ServiceNow users can create Power BI reports with ServiceNow data by connecting the two platforms via an integration. 

While ServiceNow provide their own out-of-the-box reporting capabilities, many organizations find them limiting. 

This article covers:

  1. What is ServiceNow?
  2. What is Power BI?
  3. Why Do Organizations Create Reports with Power BI?
  4. How to Create Power BI Reports with ServiceNow Data

What is ServiceNow?

ServiceNow is a cloud-based platform for automating IT management workflows, that helps organizations optimize operations. 

As well as offering a number of different products via the platform, ServiceNow also allows users to create their own applications and/or integrate with third-party applications to tailor the platform to meet their specific requirements. 

While the organization started in the IT service management (ITSM) space, it has since expanded beyond its original scope.

Today, the organization pitches itself as the “ultimate service management platform”, uniting functions including customer service, HR, security, finance and marketing. As such, the platform is commonly integrated with complementary solutions.

What is Power BI?

Microsoft Power BI is a business intelligence (BI) solution that allows non-technical business users to aggregate, analyze, visualize and share data/reports. 

Organizations use the platform to discover insights from data. With Power BI, organizations can connect connect disparate data sets for more comprehensive analysis. It also allows organizations to transform data into data models and create data visualizations such as charts and graphs. 

Why Do Organizations Create Reports in Power BI?

Using Power BI is a popular alternative to reporting in ServiceNow. The solution is an excellent business intelligence tool, providing easy, business-user-friendly access to analytics and reports

Organization’s can integrate it with an external database to combine the data from numerous systems, automate the transfer of data into the platform and undertake more comprehensive analysis and visualizations.

For ServiceNow users, ServiceNow-to-Power BI integrations benefit IT teams, business analysts, BI developers, and C-suite executives. 

Employees can use the solution to create and run data reports. Business leaders can monitor KPIs to get a 360-degree view of internal operations and enhance their decision-making processes by leveraging actionable reports and real-time insights.

How To Create Power BI Reports with ServiceNow Data

To create Power BI reports with ServiceNow data, organizations first need an automated means of extracting data from ServiceNow, and replicating to the BI solution. This can be achieved via ServiceNow integrations.

With the right integration, organizations can automate the transfer of data from ServiceNow to Power BI dynamically – based on rules established by the user – and in real-time.

Below, we cite two popular options for connecting ServiceNow and Power BI. 

Options for Integrating ServiceNow and Power BI

Creating Power BI Reports with ServiceNow Data via Third-Party, API integrations

As well as offering their own out-of-the-box capabilities for reporting and analysis, ServiceNow also recognize their users’ need for more advanced reporting and analysis features

As such the organization supports third-party integrations for connecting ServiceNow to Power BI, hosting some on its marketplace.

Typically, these integrations are facilitated by API and web-services and delivered as integration platforms-as-a-service (iPaaS) – meaning the integration provider delivers the platform, but maintenance and implementation is typically left to the customer organization.

Be mindful of hidden costs and maintenance requirements.

iPaaS providers often cite their versatility and fast-time-to-value. While this is true in a sense, time-to-value can and often is disrupted when extensive customization is required, and when on-going maintenance challenges occur. 

Since packaged integration providers are not obligated to maintain the integrations, organizations should evaluate whether they have the resources to support such a solution, and the hidden costs associated with maintaining integrations internally.

Expect performance degradation when large data volumes are involved.

Organizations that opt for API-based integrations should also be mindful of performance degradation. 

Since API calls compete for ServiceNow’s bandwidth, ServiceNow instances with large data volumes, heavy customization and/or poorly configured API suffer performance degradation. Impacts to performance slow query speeds, data transfers and reporting, and contribute to delays around the organization. 

Performance degradation often forces IT teams to implement workaround solutions, like running bulk exports outside normal working hours, creating outdated data and inaccurate reporting.

Performance degradation can be so severe that organizations experience routine failed reports due to them timing out.

Create Power BI Reports With ServiceNow Data via Perspectium

Organizations with large data volumes and heavy ServiceNow usage require a more robust integration solution supporting higher-throughput, and without impacting performance.

As such, native integration solutions that avoid API and function seamlessly within the Now Platform are the best option for users dealing with lots of ServiceNow data.  

Fortunately, ServiceNow is partnered with Perspectium – a trusted ServiceNow-native integration application and service provider created by ServiceNow’s founding developer, David Loo. 

Instead of relying on API calls to facilitate data transfers, Perspectium leverages its native presence within ServiceNow, to export data using the more efficient “Push” technology.

With Perspecitum, ServiceNow data is replicated and extracted to a queue in its cloud-enabled message broker system (MBS). Target systems then retrieve the data from the MBS, as opposed to from ServiceNow directly, meaning ServiceNow’s performance is left unimpeded. 

Furthermore, as a managed service, delivered by ServiceNow integration experts, Perspectium users also enjoy rapid time-to-value, without the burden of on-going maintenance obligations – Perspectium handles everything from implementation, to maintenance and provides 24×7, 365 support. 

As well as ServiceNow-to-Power BI integrations, Perspectium also facilitates integrations from ServiceNow to popular data repositories and platforms including Tableau, Business Objects and Micro Strategy.

Create Power BI Reports with ServiceNow Data via Integrations

Owing to Perspectium’s unrivalled technology and service, the ServiceNow organization are also customers of Perspectium.

The ITSM platform provider opted to use Perspectium for its own internal ServiceNow integrations, replicating data from 10 production instances of ServiceNow into their internal BI solutions.

Want to learn more about performance impact-free ServiceNow integrations or get a demo? Speak with our experts.

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