Documentation forWeb Help Desk

Reports versus advanced search

Check out this video (5:16) on data reporting and using advanced search.

Web Help Desk provides two methods for displaying customer support data:

  • Reports are useful for comparing elements based on a numeric value (for example, comparing techs based on the number of tickets closed). They can show averages and aggregated values.

    Web Help Desk includes a set of predefined reports, which you can modify. You can also create custom reports.

  • Advanced search can show detailed information about a group of tickets, assets, or clients that match the criteria you specify. Use advanced search to answer complex questions.

Both reports and advanced search can be effective tools for monitoring progress or performance, identifying issues, and making decisions. The method you choose depends on the type of question you are trying to answer and how the information needs to be presented.

Quick comparison

Situation Advanced Search Reports

Can show information about







External formats

Tickets: PDF or TSV

Assets: PDF, TSV, or Excel

Clients: TSV or Excel


Can be scheduled No Yes
Can be shared with other techs Yes Yes


Reports provide a high-level view of performance and trends. They can represent data graphically (as bar and pie charts) to help you compare groups of tickets or assets.

Reports can also show aggregated data about tickets and assets, such as the total or average number of tickets opened. These metrics can be used to compare a second element, such as techs, locations, or request types.

Use reports to answer questions that are limited to two elements, such as the examples below.

  • How many tickets did each tech close?

  • How many tickets were opened against each asset?

  • How many assets are checked out in each location?

  • What is the average work time per ticket request type?

  • How many tickets were opened against each request type?

If your question involves more than two elements, consider using advanced search instead of a report.

Reports can be displayed in the Web interface or generated in PDF format. You can also create schedules to automatically run reportsschedules to automatically run reports and email them to groups of recipients.

From any report, you can click the ticket or asset total to display detailed information about the items included in that total.

Advanced search

Sometimes specific data cannot be found in reports. In these cases, advanced search can be a better tool.

Advanced search is a powerful tool that you can use to answer complex questions. Searches display lists of tickets, assets, or clients that meet the specified criteria. By selecting a column set, you can show detailed information that is relevant to the question you want to answer.


To determine which items are returned by a search, you can define multiple conditions and combine them using Boolean AND or OR logic. Boolean logic provides a flexible framework that can answer a wide variety of questions. Some examples of questions and the associated conditions are shown below.

  • Which tickets assigned to a specific tech have not been updated within the last 10 days?

  • Which assets in a location do not have a service contract or have a service contract that expires this month?

  • Which tickets contain the words "network outage" in a client note or the request details or the subject?

  • Which tickets assigned to a tech group have a priority of Urgent or have an escalation level of 2 or higher?

Saved searches

You can save a search and run it at any time. A saved search is available from the Query menu at the top of a ticket, client, or asset list.

Saved searches can be shared with other techs, and they can be used as a source for dashboard visualizations.