by both your end-users and agents. Within your google analytics integration did you configure it to ignore certain IP addresses? If it was set up to ignore your agent's IP addresses, then this would account for the difference in the number of views.

November 09, 2011 11:50
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Joi Podgorny
sbiaj

Is there anyway to see more than 30days?  If not, are we able to export the data regularly so that we can have longitudinal info to compare usage?

January 06, 2012 16:15
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Pierre Grenier
Product Manager

@Joi... currently we only show last 30D.  In the future, we want to enable CSV export and/or synchronization with GoodData.  Pierre

January 06, 2012 16:38
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Marci

My forum stats have disappeared. I thought perhaps there is a new toggle on/off feature, but can't seem to find anything. I hoped perhaps it was tracking only user views, not agent views. I wondered if perhaps there have been no views, but that's not true (assuming agent views are still counted). But none of my perhapses have hap'd. Any thoughts?

January 13, 2012 09:53
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Jill Kaselitz
Zendesk

Hi Marci,

I'm going to create a ticket for you so that we can look into this further. You'll be receiving an email from us momentarily.

January 13, 2012 10:50
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Dale Wiggins

Hi, I am also missing the forum stats, They seem to have disappeared. Any thoughts?

January 17, 2012 14:04
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Jill Kaselitz
Zendesk

Forum analytics were temporarily available to Starter and Regular customers due to a bug. We recently made an announcement about this here.  We apologize for the confusion. 

January 26, 2012 14:14
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David Linder
line2

@Jill Just to be clear, Forum analytics don't offer the same exporting capabilities as normal reporting. @Pierre mentioned that you are hoping to set up csv exports; do you have a timeframe for this project?

With no export feature available, is the only way to track forum stats in Zendesk. I'd prefer to analyze them on my own in Excel. 

Thanks!

David

February 14, 2012 14:23
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Ben Rohrs
Product Manager

@Dlinder, we don't have this formally scheduled on the roadmap yet, but if you create a feature request for this in our forum I'd love to hear further details on what you'd want included in the export.

February 15, 2012 15:02
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Craig Smith

It makes me sad that a basic topic "view count" statistic isn't available to regular subscribers. It seems like pretty standard forum functionality found in most free forum software.

February 16, 2012 10:46
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David Linder
line2

@Jill, I have a question about your first response to this post. 

Unlike Alan, I set my Google Analytics Widget to record activity of anyone who is not an agent, aka people that are logged into Zendesk and those that are just viewing. 

In comparing one day, I'm finding that Google is recording substantially more pageviews than the Zendesk Forum Stats. My theory is because Zendesk only counts views if an EU clicks on an entry rather than just viewing the /forums page. GA aggregates all views including the home page, but even after subtracting home views, I'm still finding that Google records more hits. 

Have you encountered this issue before? If so, what are your suggestions as to why this is happening?

Thanks! and thanks for the new search analytics feature!

March 20, 2012 14:35
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Aaron Pinch
clio

How is this information stored in the system?  Any chance we can get stats that show ONLY end user requests and filter out logged in agents?

 

Great feature!

May 04, 2012 13:14
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Ben Rohrs
Product Manager

@Aaron: This is something that we currently don't offer, but would like to build in the future. Would you always want to filter out agent activity on your forum articles? I suggest creating a post for this in our Feature Request forum so others can add their perspective.

May 05, 2012 12:31
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Aaron Pinch
clio
May 07, 2012 10:59
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Caitlin Davies
verbasoftware

Do these reports count admin views, or just end users and agents? Thanks! 

May 18, 2012 17:16
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Anton de Young
Zendesk

Caitlin, 

It's all three: end-users, agents, and administrators. 

May 21, 2012 10:05
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Roz P. Bucket
photobucket

Pierre posted in January that "... currently we only show last 30D.  In the future, we want to enable CSV export and/or synchronization with GoodData." Any update on this? I didn't realize that we couldn't go back or else I would have tracked it manually to keep a record :(

June 27, 2012 10:14
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Ben Rohrs
Product Manager

@Roz: We hope to introduce custom date ranges soon, which would allow you to pull stats from further back than 30 days. I suggest posting this in the Feature Request forum as well since I imagine others want this functionality as well.

