Operational Dashboards: How do you monitor your Zendesk real-time?
I'm thinking of setting up Dashboards (like Geckoboard, Leftronic or BIME) this year, and would like to hear (and see) what experience you may have in this area.
Some ideas and questions I'm pondering:
- What metrics are you displaying and why?
- How / what historical (if any) context are they shown against? (current First Reply Time vs. Avr. FRT (last week, last year?)
- How did you decide on Dashboard supplier? BIME was recently acquired by Zendesk, are there compelling reasons for choosing one over the other?
- Do you display any other business data, besides Zendesk on your dashboards?
Feel free to showcase you own Dashboards below.
I'll appreciate any and all comments or recommendations on this, thanks!
Zendesk note: See Jacob's comment below for his review of Geckoboard. Please share your thoughts/experiences/reviews of operational dashboards.
The above dashboard is not mine, it's from the Geckoboard website.
I have been using Ducksboard but that will soon die so I am keen to see what others are using.
I try to show two types of data:
1) KPI data so that agents are fully aware of how well we are performing against our stated goals. This is just about general awareness and does not need to be up to the minute data.
2) Live SLA stats. How many tickets in queue and breaching SLA etc. The data on this screen needs to be limited to items they need to take immediate action on and I would be happy if it's often all zeros (it never is!)
I do have other dashboards that are for management and reporting purposes. These do show trends mainly especially focussing on different customer segments and types of ticket.
I am slowly moving to Bime for reporting but might have to look at Geckobaord for live dashboards.
Hi Colin, Thanks for chipping in! Those are some good points!
Have you tried out any of the different Dashboards, besides Duckboard?
On the surface they all look pretty similar, but there must be differences in the features they offer.Cost and aesthetics probably also have an influence on the matter,
Here's a good rundown of Dashboard options available - they won't all be applicable for Zendesk though.
Thanks for sharing that list, Jacob!
This summer I had planned to test out a number of Dashboard vendors that have integrations to Zendesk, so I can make a qualified proposal for my boss. I have signed up for a trial period with
I had planned to do reviews for all of them for this post, but I think I'll only do this one for Geckoboard and perhaps also BIME.
Ease of use
Extremely easy to setup, had Zendesk data connected and a working real-time dashboard set up within an hour.
Many configurable Zendesk specific widgets for most KPI's:
- Tickets count
- Oldest tickets
- Tickets stats (Avg. time to reply, solve, requester wait time and more)
- CSAT rating
- Recent CSAT comments (good/bad or both)
- Status bar chart
- Top ticket solvers (Leaderboard)
- Help center and ticket system (Zendesk)
- Welcome email: Best practice in defining KPIS & designing successful dashboards.
- Option to book a demo
- Unlimited features for free for 30 days.
- Based on the number of dashboards and users, prices range from 25 - 599 USD/month.
- If you pay per year you get one month for free.
Pros, cons and limitations
The standard Zendesk widgets cover much ground, are easy to configure and could probably suffice for most Customer Service needs. You need hardly any heavy tech skills, it is mostly point and click type stuff.
You can choose between different resolution options and arrange your widgets in grids as you like. There are a light and dark theme as well as an option to upload your own CSS.
You can set up several dashboards and have them displayed as a slideshow on the same screen.
- Some widgets have filtering options (based on groups, assignee, status, type and or tags), but not all.
- Some widgets are limited to data from the last 100 tickets, for some this may be an arbitrary constraint that makes it impossible to show a metric in a meaningful context.
For more advanced or Zendesk specific use cases they recommend using their Datasets widget, there is a project specifically for pulling Zendesk data. For this you would need some developer skills - I have not looked deeper into this myself.
Other connections beyond Zendesk
- Google Analytics
- Google Adwords
- AWS/Amazon Cloudwatch
- New Relic
- Heroku Data Clips
as well as generic widgets like
- RSS / Atom Feed
See more on their help center.
Here is a moving gif of my initial setup, click the image for a larger version.
Wow, Jacob! Thank you for sharing that detailed information! I'm sure a lot of other users will find it useful, too.
Thanks Jessie, I hope so too.
I built a dashboard for my team.. it uses PHP to connect to Zendesk via the REST API and then outputs HTML. For my team, it shows the number of Urgent tickets as well as the number of Unassigned tickets.
Nice! Beats paying for another service I guess :-)
How frequently does it update?
Do you have plans to expand with other metrics, like CSAT or a leaderboard?
Would you show a screenshot of your setup?
Our dashboard updates every 5 minutes. I have two views on the data, one for my team:
And another one for Zendesk admins / team leads:
We're not currently tracking CSAT because our team is an in-house IT organization that supports the main business. For other metrics like leaderboard, backlog, etc. we are using Insights.
We have similar-looking views to the above for almost all of our critical applications. We also have some custom services that watch for keywords in the ticket subject and raise them to "Urgent" (this is because we can't get people to use the form and they only want to send an email).
