Stephen D Buyze

“Empowering Managed Service Providers to Increase Profit”

Widgets or Reports: Which to Use?

Why should (or shouldn’t) you use a Widget? I get that question a lot – and it’s one of the most difficult ones for me to answerIt seems every time we need information from the Autotask database, Autotask’s answer is to use a Widget. To be honest, they are more right than wrong… 

Maybe it’s just me, but the use of a Widget leaves me in a lurch. Very often, when I go to find a Widget in the library or create one from scratch, it just never seems to work out right. The problem is twofold: finding the right base, then getting the filters set up. More than once, I’ve begun setting up a Widget, only to find the filter I need in a specific field is not available. Ugh, what gives?! 

Ok, ok, enough of the Widget bashingwhat you need to know is when you should use a Widget – and when a Live Report is the better choice.  

After much thought, here are my perspectives (keep reading to learn how you can easily implement two of my favorite widgets): 

Use a Widget when you need real-time info.   

This includes: 

  • How many hours the Techs have posted this week 
  • How many open tickets there are 
  • How many tickets with no activity for the last 2 days 
  • How many tickets are taking too long to remediate 
  • In which order should we engage on requests? 
  • and the list could go on… 

Use a Report when historical info is what you need.   

 This includes: 

  • Average number of Incident remediation hours needed per week 
  • How booked are we over the next 12 weeks? 
  • What is our average remediation time? 
  • What is our average Time to Completion per Issue/Sub-Issue? 
  • How many requests per End-User per Month do we receive? 
  • and this list could also go on and on… 

 I’d like to give a shoutout to Evan Welch from Autotask who motivated me to use Widgets in my everyday life. One day, I was complaining to him that there was no way to save Ticket Search Filters.  

His response? “Use a Widget.” Sure enough, it worked like a charm and today I do all my work from widgets – THANKS EVAN! 

Two Helpful Widgets You Can Easily Implement 

Here are two of my favorite widgets that I’ve found to be both useful and simple to configure.  

Widget #1: Kim Drumm’s Weekly live time entry widget 

To build Kim Drumm’s weekly live time entry competition widget, use these simple steps:   

  1. Add Widget 
  2. Choose a widget from the widget library  next 
  3. Work Entries – last one in the list 
  4. Overall Hours Worked this Week  next 
  5. Change title to something more meaningful – ex: “Team Hours Worked this Week.” 
  6. Clear out “Also report on…” field 
  7. Group Data by Resource 
  8. Secondary Grouping: Work Date Day of Week 
  9. Add the second filter: Resource, In List, {list the resources on the team} 
  10.  Add Widget 

 Widget #2: Carol Hoffmann’s Non-Scheduled Tickets Widgetwhich is a mix of Incident and Service Requests. This is particularly useful for a shop where a few Techs work on both reactive and non-reactive requests. 

To build Carol HoffmannNon-Scheduled Tickets widget, just follow these easy steps:   

  1. Add Widget 
  2. Choose a widget from the widget library next 
  3. Tickets 
  4. My Tickets Due Today (or Overdue) 
  5. Change title to something more meaningful – ex: “Non-Scheduled Tickets.” 
  6.  Change the Primary/First Column to: 
    1. Account 
    2. Ticket Number 
    3. Title 
  7. Change Additional Columns to:
    1. Next SLA Event Due 
    2. Priority 
    3. Status 
    4. Resource (Primary or Secondary) 
    5. Estimated Hours 
    6. Queue 
    7. Contract 
    8. Service Level Agreement 
  8. Filters 
    1. Service Call is Scheduled  Equal to  No 
    2. Status  Not in list  Waiting Customer, Complete, Waiting (note: all waiting status

9. Save and Enjoy!

 

Admittedly, I’m not as strong with Widgets as I should be. But when it comes to Live Reports, many other experts say I am the best in the business: 

 

“There are a few CCPs that specialize in Live Reports and Steve is definitely at the top of the list. I highly recommend him for custom reports in Autotask.” 

 – Rayanne M. Buchianico, EA 

   ABC Solutions, LLC 

 

@sbuyze‘s Resource Utilization report is fantastic, and I highly recommend!” 

 – Kirsten Ekstrand 

   Advanced Intelligence Engineering 

 

We’ve all got our strengths and weaknesses, right? That’s why we’re here to benefit and learn from each other.  

Our area of expertise is helping Managed Service Providers optimize there PSA for Service DeliveryHave no idea where to start? Take the first step with our Free PSA Self-Evaluation checklist.  

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