June 27, 2012 17:39
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Matt Jensen

If I want to filter my users by their post counts to determine our most active users on the forums, is there a way to do that?

June 28, 2012 10:42
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Pierre Grenier
Product Manager

@Matt... unfortunately this is not an option today.  All stats collected are aggregated and anonymous.  Definitely something we are thinking of adding (but a post on Reature Request forum might help increase the visibility.

June 28, 2012 10:59
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Oliver
boku

How about comparing numbers across articles in different forums and so forth to see which ones are most popular? From what I can tell you would have to go to all of the forums individually and tabulate the numbers by hand. Is there a faster way to find out which forums I should promote based on usage metrics?

July 18, 2012 09:35
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Alex Zarazua
webpt

Is there a way we can export this data (results) into a CSV file? This is very important data for us - without it we can't see how many customers are viewing which KB articles (and ones they're not)

August 14, 2012 09:35
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Tetris Kiki

Does this data get pushed to GoodData?  If so, may we get a sample dashboard we can use to monitor these stats?

August 28, 2012 13:51
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Ben Rohrs
Product Manager

@Tetris, unfortunately there isn't currently a mechanism to export this into GoodData

August 28, 2012 14:00
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Hans Stiles
Actix Limited

A feature that we would find very useful is the ability to analyze forum statistics per user.  Is there a way to achieve this with current functionality or through an integration?

October 24, 2012 23:38
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Christopher McBride
truecontext

I'd like if we could get a posting from the good folks at Zendesk, which provides an overview of the state of development for some of these features. Is this possible, say by providing some estimated dates for each bit of requested functionality? 

Specifically I am interested in: 

Can we get a CSV export, with a date range option? 

Can we get a posting to Good Data of  forum usage? 

Can we track Agent activity within the forums? I'd really like to measure the relative productivity of my agents, with regard to posting and updating of KB articles and content. 

Separating user activity from agent activity would also be most useful, perhaps as a filter in the CSV export? 

Thanks

November 15, 2012 13:06
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Bernard Hamann

This seems like a handy tool.

January 10, 2013 00:20
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Ellinor Lundén
getcompliant

Hi!

 

My question is wether there is possible to get some based on the ticket fields?

 

We have for example:

- Direction (inbound or outbound)

- Categories (Product, Content, Usage)

- Feature request

 

We are interested in knowing how many tickets generated in feature request, how many were inbound calls and how many were outbound calls, how many were related to our product compared (technical issues) the content of our product (text information).

 

Does this make any sense?

 

Would be so helpful to get som info about this.

 

Best regards

Ellinor

January 21, 2013 15:53
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Justin Seymour
Zendesk

Hey Ellinor: 

While the dashboard won't show that information, you can build custom reports to give you that data on your custom ticket fields. 

https://support.zendesk.com/entries/22479881-better-analysis-throug...
https://support.zendesk.com/entries/20116851-monitoring-ticket-acti... 

January 23, 2013 05:03
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Maryann
korrio

Can you remove certain categories from being pulled into the Forum Stats? For example, we have an entire category that is hidden from the public where we post internal documents and ask questions. Those posts and docs are showing up in my reports and thus skewing my metrics (as we want to track out end-user use, not our own). Thanks!

February 07, 2013 13:23
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Justin Seymour
Zendesk

There's not much flexibility with forum stats at the moment, Maryann. The overall dashboard will show data for all forums. There are separate reports and metrics for each forum at the forum level. 

February 10, 2013 05:50
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Jehanzeb Afridi
globaltel

Hi,

Is there a way of creating a widget for topics based on number of views. In other words a widget for mostly viewed topics of forum, just like the once for "Hot topics" and "Related Topics"

Thanks.

February 20, 2013 00:38
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Roz P. Bucket
photobucket

Jehan - Its one of Zendesk's built in widgets. When I click "Edit widgets on this page" I see "Top Articles". Not sure if that is by views, but I'm would assume so.

February 22, 2013 12:08
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Todd Zabel
Hearsay Social

Looking forward to getting this data into GoodData someday. You could do some pretty interesting and actionable reports if you could add identical tags to ticket categories and forum articles and produce quantifiable ($) self-service data.

