A large, public agency telecommunications group was responsible for supporting dozens of state-wide programs including Medicaid, SNAP and a child abuse hotline. Legislatively mandated targets drove increased prioritization of call center metrics across these programs.
The agency was inable to provide insights on call center performance across each program, many of whom had their own platforms.
Every flavor of telecommunications technology was being used including Cisco, Avaya, older versions of Avaya and more. Each solution required its own infrastructure, teams, and siloed reporting applications.
From an operations perspective, many of these programs were in the process of shifting from in-person interactions in regional offices to over the phone, increasing their reliance on call center staff. Agencies were also trying to retain employees and save on real estate costs by offering more remote work.
Finally, some of these groups were missing basic tools, like workforce management technology, so they were instead manually forecasting staffing and managing schedules.
As many of these program areas were in the process of procuring new technologies via different RFPs, the enterprise telecommunications group saw an opportunity. They could consolidate these groups onto one, best-of-breed solution, providing the programs modern, scalable technology with comprehensive call center offerings.
The result of unifying onto one platform would be significant cost savings and operational efficiencies from modernized reporting and analytics, but meant it was time for a substantial analytics transformation.
The agency partnered with Sense Corp to tackle this project. First off, since the analytics environment was planned to be used by multiple groups, Sense Corp conducted mini-assessments with each program area to understand their current landscape from a telecommunications and reporting perspective. Through the interviews with stakeholders, data flows among the systems were mapped to understand the data requirements. Additionally, the necessary reporting support was defined. Although the call center platforms were shared, each program area had their own program-specific applications that needed to be integrated. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) were identified and defined. When trying to get a call center analytics program off the ground, it is best to start with the basics. Once you have those down, you can start to move into more advanced metrics and analysis.
The basic call center metrics that needed to be measured were:
- Agent utilization and efficiency: schedule adherence, off phone activity, calls per productive hour
- Call details: offered calls, abandoned calls, handles calls, average speed to answer, handle/talk/hold/wrap time
- Quality and customer experience: quality evaluation scores, voice of the customer
Sense Corp designed dashboards that could be leveraged by multiple programs as well as dashboards tailored to each program’s specific needs.
The analytics platform solution needed to be technology agnostic and able to accommodate multiple call center technologies. With these requirements in mind, Sense Corp developed a solution that uses an Oracle 12c database, Informatica as the ETL tool to move data from the sources and between the data layers and Tableau as the front-end BI technology. In line with data warehousing best practices, the raw data from each source is staged in the staging area. From there, it is normalized and conformed. In the Data Warehouse layer, the data structures are optimized for reporting and data extracts are created for program areas to use within their reporting teams. Finally, dashboards and reports were built in Tableau that can be used across multiple program areas or tailored to meet specific group’s custom needs.
Tableau was chosen for this project, because many of the relevant business questions that can be answered from call center analytics require trend lines, heat maps and other visualizations – all capabilities that Tableau excels at. Compared to other BI tools, it also takes less time to implement and configure for users. Lastly, the user interface is intuitive, so users can easily create their own reports and dashboards.
As the ETL tool, Informatica was chosen because of its industry-leading data integration capabilities. It is easily able to pull data from multiple sources, apply transformation rules, and load data into the data warehouse. The user interface is easy to use and enables quick development and deployment of ETL jobs.
Thanks to these dashboards, agents and call center management can now understand and visualize trends, quickly find outliers and spend more time focused on business issues instead of compiling and manipulating data. Call center operations have seen improved value through this modernized analytics platform in the following ways:
- A single, shared analytics solution that enables all historical reporting from one place
- Greater transparency and accountability
- Stronger ability to forecast and optimize call center staffing
- Clear identification of areas of opportunity
Best of all, by pooling their resources, the programs have ended up with a far better analytics solution than they could have gotten individually.