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

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/entry_view) 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.

Have more questions? Submit a request

Comments

  • Avatar
    Alan Conroy

    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

  • Avatar
    Jill Kaselitz

    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.

  • Avatar
    Joi Podgorny

    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?

  • Avatar
    Pierre Grenier

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

  • Avatar
    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?

  • Avatar
    Jill Kaselitz

    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.

  • Avatar
    Dale Wiggins

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

  • Avatar
    Jill Kaselitz

    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. 

  • Avatar
    David Linder

    @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

  • Avatar
    Ben Rohrs

    @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.

  • Avatar
    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.

  • Avatar
    David Linder

    @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!

  • Avatar
    Aaron Pinch

    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!

  • Avatar
    Ben Rohrs

    @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.

  • Avatar
  • Avatar
    Caitlin Davies

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

  • Avatar
    Anton de Young

    Caitlin, 

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

  • Avatar
    Roz P. Bucket

    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 :(

  • Avatar
    Ben Rohrs

    @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.

  • Avatar
    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?

  • Avatar
    Pierre Grenier

    @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.

  • Avatar
    Oliver

    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?

  • Avatar
    Alex Zarazua

    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)

  • Avatar
    Tetris Kiki

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

  • Avatar
    Ben Rohrs

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

  • Avatar
    Hans Stiles

    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?

  • Avatar
    Christopher McBride

    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

  • Avatar
    Bernard Hamann

    This seems like a handy tool.

  • Avatar
    Ellinor Lundén

    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

  • Avatar
    Justin

    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-through-native-reporting-and-views

    https://support.zendesk.com/entries/20116851-monitoring-ticket-activity-and-agent-performance-with-reports 

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