March 03, 2013 16:04
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Sam Feldman
skyword

I'm wondering if there's a way to analyze forum activity by tags. We're using the option to "Restrict access to end-users and organizations with all of the following tags," but I can't seem to find a way to pull reporting on how many searches, views, etc, a specific tag had.

May 21, 2013 07:31
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Larisa Moore
RealNetworks, Inc.

Is there anyway to get the statistics for ALL forum articles? I'm used to culling out those that haven't had any views for the past 90 days.  Sometimes our product team thinks we need certain articles but customers don't ever ask that question. :)  I'd like to see which ones are getting 0 hits, even if it's just for the past 30 days.

I second (or third) the request to export the data.

May 24, 2013 10:59
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Todd Zabel
Hearsay Social

@Larisa - I use Google Analytics to drill into this data. You might also try CrazyEgg (http://crazyegg.com) or ClickTale (http://clicktale.com) for more advanced in-page analytics. 

June 12, 2013 08:25
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Elango S
svndocs

Is there anyway possible for me to report the forum articles based on the author? I checked in Zendesk & in Good Data. I dont see anything related to that. Can you help me?

July 05, 2013 03:30
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Laura D.
Zendesk

Hi Elangos, 

No, I'm sorry there's no way to correlate topics with their authors in reporting. The only way I can think of is to check the author's profile, although it's a manual process it will show you a list of all of their topics and comments.

Just so we can understand better what kind of information/metric are you looking for in seeing these two pieces of data together?

July 05, 2013 16:19
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Elango S
svndocs

Laura, 

Thanks for your response. To answer your question. there are a lot of information I could gain from this data. I can see which agent posted most/least articles within the support team. This will also help me understand which customer raised most/least questions(articles) in the forums. As you know these data will help me evaluate Rep's contribution, narrow down on Sales lead etc (more question from a  user/Organization is a potential lead for me).

It will be great to see this feature soon. Any pointers on getting this through API in the mean time?

July 08, 2013 01:21
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Laura D.
Zendesk

Hi, 

That makes a lot of sense, you might want to make a Feature Request about this or add to some of the existing related ones (like this one). Thanks for elaborating on what you're looking for!

July 08, 2013 17:03
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Max VanDuyne

I see that Pierre mentioned possible GoodData integration for Forum statistics in January of last year. Has there been any progress on this front?

We also would like to gather more data on our Knowledge Base. One of the ways we want to be able to track deflection is by comparing individual users' forum page views/votes/comments against their opened tickets.

We'd also like to be able to get more gritty data on forum views in general. Rather than just listing overall views sliced by article, we'd like to be able to slice by Category and by Forum, to see if certain forums don't have enough visibility, or are being under-utilized.

August 15, 2013 10:43
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Matt Beech
Riliance

Please can we have the agent and admin view count removed. We are only interested in end user views 

 

 

August 16, 2013 05:23
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Jamie

Question for anyone who may know: My company is thinking about upgrading our account. We're interested in being able to see what users are searching for in our knowledge base. Is there a way to get a report on search terms used?

September 06, 2013 10:15
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Max VanDuyne

@Jamie - in the current ZD (don't know about Help Center), you can click on the Reports button (just above the Gear icon on the Agent sidebar) and click on the 'Search' tab. There is also a link to export it to a CSV there

September 06, 2013 10:47
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Oscar Tobar
Zendesk

@Paul Reporting on Forum activity with GoodData is still not something that has been created. Although this is still something we'd like to do, there are other improvements to the integration that are being considered a higher priority. Currently, Google Analytics is what customer are using to analyze their Forum activity. You can find the article on google Analytics, here: https://support.zendesk.com/entries/21871802-Advanced-Customer-Metr...

September 10, 2013 10:30
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Nina Nikolic
firemonkeys

Hi Oscar. I'm definitely looking forward to integrating forum info with Good Data as well. We require to have KPIs viewable by management including forum activity, which just isn't possible without a lot of fluffing around that could be avoided with Good Data integration. Any updates on progress for this in future would be fantastic :)

September 16, 2013 00:03