Part 2: The Growing Demand For Call Analytics
Small data, big data – everyone asks for it and they often insatiably want more. Fortunately, with CDR reporting for Cisco Unified Communications, satisfaction is within reach.
What CDR Reporting Data are They Asking for?
“They” – meaning other departments or management. “It” – meaning call analytics data, which can mean a wide range of things from basic communications reporting (who called who and when) to a trending analysis identifying which 15 minute window of the day is the busiest or slowest for the call center or inside sales team over the past 6 months.
Organizations are constantly looking for ways to improve productivity and efficiency (as they should), which often starts with measuring and analyzing the volume and quality of communications both internally and externally, not to mention to and from their customers.
- How many calls is the call center receiving per hour or day of the week and what’s our average agent talk time?
- Which sales reps are surpassing their communications goals and which are dragging their feet?
- What is the abandoned call rate for our sales hotline? Are we losing potential customers with too long a ring time?
- When is our peak and low time of day for call volume?
- Which customers call the most?
As you can imagine, this is just the tip of the iceberg – each department may want different CDR reporting data for all sorts of time periods. Some will want granular details whereas others may just want summaries. Some will wants PDF vs XLSX formats, etc…
Let’s Consider Your Options
For initial call analytics requests, a lot of users start with Cisco’s CDR Analysis and Reporting Tool (CAR), which comes with CUCM (it’s disabled by default). This is a reasonable place to start, but chances are, you’ll outgrow it quickly.
In my opinion, one of the biggest issues (and there are many) is that CAR limits you to the amount of CDR data that CUCM will keep internally. For smaller organizations, this could mean a few months or more of data, but for larger ones (or those with higher call volumes), this likely means far less time. Not having data for the time period you need will stop you right in your tracks.
To solve this, Cisco CUCM allows you to create “billing servers” via its Unified Serviceability – which essentially are external servers (managed by something other than CUCM – i.e. you) that CUCM will automatically send CDR to via (s)FTP. By using this approach, you can store as much data as you want. I’ve worked with organizations that require that they store as much as 10 years of data!
If you have or manage to get the raw CDR call history in a csv spreadsheet, performing your own analytics (such as calculating the # of calls that occurred during each hour of the day or day of the week) can certainly be done in Excel via some macro, but I’d argue your time is better spent elsewhere.
Generating this manually once or twice may not be so bad, but in my opinion, providing these call analytics to your management or other departments by hand on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis would be a royal PITA.
Variphy’s Call Analytics does this all for you, either on demand or via an automated delivery schedule. You can quickly configure each of the reports that each manager or department wants, filter the data accordingly, and have it automatically emailed to those recipients and be done with it.
If you’re anything like all the users I hear from, generating analytics reports isn’t really in your job description – you’re supposed to be managing the entire infrastructure!
Next in Fueling Better CDR Reporting: User Adoption of UC and Collaboration Features
Missed a Post in this Series?
Start at the beginning of this series with fueling better CDR reporting – toll fraud.