IT departments monitor servers and endpoints. Why not users, as well? End-user analytics can help your entire organization perform better.
Where’s the next big data in your organization? It could well be in end-user analytics — in all the data you’re currently gathering, and in new information you could be capturing, about how your end users consume IT.
Don’t think that’s big data? Tom Vetterani, vice president of Strategy and Messaging for CompuCom, believes otherwise. “When CompuCom implements end-user personas for clients, we can capture up to 680 data points per user,” he says. For a large organization, that can easily mean a million or even 10 million pieces of data.
What’s at stake? Lower cost to deliver IT, higher end user satisfaction and tangible improvements in employee productivity. But the key, says Vetterani, is knowing what data to capture and what to do with it.
The End User Justifies the Means
Multiple forces are driving organizations to look at end-user data in a new way. One factor is the speed with which IT in the enterprise is changing. Mobile workers in the United States will number 105 million by 2020.1 Employee-owned smartphones and tablets will outnumber company-issued devices two to one by 2018.2 The consumerization of IT is changing end-user expectations — and the way IT services are delivered.
Another factor is the cost of delivering IT. End user computing costs are 11 percent of overall IT costs on average, or $927 per personal device.3 “The typical knowledge worker now has three devices — smartphone, tablet, PC or laptop, or maybe a wearable device — so end-user computing represents an enormous investment,” Vetterani notes. Any way to improve the return on that investment is welcome.
End-user data can come from a variety of sources. One is end-user surveys that measure the effectiveness of the service desk. Metrics include speed of response, quality of response, effectiveness of outcomes, first-time resolution rate and so on.
Another source is end-user focus groups. “Workshops can uncover issues user surveys might not, especially around satisfaction,” Vetterani notes. They can also hone in on problems particular to a specific user group and identify emerging requirements that will meet future employee needs.
Devices and applications are another source of end user data. You should have a clear picture not only of all user endpoints and software but also how often each involves a service-desk call. Identifying devices or apps that involve a high number of calls can help you optimize your IT portfolio and drive down costs.
Ticketing, dispatch and other back-end systems, as well as enterprise social platforms, are other good generators of end-user data. Unfortunately, the data they produce often ends up siloed.
The solution is a standardized ticketing system and processes for IT support. That lets you combine data in a centralized repository and apply master data management to get a unified view of end users. You can then leverage algorithms to understand usage patterns for IT and IT support.
Analysis of your end-user data can yield insights that lead to better business performance. A high number of service-desk calls might indicate a need for better training. Or, the problem might be restricted to a particular department. It might be that an application wasn’t designed for the way it’s being used. All these situations represent opportunities to help improve end user effectiveness.
Some results can be surprising. For example, an employee’s job title may be less relevant than their technical sophistication in determining how they consume IT. Sales reps might all have the same apps on their tablets, but the cost to support one sales rep might be twice as high as another, revealing who needs training and who doesn’t.
End-user data can deliver tremendous payoffs. You might identify which mobile devices are least costly to maintain, for instance, and use that knowledge to guide your mobile-device policy. You might realize that some users don’t need a particular application and avoid license fees. Or, you might determine that an investment in technology updates will pay off down the road.
“We worked with one manufacturer whose end-user data revealed poor application performance,” Vetterani relates. “By applying analytics and comparative analysis, we demonstrated that faster response times would measurably improve production run rates.”
Ultimately, end-user data advances IT service delivery to employees. That can result in happier, more productive end users enabled to contribute to better business performance over time.
1, 4 “IDC Forecasts U.S. Mobile Worker Population to Surpass 105 Million by 2020,” IDC, June 2015
2, 5 “Gartner Says Tablets Are the Sweet Spot of BYOD Programs,” Gartner, November 2014
3 “IT Key Metrics Data 2015: Key Infrastructure Measures: End-User Computing Analysis,”
Gartner, December 2014