Simple Search Filters

Sometimes the problems we need to solve aren’t hard ones.

Rich,

Shawn from marketing says that yesterday afternoon he made a lot of calls 
from his extension 4128, but no one ever picked up.  I say he's just lazy 
and didn't make any calls.  Can you tell us which one of us is right?

Thanks,
Your Boss.

This, it turns out, is one of those relatively easy problems to solve.  Let’s take a look at the simple search filtering that’s available in the Cisco CDR Reporting and Analytics app’s Browse Calls menu.

Here’s the search filters we’ll be focusing on.

To/From

The option calls to/from has three simple possibilities.

  • Using calls to limits the app to displaying calls that were to the number you’ll enter in the next field.
  • Using calls from limits the app to displaying calls that were from the number you’ll enter in the next field.
  • Or, using calls to/from shows calls either to or from.

Note that this isn’t necessarily inbound vs. outbound – it could be an internal call calling that number or an external number.  See Call types below for that.

For investigating Shawn’s calls, set this to “Calls from”.

The number(s) to search for

The next field is where you’ll type a number, set of numbers, range of numbers, or numbers with wildcards.  Some options:

  • Searching by a single phone number
    • Just type it in.  Like to search for mine would be 7158917420.
  • But what if you aren’t sure if it will show up as 17158917420, 7158917420, +17158917420, or since you’re also in the 715 area code, maybe even just 8917420?
    • Put all of them in, separated by commas. 7158917420, 17158917420, +17158917420, 8917420
    • Or maybe use a leading wildcard. *8917420
      • Minor note – a leading wildcard is fine, but know that it’s probably going to result in a slower search than listing out the numbers as I did before.
  • Searching a set of extensions or range of numbers
    • To find all the extensions between 1400 and 1450 use a dash between them: 1400-1450

But that’s not all.  You can mix and match these.  Let’s say you want calls where the extension was one of your helpdesk extensions, which are non-contiguous and span numbers 1400 to 1450, anything in the 1500s, or is number 86577.  (I know that sounds confusing, but so many places have needs like this that I think it’s a good example!).  That list could be written as 1400-1450,1500-1599,86577.

This and a few other cases are also covered in our User Documentation.

For investigating Shawn’s calls, set this to “4128”.

Time Range

The time range you’d like to view.  In addition to standard items like “last 48 hours”, you can also pick from “other” items like “previous business week”.  Play around with these and it will quickly become clear what the difference is between “previous business week” and “previous week”.

Also there are a lot of options in the “Custom Time Range” section.  Most of this is pretty self-explanatory, but “Snap to” under relative could probably use a tiny bit of extra explanation and some quick examples.

The “Snap to” options are used to snap the beginning or ending time frame to a particular unit.  Let’s suppose it’s currently 21 minutes and 19 seconds past 4 in the afternoon. And let’s add in 429 milliseconds, too – the timestamps have this precision, so let’s work with that.  That gives us a current “now” time of exactly 16:21:19.429 or 4:21:19.429 PM. If you were to run a search at that exact time, you can follow the chart below to see what effect changing the snap to has on the effective time.  So the chart doesn’t get too cluttered, I just used the 24 hour time display.

Relative time set to: With Snap to: The resulting effective range:
2 Hours ago Hour 14:00:00.000 to now (16:21:19.429)
2 Hours ago Minute 14:21:00.000 to now (16:21:19.429)
2 Hours ago Second 14:21:19.000 to now (16:21:19.429)
2 Hours ago None 14:21:19.429 to now (16:21:19.429)

You can even go back 2 hours and snap to the day, as well, which would take you back to midnight last night. This is actually very useful because it is one way to give a report that’s “Current Day”.

For investigating Shawn’s calls, you could set this to “Other > Yesterday” and just manually look, or use “Custom time…” and set it like the below.

(Note the dates can be picked from a date picker, but the times have to be typed in).

Call types

Similar to but different from the To/From above.  There are four valid options here:

  • Outside callers calling into your system – incoming
  • Internal callers calling external numbers – outgoing
  • Internal callers calling other internal numbers – internal
  • Where the call came in one gateway and went out another (often and usually the case when someone forwards a call) – tandem

Note that in the call type case, it’s especially noticeable that this operates on a leg by leg basis, not on the “entire call”.  This makes sense if you think about it – an incoming call may come to Marge first (incoming), but then she transfers it to your Minneapolis number out a different gateway (tandem).  Sometimes, it might even end up they forward that call back out to an external number (like a salesperson’s cell phone?), so it’s incoming and outgoing both!  Crazy, right?

For investigating Shawn’s calls, set this to “outgoing”

Then what?

Once you have the above filters set, you should now have a list of the calls Shawn made yesterday afternoon.  Take a look at those, see if they’re all (or mostly) under perhaps 30 seconds.  If so, Shawn’s possibly right – at least we confirmed he made a lot of very short calls yesterday.  If there’s no or very few calls, well, maybe Shawn should strive for a little more accuracy in reporting his daily activities.

As an advanced second step, you could click, way over in the upper right, the “graph calls over time” link.  That will open a new window at the General Report page with the fields all populated with these filters.  You’ll see it’s graphing the “distinct count of” the calls, which isn’t quite what we want.  So change that first drop-down on the left to “sum” and all the other options should realign to showing the sum of duration over that time period of outbound calls Shawn made.

Final thoughts

We hope this helps the users who are new to our product get more value out of it faster.  If you’ve mastered the above and would like even more power, be sure to check out our Advanced search filters post!




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