Your ticket backlog is a snapshot of your unsolved tickets at the end of any given date and can be a useful indication of how your support organization is doing. To help you report on your backlog, Zendesk Explore includes the Support: Backlog history dataset. This dataset functions a little differently than other Explore datasets. For example, the Support: Tickets dataset shows you the current state of the tickets in your Support account, and the Support: Updates history dataset can show past events and changes to tickets.
The backlog history dataset is different in that it shows a snapshot of unsolved tickets at the end of any given date. Unlike the other datasets, this information cannot be found anywhere else in your Zendesk account. Explore collects backlog information every time your data synchronizes with Explore.
If you're used to other Explore datasets, you'll find that the backlog dataset contains fewer metrics and attributes than other Explore datasets. This is because of the large amount of historical ticket information it stores. However, this does mean that backlog history reports can be a little easier to create.
Use this article to learn more about how to examine your ticket backlog using Explore.
This article contains the following sections:
Using the pre-built backlog history reports
To make things easier for you, Explore contains a selection of pre-built backlog history reports.
To view the pre-built backlog history reports
- In the Zendesk product tray, click the Explore icon ().
- From the list of dashboards, select the Zendesk Support dashboard.
- In the Support dashboard, click the Backlog tab.
On the Backlog tab, you can view the following reports:
- Daily historical backlog by status (30 days): A list of your open ticket backlog over the last 30 days to help you identify trends.
- Weekly historical backlog by status (12 weeks): A list of your open ticket backlog over the last 12 weeks to help you identify trends.
- Weekly historical backlog by selected attribute (top 10/12 weeks): The number of unsolved tickets at the end of each week for the last 12 weeks. Choose a tab to display results by ticket brand, group, channel, priority, or type.
For more information about the Backlog tab and the other tabs on the Support dashboard, see Analyzing your Support activity with Explore.
Creating a backlog history report (Explore Professional and Enterprise)
If you can't find what you need in the pre-built reports and you're using Explore Professional or Enterprise, you can use the supplied metrics and attributes in the backlog history dataset to build your own reports.
Here's an example report that displays the number of tickets that were unsolved in your account at the end of each month. If you need help building Explore queries, see Creating queries.
To create the query
- In Explore, click the query () icon.
- In the Queries library, click New query.
- On the Choose a dataset page, click Support > Backlog history > Support: Backlog history, then click New query. Query builder opens.
- In the Metrics panel, click Add.
- From the list of metrics, choose Backlog tickets (unsolved) > Tickets, then click Apply.
- In the Rows panel, click Add.
- From the list of attributes, choose Time - Backlog recorded > Backlog
recorded - Year andTime - Backlog end of period > End of
month, then click Apply.
For this example, the finished report is displayed with the Table visualization, but you can use any chart type you want.
For a list of all the metrics and attributes you can use to build backlog reports in Explore, see Metrics and attributes for Zendesk Support.
Unfortunately, it is not possible to filter any queries using the Support: Backlog dataset by custom fields or ticket tags. Our Product Managers are aware of the need for this functionality and are planning for updates to the Backlog dataset this year.
Be sure to check our Announcements page for updates!
Thanks @.... Definitely looking forward to being able to do more with the Backlog dataset, inlcuding filtering by custom fields and tags.
Any idea how we could define a 'healthy' backlog? I'm looking for setting up target around backlog levels.
Thanks for reaching out! There is not a defined amount when it comes to "Healthy Backlog". This varies based on your workflow, types of tickets, expected SLA's etc so I am afraid I cannot give a tangible number in that regard. We do have a blog post I will link below that will cover some helpful tips when it comes to tacking your Backlog but the best course would be to monitor your ticket activity over the course of a few weeks/months to see your average backlog to give you a good idea when it is time to take action.
I hope that helps! Have a great day.
Jason Schaeffer | Customer Advocate |
Do I understand it correctly, that it is not possible to get the backlog for example, 8 hours in the past? Since the backlog is only synchronized once a day?
I am trying to create a dashboard that shows number of unsolved tickets at the start of a shift, and remaining unsolved tickets at the end of the shift(when the report is sent out)
Any update on when we can filter by additional fields? At a minimum tags or organizations?
Thanks for reaching out. From what I understand you are looking to filter by tags or organizations when using the "backlog history" dataset, correct? Unfortunately we have no news of this at the moment, but I would suggest posting this as a feature request in our feedback page for Explore here: https://support.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/community/topics/360001200913--Feedback-on-Explore-
Our product managers look at our feedback page to know what features should be on the roadmap for future improvements.
