While the platform has out-of-the-box functionality, many enterprise-scale organizations want advanced ServiceNow reporting capabilities for more comprehensive insight.

ServiceNow users often invest in reporting and analytics to improve their operations and decision making. 

ServiceNow reports are an excellent source of real-time information – they visualize ServiceNow data in shareable formats and offer insights into ServiceNow applications and features, including incident management and service catalog requests. 

Users can share and collaborate on these reports with others via dashboards, service portals, or landing pages and also export them to PDF and email.

ServiceNow’s reporting features also support data visualization, enabling the use of predefined dashboards and reports that users can customize for specific workflows.

Users can leverage built-in tools to identify and automate frequently run reports. The data never leaves the Now Platform and so benefits from ServiceNow’s out-of-the-box security features.

What Organizations Can Learn from ServiceNow Reporting

Organizations can leverage ServiceNow reporting to make actionable decisions based on data trends. 

Organizations can create and share reports reflecting the real-time status of instances, incidents, change requests, assets, KPIs, Service Desk surveys, etc. 

With ServiceNow’s out-of-the-box reporting capabilities, business leaders can gain enhanced visibility into and control three core aspects:

  • IT infrastructure provisioning – Users can monitor multiple aspects of IT service delivery, like incidents, downtime, service availability, first response time, etc. These insights help IT leaders understand how efficiently the IT department handles the workload and issues. 
  • IT support resource consumption – This advanced reporting feature allows organizations to track IT expenses. It helps monitor budgets, track departmental expenses, and identify departments exceeding the budget. The management can use the insights to understand the reasons behind budget overflow. 
  • Team performance – ServiceNow reporting gives a clear picture of IT performance. IT leaders can use the insights to optimize IT support, identify areas for improvement, enhance employee productivity, track incidents per employee, and more.

However, this doesn’t encompass the full-scope of insight to be gained from ServiceNow. That’s because ServiceNow’s in-built reporting and analytics capabilities can only leverage data inside the ServiceNow platform. 

As an ITSM solution supporting critical business functions, further insight can be gained by using advanced reporting and analytics solutions, and by merging ServiceNow data with other sources for more contextual analysis. This can be achieved by connecting ServiceNow to an external data repository such as a database or data warehouse.

An external data repository also makes it easier for teams to collaborate on reporting and analysis, and to share data. For example, by connecting ServiceNow to an external database, the teams outside of ITSM – such as SecOps – have self-service access to pull the data they need to analyze. 

Similar advantages can be experienced by teams that want to use ServiceNow data to support Business Intelligence (BI), Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) projects, such as predictive analytics.

How to Create ServiceNow Reports

ServiceNow Reports can be created or modified using the platform’s Report Designer, which offers a guided flow to configure, edit, view, and share reports.

Admins and users granted the File Type Access to Reporting can create and/or modify reports.

To viewing or modify existing reports:

1. Go to the Reports application by navigating to All > Reports – or enter “reports” in the navigation menu’s search bar.

2. Click  View / Run.

Here, the “My reports” tab shows reports created by the logged in user. Reports shared globally, or by specific groups can be accessed in the “Global” and “Group” tabs. The “All” tab shows all reports accessible to the logged in user.

To create a new report:

1. Go to the Reports application by navigating to All > Reports – or enter “reports” in the navigation menu’s search bar.

2. Click Create New.

This opens the Data tab. Here, users must complete three mandatory fields, Report name, Source type and Data source.

3. Name the report using the Report name field – users are encouraged to use names that are logical and clear.

4. Select Source Type – reports can be created from a Data Source or a Table.

When using a Table, users need to provide all the conditions to select report data from the table, even if many of the conditions are consistent between reports.

A Data Source defines a standard set of conditions for querying tables that can be reapplied from report to report

5. Select a Data Source

6. Click Next to advance to the Type tab

7. Choose the format for your report. Options include Bar charts, Pie and Donut charts, Time Series, Multidimensional reports and more.

8. From the Configure tab, users can control how the data is visualized.

9. The Style tab can then be used to change details such as the size of the chart, colour and other visual aspects. For example, Bar charts can be color-coded by priority.

Why do Organizations Need Advanced ServiceNow Reporting Capabilities?

