Using the Backlog Dataset in Insights (Professional and Enterprise)

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  • Joel Hellman

    For anyone else trying to access the mentioned Data Model Visualizer, I didn't have any luck opening it in Chrome (get some 400 Bad Request response). However, opening it after accessing Insights through Firefox worked.

  • Lakshmi

    How can I ascertain the metric around no. of users impacted by the backlog?

    For example, # of backlog tickets - 5 for January 2015.

    Does it mean 5 or 4 or 3 or 2 or 1 user(s) are impacted by the backlog? How do I get this metric from Zendesk?

  • Nikki Goodson

    I need more details on this:
    "As you can see, the _spFilter Backlog (Last Day of Month) metric is selecting the last date in each month to use for the month's backlog number. At this time there is not a prebuilt _spFilter metric for week, quarter, or year but it can be easily made by changing the _spFilter Backlog (Last Day of Month) metric to use a different period."

    I'd like to make one for weekly, but this is all new to me and I can't figure out how to do so. Step-by-step please?

  • Jacob J Christensen

    Hi Nikki,

    I was wondering the exact same thing. I think I have figured it out, but confirmation would be nice ;-)
    You may have solved it yourself?

    Anyway, here is what I did (omitting every wrong direction I took):

    1. Found the _spFilter Backlog (Last Day of Month) metric in GD by going to the What tab and searching _spFilter Backlog (Last Day of Month), clicking it and going to View Detail.
      View Details

    2. From here I made a duplicate of the original metric
      Duplicate metric

    3. Renamed the duplicate "_spFilter Backlog (Last Day of Week)", saved and clicked the Edit button, Clicked the Month/Year (event) and selected the Date (Event) folder and Day of Week (Mon-Sun) (Event) attribute [NOTE: there's also an Sun-Sat variant if you want, but thats crazy], Add selected and Save.
      Change attribute

    4. Went back to the report (may need to refresh the page) Selected the Filter tab and set up the Numeric Range filter like so:

    It seems to be working, but any comments would be appreciated.

    The result
    End result

  • Jessie - Community Manager

    Hey Jacob! Thanks so much for sharing your solution!

  • Joel Hellman

    I believe this is inaccurate: 

    When are the Backlog numbers calculated?
    A Zendesk account on the Enterprise plan will sync its
    data approximately hourly. 

    Looking at my history upload (I have an Enterprise account), I see it's synced daily, not hourly (unlike most other data sets). 

  • Amy Dee

    Hi Joel! For Enterprise accounts, most data does sync approximately hourly, as the article says. The backlog dataset is a bit different:

    • Backlog facts and metrics will reflect the state of the tickets in Zendesk at the last sync of the day. The exact time of the last sync cannot be predicted and is not necessarily exactly the same each day. Chances are it will be between 23:00 and 23:59 each day depending on available server resources at that time.

    We only expect the backlog dataset to sync once per day, due to the nature of what it captures. For Professional accounts, it syncs along with the rest of the data. For Enterprise, it syncs in the last round of the day.

    Happy reporting!

  • Joel Hellman

    Hi Amy

    Thanks for the clarification. I think it's the way the article is currently worded that confused me. Maybe just a small tweak, like 'On Enterprise, data sets are synced hourly, with the exception of the Backlog...'. or just put in the clarification you just did into the documentation :)


  • Shannon Brown

    ZD Team - Not having Organization as a filter for Backlog data is one of our very biggest paint points. Anyone using Zendesk at an Enterprise level, especially for B2B/E2E, we MUST know how we are doing for a given customer (Organization) over time. Create/Solve data is not enough. The Backlog is critical. 

    We would love to see this for custom fields, but I cannot fathom why it is not supported for the system field of Organization. We've been discussing and requesting this via our AE's for years, and we have yet to get confirmation on when and how this will happen. 

  • Jessie - Community Manager

    Hey Shannon, just wanted to let you know that I'm following up on this internally to see if I can find some info for you.

    I checked in our Product Feedback forum and didn't see anything about this over there...feel free to add a post with your detailed use case to make sure our Product Managers see it, if you want!

  • Shannon Brown

    Hi Jessie,

    Here is the other location that I posted this comment: 

    Happy to post elsewhere too. Just let me know the best avenue(s). This is a topic that I've brought up with Mo and Erin, as well as discussed with Jason and other product team folks when we've had our summits or meetings over the years. 


  • Jessie - Community Manager

    Definitely Product Feedback! The Product Managers see everything that's posted there, and posting it there will give other users the opportunity to add their vote and use case as well.

  • Marius Wilhelmi

    I am wondering about the meaning of the backlog attribute "Backlog Via = Rule". I see that a lot of our tickets which originally where created "via webform" appear under "Backlog Via = Rule" instead of "Backlog Via = Webform". I am interested in the information what business rule action, or whatever "Rule" means in this context, causes a backlog ticket to appear in this backlog category.

  • Anna

    Is it possible to see Backlog by hour of day? I'm hoping to arrange shifts according to when ticket backlogs are highest (not exactly the same as level of incoming tickets) but I can't yet see a way to do this. 

  • Leah

    Hi Anna! Unfortunately, it's not possible to see Backlogged tickets distributed by hour of day. Backlog tickets are calculated at the end of each day, which prevents that metric from filtering hourly. So sorry for the inconvenience here :(

    I think for your purposes, though, it might be helpful to look at the # Open Tickets. This metric, which includes open and new tickets, can be sorted by hour and might help you better understand your ticket volume over the course of the day! 

  • Mark Valencia

    Hi everyone,


    Is it possible to set the backlog report to show the # of backlog we have every Monday of the week? Has anyone tried doing this? 

    Thank you.


  • Amy Dee

    Hi Mark! You should be able to do this by customizing the _spFilter Backlog (Last Day of Month) metric. Start by duplicating the metric so you can edit it. (Jacob's comment above has some great screenshots for this.)

    The default metric looks like this:

    SELECT COUNT(Date (Event)) BY Date (Event) ALL OTHER WHERE Date (Event) = (SELECT MAX(Date (Event)) BY Month/Year (Event) WHERE Date (Event) < This )

    Dates all have an underlying numeric value in Insights. This metric works by counting dates that match the highest date value within each month.

    To lock this to Mondays, you'll need to make two changes.

    • Replace the month attribute with Week (Mon-Sun)/Year (Event).
    • Replace MAX with  MIN.

    With these changes, you'll be looking at weeks running from Monday to Sunday, and you'll only be finding the lowest (or first) date within each of those weeks.

    The finished metric should look like this:

    SELECT COUNT(Date (Event)) BY Date (Event) ALL OTHER WHERE Date (Event) = (SELECT MIN(Date (Event)) BY Week (Mon-Sun)/Year (Event) WHERE Date (Event) < This )

    Once you have your modified metric, you can use it in the same numeric range filter described in this article.

    I hope this helps! Happy reporting!

  • Mark Valencia

    Yay! Thanks so much, Amy! It works.

    You're a gem! :-)

  • Carlos Perez-Navarro

    My implementation uses organization tags that are stamped into tickets to act as markers to align primary representatives with their various organizations' tickets.  Tracking the backlog across multiple assignees but filtered down by each primary representative tag becomes impossible without any way to reference those tags in the # backlog dataset.  

    Any Workarounds?



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