Organizations have several options available to connect Tableau and ServiceNow. However, at significant data volumes, not all integration methods are appropriate – or function efficiently without degrading ServiceNow’s performance

Below, Perspectium’s ServiceNow integration experts explain the different approaches for sending ServiceNow data to Tableau and outline their benefits and drawbacks. 

Table of Contents

  1. Why Connect ServiceNow and Tableau?
  2. Benefits of Integrating ServiceNow and Tableau
  3. Different Integration Methods for Connecting ServiceNow and Tableau
  4. Why Traditional Approaches to Connecting ServiceNow and Tableau Present Challenges
  5. ServiceNow-native, Performance Impact-free Tableau Integrations

Why Connect ServiceNow and Tableau?

While ServiceNow’s inbuilt analytics capabilities suffice for some organizations, many organizations need to conduct more sophisticated analyses than ServiceNow allows. 

For example, conducting analytics with ServiceNow’s out-of-the-box capabilities is limited to ServiceNow data only. This prevents organizations from combining ServiceNow data with other sources for more comprehensive analyitics that reflects the wider organization.

Thus, organizations with advanced analytics and reporting needs often integrate ServiceNow and Tableau to overcome the Now Platform’s inherent analytics limitations. Integrating the platforms provides ServiceNow users with a powerful data visualization and management solution. 

With such an integration, organizations can get maximum value from their data, and improve decision making with a more comprehensive understanding of the organization.

By using Tableau to analyze ServiceNow data (or ServiceNow data combined with other sources), organizations can get insight into time-to-resolution, service level agreement compliance, change success rate, customer satisfaction, employee performance and business functions to target for optimization.

Benefits of Integrating ServiceNow and Tableau

Integrating ServiceNow and Tableau benefits organizations in the following key areas:

Service Management Process Optimization

With more detailed and comprehensive insight, organizations can more easily identify areas that require optimization. For example, trends in time-to-resolution could indicate a recurring issue – such as instance performance – that is impacting the organization’s ability to handle new cases. 

In this case, the issue could be due to performance degradation in ServiceNow spiking when analytics teams are generating data extensive reports.

With the ability to combine data sources from multiple platforms and visualize the data, trends and insight, such areas of optimization are more quickly and easily identified. 

Data accessibility and availability

A ServiceNow-to-Tableau integration can improve the accessibility of data. As Tableau can utilize data from a number of sources, users have a streamlined process for accessing data, reports and analytics. 

Providing advanced reporting and analytics capabilities

As Tableau is purpose built for data analytics, visualization and generating reports, users have more options available as to how reports are generated and distributed, and the data that they include.

Improving data democratization and collaboration

A ServiceNow-to-Tableau integration supports efforts to democratize data and improve collaboration across the organization. It allows teams from different departments to more easily exchange information, and even enables self-service access to data and insight, governed by role-based access. 

Different Integration Methods for Connecting ServiceNow and Tableau

While organizations can choose any of the following integration methods to connect ServiceNow and Tableau, careful consideration should be made to ensure the chosen method meets the organization’s requirements. 

  • Custom, point-to-point integration

Many organizations handling smaller data volumes rely on custom integrations initially. In DIY, point-to-point integration, in-house developers build and implement the integration via custom coding or APIs or a combination of both.

They might use multiple technologies/coding languages to build the custom integration, complicating it. 

Over time, as more tools/applications are added to the organization’s tech stack, maintaining the integration and data flow to the right target sources becomes tedious and expensive.

Needless to say, the organization remains heavily dependent on the team or professionals maintaining the integration – so developer turnover is an inherent threat. 

Developers time is also limited due to the amount of time required to carry out integration maintenance and tackling integration related technical debt

  • Integration Platforms as-a-Service (iPaaS) integration

As the name suggests, iPaaS providers provide a packaged/pre-built, third-party integration platform to facilitate integrations.

They typically leverage API/web services to facilitate data transfers because these approaches are malleable, “one-size-fits-all” options. However, the “one-size-fits-all” approach can make them rather inefficient and cause performance degradation when dealing with large data volumes. 

That’s because these methods compete with ServiceNow’s bandwidth to operate, degrading instance performance. 

While the platform is pre-built, it must be configured to your organization’s requirements and the platform providers do not typically implement or maintain the integrations on behalf of the user. As with DIY integrations, this dynamic severely impacts developers time, and is inherently threatened by developer turnover.

Organizations initially choose iPaaS solutions because they speed up the implementation time – but this advantage is impeded by the time taken to maintain the integration going forward. Considerable internal resources must be dedicated to configure and maintain the integrations. 

  • Push technology-enabled, ServiceNow-native IaaS

In Push technology-based integrations, modern organizations with large data volumes now have an alternative to API/web services that does not impact performance.

Push technology functions natively from within the platform, so rather than relying on external API calls that “pull” data from the ServiceNow platform, native push technology “pushes” data into a cloud enabled queue – or Message Broker System (MBS) – that the target system then retrieves the data from.

This is a far more efficient approach that avoids performance degradation by having the target system extract data from the cloud/MBS, rather than directly from ServiceNow. 

It means organizations can enjoy real-time data transfers, with massive throughput, without degrading ServiceNow’s instance performance. 

The MBS also mitigates the risk of data loss in the event of an outage on one of the connected platforms. For example, if the target system goes down during a data transfer, instead of being lost, the data simply waits in the queue until it is back online. Encryption protects the data both in-transit and when it is at-rest in the MBS.

Choosing the Right Integration Approach

Data volume, availability and security are just some of the things to consider when choosing an integration approach. The “right” approach will depend on your particular needs …

How to connect Tableau and ServiceNow  with the right integration approach.

Choosing the Right Integration Approach

Data volume, availability and security are just some of the things to consider when choosing an integration approach. The “right” approach will depend on your particular needs …

Why Traditional Approaches to Connecting ServiceNow and Tableau Present Challenges

Connecting Tableau to a ServiceNow instance directly through traditional methods such as API and web-services based integrations is not recommended because: 

  • ServiceNow is cloud-based, so data requests are transmitted and retrieved over the Internet, increasing strain on the platform’s bandwidth
  • Executing complex queries, reports, and advanced analytics on production instances can severely impact ServiceNow performance, making data inaccessible. 

One way to circumvent these challenges is to replicate ServiceNow data into an external database and connect Tableau to the database using the Push technology approach outlined above.

ServiceNow-native, Performance Impact-free Tableau Integrations

The best option for large data-driven organizations is to leverage Push Technology-enabled, ServiceNow-native integrations like Perspectium. 

Perspectium can seamlessly integrate ServiceNow with external tools/systems/apps, including Tableau.

Its DataSync solution can securely extract and replicate ServiceNow data to an external data warehouse for any business use case, including performance reporting, analytics, Business Intelligence, AI, ML, and more. 

DataSync uses Push Technology to push the data into a cloud-enabled queue that the target system retrieves it from. Thanks to Push Technology, the data can be transformed pre- and post-send, reaching the desired source at the right time and in the correct format.

By avoiding web services or API calls to initiate data transfer from ServiceNow, DataSync preserves the Platform’s performance and eliminates ServiceNow-recommended constraints to extracting data.

Thus, organizations can extract and replicate massive data volumes.

To learn more about connecting Tableau and ServiceNow with Perspectium, contact our experts today!

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