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Amazon Timestream for Amazon Connect real-time monitoring

Amazon Connect is an easy-to-use cloud contact center solution that helps companies of any size deliver superior customer service at a lower cost. Connect has many real-time monitoring capabilities. For requirements that go beyond those supported out of the box, Amazon Connect also provides you with data and APIs you can use to implement your own custom real-time monitoring solution. Such a solution enables you to monitor your contact center with your standard monitoring tools, create custom metrics that reflect your business rules, visualize the data according to user preferences, secure access to the data with custom rules, aggregate third-party data from other systems, and integrate the real-time data into other applications.

Organizations benefit from real-time or near-real time monitoring of the activities in their contact centers. Assessing agent performance and identifying issues while calls are happening empowers supervisors to prevent negative customer experiences with swift corrective actions. Dashboards help teams focus on the metrics that impact their success.

In this post, we show you how to use Amazon Timestream to build the data layer for Amazon Connect real-time monitoring. To get started, you can use the AWS CloudFormation template and step-by-step instructions provided in this post. The solution can be deployed in multiple Regions. Because data is collected in an Amazon Timestream database, the solution must be deployed in at least one Region where Amazon Timestream is available.

Solution overview

The following architecture diagram provides a high-level view of the solution.

The solution uses the following AWS services:

AWS CloudFormation
Amazon Connect
Amazon EventBridge
AWS IAM Identity Center (successor to AWS Single Sign-On)
AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM)
Amazon Kinesis
AWS Lambda
AWS Organizations
Amazon Timestream

Amazon Connect is by default integrated with Amazon EventBridge for publishing contact events whenever the state of a contact changes in the Amazon Connect contact center. Amazon Connect can also integrate with Amazon Kinesis for publishing agent events whenever an agent’s state and activities change.

As part of the solution workflow, EventBridge and Kinesis trigger the corresponding AWS Lambda functions provided for each entity type. Each Lambda parses the incoming event message, transforms the data to a tabular format, and persists it in the Amazon Timestream database tables.

To enrich the data received by the previous events, a Lambda triggered by EventBridge Scheduler periodically retrieves queue and user information from Amazon Connect through Amazon Connect APIs to persist in the Amazon Timestream database tables. This enables advance queries such as querying tag values in a queue or the full name of an agent.

You can extend this architecture to ingest data from third-party data sources to support additional analytics use cases. You can create new tables in the Timestream database, ingest third-party data, and run queries that join the provided tables with the third-party data tables.

Deploying the solution in multiple AWS Regions

If you have Amazon Connect instances in multiple Regions, or if you have your Amazon Connect instance in a Region that does not support Amazon Timestream, you can deploy this solution to multiple Regions.

First, in a Region that supports Amazon Timestream, deploy the solution with the Deploy all resources including database option. For other Regions containing Amazon Connect instances from which you want to collect data, deploy the solution using the same stack name in each Region. Use the Deploy to collect Amazon Connect data from current option, indicating the Region where you deployed the Timestream database.

In the following example, where Amazon Timestream is in the us-east-1 Region, you would first deploy to us-east-1 with Deploy all resources including database – Current region supports Amazon Timestream, then deploy to ca-central-1 Region with the Deploy to collect Amazon Connect data from current Region – Amazon Timestream database is deployed to Region: us-east-1 option.

Prerequisites

Before you deploy the solution, ensure the following:

You need an active AWS account with the permission to create and modify IAM roles.
An Amazon Connect contact center instance must be present in the same AWS account and Region from which you will collect the data to visualize in your dashboards.
To deploy with Deploy all resources including database – Current region supports Amazon Timestream option, your current Region must support Amazon Timestream. Having an Amazon Connect instance is optional in this Region.
To deploy to other Regions, you must first complete a deployment that includes the Timestream database in another Region in the same account.
To calculate the estimated cost of implementing this solution in your AWS account, refer to the AWS Pricing Calculator

Deploy data collection resources with AWS CloudFormation

To deploy the solution, complete the following steps:

Choose Launch Stack to deploy the solution:

