Call Forecasting 1 - Historic Call Profile

Author: CCa2z

Date: 20th February 2013

Source Data

An understanding of call volumes is key to forecasting staffing and budget requirements in any contact centre. 

It is necessary to collect and collate the raw data and turn it into useable information.

The source of this inbound data is the Automatic Call Distributor (ACD), which interfaces with an ACD Management Information System (MIS).

The MIS will provide a plethora of historical volume reports, key of which will be; 

  • Incoming Call reports
  • Agent Group reports 

Agent group reports are important for forecasting by group, product or service.

It will be necessary to format and collate the reports for usability.  The MIS will have a report database from which historical data is extracted.  It is then possible for files to be readily imported into spreadsheet programmes such as MS Excel.

It is usually possible within the GUI software to create your own customised reports from the data using database tables.  Once a customised report template is produced, the data automatically populates the template.  The reports can then be set up in the Report Groups alongside standard reports for scheduling and printing.

If analysis needs to be undertaken without an ACD, then statistics will need to be reviewed from the local telephone network.


Call trends should be chartered to understand variation from year-on-year, right down to time segment. The longer the history of call-trends, the greater will be the reliability for patterns / trends and forecasts for the future.  Certainly, three years of data would be the minimum for a good trend base.

It is important to use calls offered in any analysis and not ignoring abandoned calls or those receiving busy signals.  The latter figure will need to be provided from the telephone network provider.  It is necessary to use a rule of thumb, say 1:5, with abandons and busies as there will be some duplication, on the assumption a caller eventually get through.

Volume Periods

It will be necessary to collate and track the data by period reports such as;

  • Annual
  • Month
  • Week
  • Day
  • Intra day Time Segment – 15 or 30-minute interval

Annual Calls

Annual call volumes are the highest view in the hierarchy and can be meaningless unless dissected into intra-year breakdowns.

If you have an annual trend of;

Year 1 – 500k

Year 2 – 550k

Year 3 – 605k

You will start to see a 10% year-on-year increase, which will go some way to assisting with the next annual forecast, all other things remaining equal. 

Call Forecasting 2 - Monthly Call Profile

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