Recently there have been multiple requests for help in both the ServiceNow community and Tableau forums on integrating Tableau with ServiceNow. Most folks seems to be attempting an ODBC connection from Tableau to ServiceNow, which produces varying levels of success. Some get only a few tables to show, while others don’t get any tables to show at all in Tableau. Those who do get some tables to show are now dealing with Performance issues in pulling up reports in Tableau (slow ODBC access to the data), and limited available report options as they don’t have all the tables they need.
ODBC was never meant to handle the kind of data volumes and throughput necessary for analytics engines and the ServiceNow customer reporting requirements. Replicating data to a database gets suggested as a way to provide access to data for Tableau, but many are hesitant because they fear they are giving up real time access to ServiceNow data and that the resulting data schema in the database will not match what is in ServiceNow. They also have experienced a degradation in ServiceNow performance as the number of integrations accessing ServiceNow data grows. This concern is understandable considering many of the solutions available for this data mirroring/replication.
Perspectium provides a real time ServiceNow to database replication strategy that utilizes a low impact outbound connection to the Perspectium Message Broker Service that then handles the integration to the database or any other data target that needs the data. Because Perspectium provides this as a service there is nothing needed to setup by the customer other than an update set in ServiceNow and installing a database agent that can read the data from the MBS (Message Broker Service) and then write to the database. This agent sets up all the tables and fields automatically and updates the data schema in the database as the ServiceNow data schema gets updated (ie you add a new field on the incident table that new field is created in the database when the next incident is replicated).
This strategy of setting up a real time database mirror gives Tableau report writers the greatest flexibility in building out their reports, without depending on ServiceNow’s availability, ODBC connection, or risking ServiceNow performance impacts by running large reports, and slow reports because of having to constantly send data back and forth across slow internet connections.
Love to get feedback on database mirroring and Tableau. How have others gotten ServiceNow data into Tableau?