Introduction to Business Intelligence Tools

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Introduction to Business Intelligence Tools
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Note: The ServiceNow Wiki is no longer being updated. Visit http://docs.servicenow.com for the latest product documentation.

1 Overview

The ServiceNow platform delivers a business intelligence toolset to structure and communicate quantitative information using reports, analytics, and visualizations for data that resides in the ServiceNow database.

2 Reporting

The ServiceNow report engine is part of the core platform and comes with a predefined set of reports. It allows customers to define a report on any data in the ServiceNow database and execute that report in real time. Users can create and run their own reports. The report engine offers a variety of possible visualizations and allows users to dot-walk relationships between system objects. Reports can be shared with other users, scheduled to run at preset intervals, distributed via email, and turned into gauges that can be published on a homepage.

In general, reporting is used in situations when you are performing activities that require some sort of supporting evidence. Reports can provide a list of details on particular records or a static monthly overview of information stored in the platform.

2.1 Wiki and HI Knowledge Base Resources

For more information about reporting and the reporting engine, see the reporting documentation. You can also view information on Administering Reports.

Additional report resources, such as solutions to common reporting issues and other topics are available on the HI knowledge base.

2.2 Community - Engage and Get Help

Get answers to your reporting questions on the ServiceNow Community.

Report on or search for product issues on the Community. Create a Product Issue submission in the Community to share your experiences and get workarounds or solutions to your challenges.

2.3 Videos - Getting Started and How to

Watch the following videos to learn about reporting. You can find more videos on ServiceNow reporting on the ServiceNow Youtube channel.

Getting Started How to Create Reports How to Distribute Reports

3 Performance Analytics

Performance Analytics is an additional module in ServiceNow that allows customers to take a snapshot of data at regular intervals and create time series for any key performance indicator (KPI) in the organization. Using formulas and time series analytics, moving averages and sums, organizations can compare past performance with current performance, see trends, and forecast future performance. The organization can set goals, targets and objectives and measure whether the organization is meeting its objectives.

As a top-down management tool, Performance Analytics supports the implementation of continuous process improvement or performance management processes. Organizations that use Performance Analytics can collect information automatically to meet recurring information needs, provide powerful analytical capabilities for these data points and reduce the amount of ad hoc reporting. Performance Analytics comes with a predefined set of KPI scorecards and dashboards. The ability to identify exceptions and drill into the record sets of which a historical snapshot was made is a key differentiator when compared to reporting.

3.1 Community - Engage and Get Help

Find answers to your Performance Analytics questions on the ServiceNow Community.

Report on or search for product issues on the Community. Create a Product Issue submission in the Community to share your experiences and get workarounds or solutions to your challenges.

3.2 Videos - Getting Started and How to

Watch the following videos to learn about Performance Analytics. You can find more videos on ServiceNow Performance Analytics on the ServiceNow Youtube channel.

Getting Started Now you see it Performance Analytics

4 Metrics

Metrics record and measure the workflow of individual records. With metrics, customers can arm their process by providing tangible figures to measure, for example, how long it takes before a ticket is reassigned or changes state. These metrics are stored in the database and can be mined with the report engine or Performance Analytics. Metrics support the process workflow and operational analysis.

Metrics should be used to collect and summarize data based on changes within a record. For example, time each assignment group spends on an incident or the duration of specific incident states related to an SLA. The outcome can then be used in reports or as input for Performance Analytics indicators.

5 Gauges

A gauge can be based on a report and can be put on a homepage. Besides report-based gauges, there is a small number of non-report based gauges, such as angular and solid gauges (speedometer).

6 Homepages

Homepages are typically used to share reports or Performance Analytics widgets with a group of users. Performance Analytics customers can use dashboards that essentially are a set of homepages grouped on tabs. The platform provides several standard layouts for homepages, but customers can also customize the homepage layout.

7 Database Views

Customers can create database views to join various tables in ServiceNow. Database views can be used to simplify and increase the reporting capabilities in the platform. When you have to do a lot of dot-walking or frequently want to join a lot of data in a single report, creating a database view could help.

8 ODBC

The ODBC driver allows third-party business intelligence tools to connect to the ServiceNow database. Some examples are linking to Microsoft Excel and Crystal Reports. The ODBC driver is then used to collect the relevant data and present it in a spreadsheet, with optional further data calculations, or in a Crystal report for further distribution in the organization.

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