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 - Cloudhuset A/S
    Community Moderator

    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 Schutz
    Zendesk team member

    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 Schutz
    Zendesk team member

    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 Schutz
    Zendesk team member

    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
    Zendesk Voice of Customer Team

    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?


  • Christopher C.

    Hello Amy,


    I would also like to do something similar to Mark, but I what to show my total backlog I have left every Sunday night. The way I have it set up now is that it takes the total amount from the whole week and adds it all together. 


    So if I have have 500 tickets of backlog every day (but all 500 tickets are solved) the weekly report will show that I have 3500 (500 * 7 Days). I want it to only show the remaining backlog tickets I have left at the end of the week on Sunday. 


    Please let me know what you think



  • Amy Dee

    Hi Chris! If you want to see Sundays, you should be able to use the same method I described above. You can take the default _spFilter Backlog (Last Day of Month) metric and modify it to find the last day of a Mon-Sun week.

    Replace the month attribute with Week (Mon-Sun)/Year (Event) like in Mark's metric, but leave it on MAX instead of switching to MIN. That way, it will find the highest value in each Mon-Sun week, which should be Sunday.

    The finished result would look like this:

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

    Use it the same way you would the _spFilter metric.

    I hope this helps! Happy reporting!

  • Violeta Micu

    Hi guys,

    My backlog on one queue is more than it should be because we have a workflow that belongs to another department. There is a user defined that has all this tickets, there are some kind of automatic emails. 

    We will no longer have this workflow but our previous data has a big impact because of this tickets (hundreds actually).

    I understood from this article that we can use only the backlog atributes no more no less than that. Do you know if there is any possibility to change the backlog by removing this tickets (deleting the account, deleting the tickets...etc.).


    Thank you,


  • Taimur Saad


    What's the exact difference between # of Backlog and # of unsolved tickets metrics? For example, If my # of unsolved tickets was 2,000 in Jan 2019, and then why I check # of Backlog (by using spFilter last day of the month) today, how come I'm not getting the same number?


    Thank you

  • Graeme Carmichael
    Community Moderator


    This is so hard to explain, but I shall do my best.

    Think of the backlog metrics and the regular #Unsolved as completely separate sets of data.

    When using the the # Unsolved metric, you are looking at all your tickets as they exist today. So today you can count the #Unsolved tickets as if you were looking in Support today and working through all your tickets. So the regular #Unsolved tickets tells you what is unsolved today.

    I cannot look at what is #Unsolved today and know what was unsolved yesterday. To do that I would need a snapshot yesterday of the #Unsolved count.

    So that is where the backlog dataset comes in. At the end of each day it takes a snapshot of all tickets and records the count of the tickets in each status. If you need to count the unsolved tickets at a past date, you need the backlog dataset.

  • Helvijs Vigners

    Hi all,


    I am using Attribute: Backlog Ticket Age, and it brings me back the age of all of the tickets, how do I group that into months?

  • Amy Dee

    Hi Helvijs! How are you grouping these results into months?

    Do you want to see the ages of your tickets at the end of each month? If so, you could use the _spFilter described in the article above.

    If you're doing something else, it gets very complicated very quickly, if it's possible at all. The backlog dataset is fairly rigid, and it doesn't connect with anything else in the data model. Your options will depend on what you're trying to do.

    I hope this helps! Happy reporting!

  • Graeme Carmichael
    Community Moderator


    You may be interested in this solution that displays the average backlog per month.

  • Raymond Tiu

    Hi. I am looking for a way to import our zendesk backlog data into the data warehouse. Is there any way we can retrieve the data using api? 

  • Brett Bowser
    Zendesk Community Team

    Hey Raymond,

    There's no way to access the GoodData API to export this information. Your best option is to create that backlog report and export the report manually. More on exporting reports here: Sharing reports in Insights

    Let me know if you have any other questions.



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