The role of a help desk analysis is one of the most visible and important in the whole IT profession. Tech is a game-changer – when it works! However, malfunctioning IT, three bouncing dots, or a spinning colour wheel are the most frustrating of protagonists.

So when you’ve tried everything in your remit – “switching it off and then switching it on again” – who do you call on when you can’t solve the glitching?

The Help Desk Analyst.

These IT pros deal with masses of calls every day helping to troubleshoot tech and keep the wheels of industry spinning.

But what exactly does the average Help Desk Analyst’s to-do list look like, what does this critical tech job entail, and why exactly is this role so vital in enabling remote working?

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A day in the life of a Help Desk Analyst.

Being the face of user support the Help Desk Analyst is a role we couldn’t do without. Primarily, they will do all they can to resolve issues and problems themselves. If they can’t, their role is to pass our issue on to a more experienced colleague.

This chain means there is a three tiered system for Help Desk Analysts.

The three tiers of Help Desk Analyst.

Tier 1

  • Tier 1 takes the initial user query that is submitted as a ‘ticket’, either over the phone or via an online portal.
  • Works on fairly simple software, hardware, or network problems.
  • If tier 1 is unable to solve these issues, they will refer the request to a Tier 2 colleague.

Tier 2

  • Tier 2 Help Desk Analysts can solve more complex systems or application problems.
  • Tier 2 analysts often maintain the IT ticketing system.
  • Tier 2 will reassign a ticket to a Tier 3 colleague if they are struggling with a problem they can’t resolve.

Tier 3.

  • Tier 3 analysts resolve the most complicated issues that have remained unsolved thus far.
  • Tier 3 also are prevention experts and come up with solutions that could be encountered in the future by identifying trends within the company’s issue reporting.

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Remote assistants.

The majority of the Help Desk Analyst workload must be dealt with remotely. Performing any type of IT maintenance is difficult but adding in a layer of distance makes these tasks even more tricky.

Often these experts are also having to deal with tech laypeople. We don’t know the correct terminology or have the knowledge to help identify the source of the problem.  In some cases, Help Desk Analysts can see what we see, through screen sharing solutions, for example. However, if this isn’t available, they need to be able to interpret our shaky interpretations and try to visualise what we see.

In an age of remote working, this role becomes even more vital. Cloud solutions have meant that workers from every industry are now reliant on tech. It needs to function for us all to do our jobs, collaborate with colleagues and support our clients’ needs.

Our new dependence on Help Desk Analysts has meant that it has become a much more stressful role. More remote IT users mean more tickets. Couple this with our renewed reliance on functioning technology, and it’s clear to see how the role has become more pressurised.

What does a Help Desk Analyst do?

Our requests to the help desk are tracked through a ticketing system.  Help Desk Analysts spend part of their day working through existing tickets and looking for tickets where the issues have been resolved.  They will also follow up with users, chase actions and follow up on reminders to make sure issues are solved as swiftly and as efficiently as possible.

Those professionals who are dealing with particularly time-sensitive queries will prioritise the maintenance of these tickets and ensure they are on track to being resolved.

Tier 3 Help Desk Analysts have additional responsibilities.

Tier 3 help desk analysts will take on additional responsibilities. They will be able to use their significant skills and experience to help coach and direct more junior colleagues.   They are also expected to keep the FAQ or troubleshooting information up to date and ensure they are accessible.

They will also monitor the KPI performance of the desk, looking at indicators such as time to resolution and ensure that the team is performing as efficiently as possible.

They are the eyes and ears of the tech team who rely on the Help Desk data to improve products and services.

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What skills does a Help Desk Analyst need?

Certifications and credentials.

Although a lot of the learning a help desk analyst will do is on the job, there is significant tech know-how and credentials required.

You may like to consider the following industry certifications. These will help secure a better salary and quicker career progression.

  • CompTIA A+
  • CompTIA Network+
  • Microsoft 365 Certified: Modern Desktop Administrator Associate
  • HDI
  • Cisco.

“Soft skills”

Yes, Help Desk Analysts will need tech know-how, but this role is customer facing…even if remotely.

As a result, they should be

  • Skilled communicators.
  • Empathetic and understanding
  • Persistent
  • Resilient
  • Detail oriented
  • Solution focussed
  • Problem solvers
  • Skilled time managers
  • Able to prioritise tasks

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A career as a Help Desk Analyst.

If you are just starting out and a career in IT is appealing, becoming a Help Desk Analyst is a great place to start.  Before you complete any formal certifications, you’ll require a keenness for the latest tech and a will to learn.  Your soft skills will have to be as strong as your tech-savvy. Communication, an ability to work in a fast-paced environment, and a tenacious problem-solving mentality will be essential if you believe a job as a Help Desk Analyst is for you.

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Are you stepping out into your first role as a Help Desk Analyst? Perhaps you are looking to move up a tier and consider tier 1 or tier 2 support roles.

We can help whatever stage you are at on your journey. Reach out today to find out how Ignite can help you!

About the author: As a founder of Ignite Digital Talent, I lead our brilliant team to ensure we deliver time and time again for our clients. I also stay closely networked with industry influencers to ensure we are well placed to understand the issues and challenges our clients face.

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