June 3 –

When using historical data as the basis of forecasting, it is essential to check each day’s data prior to storing it in the workforce management system’s database.  If there are any abnormalities in the data, you must make a decision about whether the data can be adjusted or whether it should be discarded.

What if the IVR was down for 2 hours yesterday?  Typically, that means a huge increase in agent workload during those periods.  Before allowing that data to be averaged into the workforce management system’s records, it must be adjusted to a more normal volume.  If you don’t, it will falsely inflate the forecasts for some time to come.

Watch for aberrant AHT values as well.  Perhaps the computer system was down or a new crew of trainees worked the phones today, resulting in a longer than normal handling time.  While you might want to save this AHT data as a good predictor of future training classes’ impact, you don’t want this aberration to be averaged into the normal historical pattern.

Review your data daily and make appropriate adjustments.  Note the reasons for aberrations on the files for future reference.  You will improve your forecasting accuracy.

Note:  This week’s tip provided by Maggie Klenke. She may be reached at Maggie.klenke@mindspring.com