Analytics as the New Metrics

For many organizations, measurements are just data. Metrics are mostly ratios or simple manipulation of the measurements.

Measurements and metric may say something about what had happened, but they do not explain why.

For example, a popular service desk (SD) metric “First Call Resolution” was down 5 percentage points this month versus last. Was it because…

Did we have a major outage so the call volume went way up?

Did the end-users suddenly got to be more sophisticated and asked harder questions?

Did the SD analysts grow more lazy or dumber?

IT is a complex business and often there could be multiple factors in play when metric moves in the certain direction.

This means we need a more sophisticated mechanism than just simple metrics to help analyze and evaluate root causes.

Analytics can help.

Descriptive analytics, even with the basic statistics-based techniques, can help point out correlations that might exist within the data. Correlations, as we all know, do not prove causation but it can still be helpful.

Predictive Analytics, along with machine learning techniques, can help create models that might point out future behaviors. The predictive models are only as good as the quality and quantity of the data you use to train the models. Still, the models are a lot more actionable than simply relying on gut-feel alone.

Moving forward, finding the necessary data and applying the analytics will be essential for managing IT.