Who Owns Your QA Data?

Daffy_2We’ve recently been dealing with an interesting issue across multiple clients that might be relevant for Call Center and QA Managers to consider.

Most software vendors who provide programs that capture voice/screen data also provide a process to score phone calls and then report the results. These scoring tools are generally just a database that store your input, then use an underlying, built-in formula to calculate a score and tabulate the results. These tools generally do a decent job with basic calculations, but they are not designed for more robust statistical analyses.

I happened to be in a meeting the other week in which a software vendor was talking to my client about his company’s voice/data capture package. He made the comment, "When you score a call, the data you enter is yours. You can have access to it any time you want." In this case, the software came with a data export feature that spit all the scores into an Excel spreadsheet with a click of a button.

That same week we were part of a discussion with a different client who uses a different software vendor. The client had asked us to analyze calls for our Service Quality Assessment using their call capturing software, which we did with the agreement that we could get the raw data back out of the program to run more complex statistical analyses for our report (which the software could not do). In this case, a conflict arose when the software vendor seemed to consider the client’s data a hostage for which they could charge a tidy sum to release it.

It reminded me of the classic Looney Tunes cartoon in which Daffy Duck sells Porky Pig a home technology unit complete with a RED button that jacks his house into the sky in case of a tidal wave. When Porky presses the button, Daffy comes along in a helicopter and says, "For a few more dollars I can install the BLUE button to get you down!"

Perhaps you would never have need to get data out of your software and the point is moot. More often than not, however, we find that call scoring software does not always analyze your QA data the way you want to see it. It’s a simple task if you can only get the raw data into a spreadsheet where you can run your own calculations using Excel, SPSS or any number of statistics programs.

I remember asking one of our clients to run a simple report from their QA software tool. She laughed and said that this would require her to run the software’s "standard" reports which would spit out 200 pages of useless information from which she would have to weed through to find the data she needed to then manually re-enter into another program and run the calculations on her own. Arrrrrrrrgghhhh.

If you’re considering buying QA software, it might be worth asking the question "Once I score the calls in your software, can I easily get my raw data back out without you charging me for it?" Beware of the standard reply: "Our software can run ANY report you could possibly want!" Perhaps that’s true, though I have yet to witness it. It’s better to be safe and make sure you can easily export your data whenever you want it.

  1 comment for “Who Owns Your QA Data?

  1. December 2, 2011 at 5:02 am

    That’s really coll and interesting information about QA. I think QA is most interesting part of any organization.

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