Marco M. | Zendesk Support
Following up on @...'s comment:
Do we have any updates estimated time for delivery of these dataset updates?
Our extractions via incremental_exports don't have as much time-based granularity as what's recorded in the Dataset, for it would be very relevant for us.
Hi Zendesk Team,
I know this has been brought up in other articles, but we really need to have custom fields in our backlog data. It's great that we have some standard fields here, but we have some custom region fields that we would need to pull data on and are unable to at this time. I'd love for this to be prioritized.
Can you please answer Sigurjon Jonsson's question above?
"Do I understand it correctly, that it is not possible to get the backlog for example, 8 hours in the past? Since the backlog is only synchronized once a day?
I am trying to create a dashboard that shows number of unsolved tickets at the start of a shift, and remaining unsolved tickets at the end of the shift(when the report is sent out)"
I would love to understand backlog snapshot HOUR by HOUR. I am trying to do this via the API as well but its not as successful as I would like for it to be.
I have an enquiry regarding Zendesk Explore on measuring backlogs. I understand that backlogs refer to unsolved tickets at the end of any given date and can be a useful indication of how your support organization is doing however I would like to query the following:
1. If I set the ticket backlog period as end of the month, will tickets that are created/generated towards the end of the month that were not picked up and resolved in time before end of the month be considered in the backlog too?
If yes, is there a workaround in Explore that we can exclude tickets that are created towards the end of the month or towards any period in time depending on the set duration of backlog to not be counted in the backlog
2. Related to question 1, is there any way in Explore that I can backlog in terms of selected ticket statuses i.e. Open, Pending and On-hold once assigned that remain in those said statuses for a certain period of time to be considered as backlog. If yes, kindly assist on the way as to how do I achieve this and if No, kindly provide if there's an alternative that can fulfill the outcome of the above scenario from Zendesk Explore. So the key here is how do I measure the no. of either Open/On-hold/Pending tickets after assignment that has been in the said statuses for say a fixed period of time e.g., more than 5 working days perhaps. Can you assist on a workaround for this?
I would also like to see a response to Sigurjon Jonsson's question above?
We have a new service desk and the daily backlog is really useful, but we do not know if the numbers for each day in the backlog report tells us the number for when the day (or shift) starts or when it end. If we knew that this would go some way to help me and others who have a similar question above.
What I'd like to know is
The backlog is taken everyday at midnight of the account's timezone which should count for the end of the day.
Hello Zendesk -
I am trying to do something that I would consider pretty basic, but I am struggling to figure it out.
I would like to create a report that breaks down our "less than solved" tickets by "time since created" to see how old/stale they are. Backlog data set obviously does not allow this, however I can't even figure out how to do it using the Tickets data set. I would be OK with a point in time. Can someone help?
You can create a report under the Tickets dataset to see a list of your unsolved tickets and use native metric Unsolved tickets age to see how long it's been since each ticket was submitted.
So how do organizations handle product bugs that take time from engineering to resolve, yet we don't want to count towards "backlog" from the support ticketing standpoint (and also don't want to close)?. My backlog dashboard tab is limited in what I can filter out which is unfortunate.
Basically we have a custom field called "secondary status" that has an option of "With Development". When we have a ticket in this status, it's tied to a JIRA and Support is done working it until it is fixed in a future release of product. However, we don't want to close these tickets, so we keep them open and they unfortunately get counted in our backlog. How can we adjust for this? Our backlog reports are basically super inflated right now and don't paint an accurate picture of what our real backlog of support work is.
I'm afraid that, at this time, there are no plans to add the custom field data to the dataset, as mentioned by the Product Manager on this thread. You may follow/upvote that post and add your use case to that thread to engage with other users with similar needs. Hopefully, in the future, the Product team will reconsider this and add this to future roadmaps.
if we are looking at "backlog recorded date" of yesterday - what time yesterday does this show? is there a way to see what the current backlog is?
Can you please define what is classified as 'New' in the backlog report? We have a pretty stringent process for ensuring all tickets are assigned to an agent at the end of our business hours as defined in Zendesk, yet I typically see tickets with the New status in our backlog report. Is this defined as tickets that were received as New at any time on that specific day? I am trying to understand better how these metrics are defined to see if we have a process issue on our service desk that I am not seeing.
Hey Bobby Koch,
The backlog snapshots occur at midnight daily. To view the most current totals for outstanding tickets, we recommend using the Tickets dataset.
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