Lastly, we make heavy use of the integration with PagerDuty (notify on-call agents of Urgent tickets) and Slack (push notifications for all agents because the iOS app doesn't do enough here).
Awesome, thanks for sharing Aron!
Great question and dialog. My personal vote is for Bime, primarily due to the tight Zendesk integration.
On a related note, if you're looking for a quick real-time Dashboard specifically for the use of monitoring agents, measuring productivity, and charting top performers, Tymeshift has one that's ready to go out of the box.
It won't replace Bime for deep analysis but it's great for CS Managers and Team Leads who need real-time information to drive performance and occupancy.
Your dashboard seems to have metrics that are not native to Zendesk, e.g. AHT and Occupancy rate, how are they defined and was it easy to setup?
Great questions, Jacob. Occupancy, Average Handle Time, Attendance Rate (and many more) are made available through the Tymeshift app that lives in your Zendesk.
Essentially, the app tracks every activity of an agent in Zendesk, which provides accurate, granular, and real-time data based on both time and productivity activities of agents in Zendesk.
In terms of ease/speed of setup: It's all available out of the box with no additional setup required.
Tymeshift is great for gaining real-time insight and monitoring. Additionally, you can push this data to other BI systems (like Bime) if needed.
I'm given to understand that there's been a bit of confusion about a potential move from Insights to BIME related to info in this thread, so I thought I'd jump in here to clarify some things.
The most important point is, nothing is being replaced or discontinued now, or any time in the near future. If you are using Insights for your reporting, keep on trucking.
At the moment, we're running an Early Access Program (EAP) for Explore, which is a new reporting product that we're working on using BIME. It has limited functionality right now, so it's not meant to replace Insights reporting for the people using it. We're just testing some things out.
We're hoping that Explore will be ready for everybody by the second half of this year BUT, as with many things in the world of software development, this is a very squishy timeframe and is subject to change at basically any point until we are much closer to being done with it.
There is currently no ETA for completely replacing Insights with Explore. Will this happen? Probably. Will we give you as much lead time as we can to get ready for such a change? Absolutely.
Again, your Insights stuff isn't going anywhere. Be of good cheer and get that good, good data.
Hopefully this clears things up for anybody who was unsure of what's going on. Please let us know if you have further questions!
I've signed up for the Early Access Program, any idea when we can get access?
Hey Angela -
Sorry that you haven't heard anything yet! Word from the team working on the Explore EAP is that we’ve received a ton of interest from customers over the last few months and the requests keep coming in. The team says they will reach out when they're able to enable more batches of users.
They received a lot of great feedback from the customers in the first group, and are working on adding datasets users in that group found they would need. The product is currently in an iteration process.
Their goal is to continue customer onboarding in the next month and to add customers throughout the year.
If you have further questions, feel free to reply here or email email@example.com!
Hello. I'm disappointed to find out that the newer talk dashboard does not feature more solid coloring for agent status (Available/unavailable/Busy). We display the call dashboard from a computer to two wall mounted TV screens in our office for quick at-a-glance monitoring of agent activity.
Compare the old vs. new dashboards below. Solid colors are easier to see from a distance!
Hi Jorge -
I encourage you to post your feedback in the Product Feedback topic, where our Product Managers can see it. They don't frequent the Discussions and Highlights topic.
Geckoboard has done pretty fantastic for me, personally.
Hello, will BIME have the ability to show real-time stats?
I don't believe it will, Explore the Zendesk product based on Bime has an hourly sync cycle.
Thank you for the quick response Jacob. I am looking for a way to have Zendesk stats shown in real-time. Do you know of a way that this is possible?
We use Geckoboard to display near real-time Zendesk support and Zendesk chat data.
The Geckoboard data is refreshed every 10 minutes, so while not exactly 'real time' it really gets the job done.
Here's a link to some more info on how Geckoboard integrates with Zendesk:
They offer a free trial, and the product is overall not very expensivee (considering the benefits this was to my organization).
Give it a whirl!
Thank you Michael!
I agree completely with Michael, we use Geckoboards for real-time reporting on Zendesk data as well and highly recommend it. It is super easy and intuitive to setup and makes the data look good.
But as Zendesk only updates every 24 hours, that will also limit some of the stats no?
Geckoboard uses some sort of API hook to pull the data every 10 minutes direct from your ZD instance, so it's not limited by any sort of 24 hour cycle.
Sorry if that info is not 100% technically accurate, I'm not a programmer..... but that goes to show how easy it is to set up the Geckoboard / Zendesk data sharing. Also, I see the stats update all day long so I can confirm it's pulling the latest info very often.
This is a great article with a lot of information. Just another reason why I love the zendesk community. Although my needs are a bit different then what Geckoboard offers. I am looking for a solution for trend monitoring. So if we got a suuden influx of password resets, that would be higher than normal or higher than a limit we set, they would like to receive an Alert. If anybody has suggestions I would greatly appreciate it.
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