Dashboards vs. Reports: How to Get the Most out of Your ITSM Reporting Tools

Melisa Wrobel October 25, 2022
- 7 min read

At this point, we all know that reporting is an essential part of an ITSM tool. It helps us to have clear information about the performance of the service desk and the support team and thus make better decisions. ITSM reporting tools consist of dashboards and reports, and though it might seem great to have only two, this often poses a question: when should I use each one?

If you find yourself having a hard time deciding, this article is perfect for you! We’re about to oppose dashboards vs. reports to see when they’re most useful and how to create them on InvGate Service Desk.



Dashboards vs. reports: when to choose each one

These two ITSM reporting tools are crucial for service desk managers to examine the health and performance of the service desk and the efficiency of their teams. Let’s take a look at each one in detail.

When to use an ITSM dashboard?

If you want to have quick access to what's going on with your service desk, ITSM dashboards are ideal for this. They will show you a wide range of information and are perfect to access measurements, metrics, or key performance indicators (KPIs) that showcase the general state of operations graphically and visually. 

ITSM dashboards help you to have a wide idea of your service desk data and your team’s work. 

Dashboards are completely customizable on InvGate Service Desk, meaning:

  • You can choose the visuals that work best for you.
  • You can design your own dashboards with your preferred metrics.
  • You can decide which ones you want to see on your main menu. 

And don’t forget that  you can share them with other stakeholders so that they see the measurements from their teams. Overall, dashboards are your go-to option for real-time reality checks and quickly validating work-in-progress.

When to use ITSM reports?

On the other hand, we have ITSM reports. They are the best option to capture the performance from a precise period and use a more complex data set. Typically, they provide you with a datasheet with all the information you filter when creating it. 

So, reports will help you perform analytical management, have a detailed snapshot of the service desk performance in a moment in time, and allow for executive management follow-up. 

ITSM reports examples

InvGate Service Desk classifies reports by:

  • Reports on requests: metrics of requests, SLAs qualification, etc. 
  • Reports on time tracking: related to the time-tracking feature, this type of report allows you to analyze the agents’ work time on tickets.
  • Interval reports: related to time lapses, this type of report shows information related to the intermediate status of the tickets, even when they have not been closed.

Another great detail is that you can share reports with unlicensed users to analyze the data and make better decisions. 


Using dashboards and reports in InvGate Service Desk

Now that you know when it’s best to use dashboards and reports, it’s time to see how to create them on InvGate Service Desk.

How to create dashboards on InvGate Service Desk 

To start, you must know that InvGate Service Desk comes with five predefined dashboards on the dashboard view:

  • Backlog 
  • Customer Satisfaction
  • Request management metrics 
  • SLAs metrics 
  • Times

Nonetheless, you might need new and more specific dashboards for your day-to-day work. You can create new ones in two ways:

  • Click on the ‘+’ button next to the name of the preset dashboard on the dashboard view. 
  • Copy an existing dashboard and modify it as needed. 

Setting up charts for the recently created dashboards is a pretty intuitive process: you just need to define the visualization style and select the metric, dimension, and drill-downs. And that’s it, your new chart is good to go!

And since InvGate Service Desk allows you to share dashboards between different users, it’s a helpful  way for others to get a real-time view of different operations. Plus, thanks to our auto-refresh feature, dashboards can be put on display on screens, showing a general view of the operations at any given time.  



How to create reports in InvGate Service Desk 

The InvGate Service Desk reporting feature is a powerful way to slice, dice, visualize, and store your most crucial performance information.

To get started, click on the “Reports” menu, go to “Requests,” and create a new report. Then, choose the metrics you want to be featured – and don't forget to include a date range. Done, your report is ready!

You can always save it if you want to go back to it in the future, share it with non-licensed users, and even automate it to be sent to your email address periodically. 

Keep in mind that once you know what you want to report on – or even if you don’t – going to the data and exploring is one of the best ways to get started.



Final thoughts

ITSM reporting tools are one of the many perks of providing support with help desk software. Unlike, say, channeling requests using just email, InvGate Service Desk allows you to analyze and act upon all the data involved in your IT operations.

And now,  thanks to this dashboards vs. reports comparison, next time you need to use a reporting tool, you’ll have it all figured out!  

In short:

  • Dashboards are a visual way to understand what’s going on with your service desk in real time. 
  • Reports show you a snapshot of a precise moment in time to understand more complex KPIs. 

And since InvGate Service Desk allows you to fully customize both of them and share them with non-licensed users, you’ll have the freedom to choose and see exactly what’s useful for you and your team.

Don’t forget to get a 30-day free trial and see for yourself how they work on InvGate Service Desk.

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