Enter a unique stack name. Using the default name (ConnectRealTime) reduces the amount of reconfiguration in later steps.
For the AgentEventDataStreamArn parameter, enter the ARN of the Kinesis Data Stream that is configured to stream agent events in your Amazon Connect instance. If you don’t already have a stream configured, leave this parameter empty. The CloudFormation stack will create a new Kinesis Data Stream for you to set as the destination for agent events.
Choose a DeploymentModel. This solution allows you to have one database in a Region that supports Amazon Timestream, and to collect data from Amazon Connect instances in other Regions.
The DeploymentModel parameter allows you to select whether to create a new database during deployment. Select Deploy all resources including database – Current region supports Amazon Timestream if your current Region supports Amazon Timestream and you want the database to be created in this Region. Beside the database, Amazon Connect integration components are created to collect data from the Amazon Connect instances in the current Region.Select one of the other options if you have already deployed the solution with the database to another Region and you want the solution you are deploying to the current Region to collect the data and store it in the database created in that remote Region.
Select the acknowledgement check box and choose Create stack.
If you see an error such as:

Template format error: Unrecognized resource types: AWS Timestream Table, AWS Timestream Database

You are trying to install the Amazon Timestream database and tables to a Region that does not support Amazon Timestream.

When stack creation is complete, you can navigate to the Outputs tab to see the data stream.

On the Amazon Connect console, navigate to your instance.
In the Data Streaming section, choose the Kinesis Data Stream to be the destination for Agent Events and choose Save.

The data collection pipeline is complete. Make sure your contact center instance has some activity that creates some data.
Proceed to the Amazon Timestream console’s Query Editor (the Outputs tab in the CloudFormation stack also has a link for easy navigation).

Choose the options menu (three dots) next to AgentEvent and choose Preview data.

Verify the data with SQL queries.

Visualization

Amazon Timestream supports integration with Grafana, Amazon QuickSight, JDBC, ODBC, and variety of third-party tools. Refer to Amazon Connect real time monitoring using Amazon Managed Grafana and Amazon Timestream to use sample Grafana dashboards provided. You can use the sample dashboards as a starting point for your own visualization solution and improve them to serve your business requirements.

Notable features of Timestream

Amazon Timestream is a cost-effective solution for real time monitoring. Timestream’s storage management feature reduces storage costs by moving older data to a cost-effective magnetic storage tier, and then deleting data when its magnetic store retention period is over. Default retention values are set for each table. You can update these values. Increasing the value will enable users to query over a longer time frame. Decreasing the value will reduce the storage costs.

When you create a table in Amazon Timestream, you don’t have to provide a schema before ingesting data. Tables can adapt to changes in the structure of ingested data. If new fields appear in newly arrived data, they will automatically be added to the table schema.

Amazon Timestream scheduled queries can run aggregates, rollups and other queries, and store the results in a separate table. This new compact table reduces costs for repeated queries and dashboards, and can be retained longer if needed.

When data is needed for historical reports, or needed for another systems to ingest, you can use Timestream’s UNLOAD statement to export time series data to selected S3 buckets in either Apache Parquet or Comma Separated Values (CSV) format. UNLOAD provides you the flexibility to store, combine, and analyze your time series data with other services.

Clean up

To remove the resources created by this stack and prevent additional costs, perform the following steps:

Delete the CloudFormation stack you created for this solution.

Depending on your deployment model, repeat these steps for every Region you deployed the solution by creating a CloudFormation stack.

Conclusion

In this post, you learned how to collect Amazon Connect real-time data in an Amazon Timestream database. The solution is deployed to your account using a CloudFormation template.

Try the solution and if you have feedback about this post, submit it in the comments section.

About the Authors

Mehmet Demir is a Principal Solutions Architect at Amazon Web Services (AWS) based in Toronto, Canada. He helps customers in building well-architected solutions that support business innovation.

Norbert Funke is a Sr. Timestream Specialist Solutions Architect at AWS based out of New York. He helps customers optimizing solutions based on time series data. Prior to joining AWS, he was working for a data consulting company owned by PwC on data architecture and data analytics.

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