Some organizations have more advanced ServiceNow reporting requirements. Enterprise-scale organizations usually generate reports with massive data volumes, which impacts ServiceNow’s performance, slowing database query speeds. 

Reporting requirements of large organizations are typically more complex and multifaceted than ServiceNow’s in-built reporting and analysis tools can handle. 

When using ServiceNow’s reporting and analysis tools, enterprise-scale organizations experience the following challenges:

  • Reports containing a large amount of data are slow to run and impact ServiceNow’s performance.
  • Teams may need to run reports beyond operational hours to compensate for performance degradation. 
  • For bulk data, reports may time out due to the inability to handle the data volumes. Sometimes timing out outside of operational hours means reports aren’t ready for use by employees when they return to work.
  • ServiceNow data is confined within the ServiceNow platform, and so cannot be viewed in context with the wider enterprise.
  • Not all teams can directly access ServiceNow data within the ServiceNow platform. As well as negatively impacting data accessibility, this can also introduce security risks if employees share log-in credentials as a workaround
  • ServiceNow’s reporting and analysis features are not as extensive as dedicated reporting, analytics and intelligence solutions, including BI and AI/ML-powered predictive analytics

Organizations can benefit from more advanced ServiceNow reporting and analysis capabilities by replicating ServiceNow data within external data repositories. To take advantage of advanced reporting capabilities, organizations must integrate ServiceNow with their data repository of choice.

However, organizations with large volumes of ServiceNow data should select their integration solution carefully. Most modern integrations rely on web services/API calls to ServiceNow to complete transactions, significantly harming ServiceNow’s performance.

Similarly to how generating reports with large amounts of data impacts ServiceNow performance, web-services/API enabled integrations also cause performance degradation when moving large data volumes.

Consequently, organizations are still coerced into employing workaround solutions, such as running reports outside of operational hours for minimum disruption. This is nothing but a patch fix that will ultimately lead to data, integration and technical debt

When enterprises generate reports outside of operational hours, there are fewer (or no) resources to monitor the report’s status. Thus, the report’s stakeholders may return to work to find an incomplete/inaccurate or even failed report.

Also, performance degradation due to report queries affects all other queries made to the database. It causes a more serious data volume and velocity (the speed at which data is processed) issue that impacts the time-to-resolution of open cases, among other tasks.

Enable Advanced ServiceNow Reporting With Perspectium

ServiceNow integrations must be carefully planned and implemented to ensure seamless performance.

While manual, point-to-point, and custom integrations only work in the short run, enterprise-scale and growing organizations must opt for integration services that do not negatively impact ServiceNow’s performance, or the ability for employees to do their jobs.

Fortunately, ServiceNow is officially partnered with integration-as-a-service provider, Perspectium. 

Perspectium is a performance-impact free integration solution and service that connects organization’s ServiceNow data with the wider enterprise for reporting, analysis, and business intelligence, among other use cases. 

With Perspectium, organizations can connect to a range of popular data repositories, and then to dedicated solutions for reporting, analysis, AI, BI and ML.

Unlike other integration services and solutions, Perspectium is not reliant on web-services and AI to replicate ServiceNow data, meaning the associated performance issues can be avoided. 

Created by the founding developer of ServiceNow – David Loo – Perspectium extracts and replicate millions of records daily without impacting ServiceNow’s performance. 

Perspectium DataSync replicate ServiceNow data into external data repositories securely – benefiting from encryption and obfuscation technology to protect data at-rest and in-transit. 

As well as integrating ServiceNow with reporting, analysis, AI, BI and ML solutions, DataSync also supports use cases including: 

  • Data lake building
  • Performance reporting
  • Backup & disaster recovery
  • Archiving 
  • Data democratization 

Perspectium helps all the varying stakeholders of ServiceNow data, securely access the right data at the right time. 

IT leaders can use Perspectium to create automated data pipelines between ServiceNow and more advanced/dedicated solutions for analysis, reporting, BI, AI and ML.

This way, ServiceNow’s data can provide insight for anticipating market trends, prioritizing business needs, identifying scope for improvement, and driving service improvement. 

Contact our experts today to learn more about using Perspectium to improve your ServiceNow data analysis and reporting options.

Advanced ServiceNow Reporting, Analytics, BI, AI and ML.

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