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ServiceNow reporting—a guide to the data dance party

Data-driven decision-making has never been more crucial for organizations to stay competitive and thrive. Because today’s business environment is so fast-paced, companies need to have the capacity to review progress, simply and seamlessly view data, and adapt quickly. Otherwise, they will fail to access the flexible and relevant changes they need to succeed. With ServiceNow, organizations can access this essential data, all while saying goodbye to manual, lengthy processes.

ServiceNow offers robust reporting capabilities that can provide valuable insights and drive operational excellence. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the world of ServiceNow reporting and explore how you can leverage its features to unlock the full potential of your data. Let’s discuss what ServiceNow reporting is, its benefits, best practices, and how relying on a partner can help you achieve the success you need to thrive.

Your data management just might become smoother than your jazz playlist.

What is ServiceNow reporting?

ServiceNow reporting is a powerful feature on the Now Platform that enables organizations to transform their data into meaningful insights through the ability to generate, customize, and distribute reports based on data stored within the platform.

The ServiceNow reporting capability is particularly powerful because it empowers organizations to make actionable decisions based on data trends. The system allows users to create and share reports with real-time information about incidents, change requests, assets, and more.

For example, ServiceNow reporting offers the following features:

  • Dashboards: With interactive filters and multiple widgets on one screen, dashboards make experiences personal and engaging for your users.
  • Report designer: Use a guided flow to configure, preview, edit, and share reports easily.
  • Natural language query: Utilize Agent Workspace to ask questions in plain language and access relevant results.
  • Report administration: Allow administrators to access and oversee roles, reports, and sources fully.
  • Data sources: Leverage data from various sources within the ServiceNow ecosystem, including data from IT service management (ITSM), customer service management (CSM), human resources (HR), security operations (SecOps), and other modules.

The ServiceNow reporting application also continuously improves to offer the best capabilities with each new release. Organizations can consistently access the newest innovations and great user experiences by staying current on the latest tools and technologies from ServiceNow.

Taking the guesswork out of your data analysis will free up time for your most crucial goals, like mastering that flamenco dance.

The benefits of ServiceNow reporting

Data analytics is key to organizations’ ability to gain insights, improve performance, and make data-driven decisions by empowering users to analyze, visualize, and share data in a way that best serves an organization. ServiceNow reporting specifically offers several powerful benefits that can impact an organization’s operations through improved decision-making. Here are six of the greatest benefits of using ServiceNow reporting. (Does it feel like your next promotion is just a bar graph away?)

1. Data-driven decision-making

ServiceNow reporting provides access to real-time and historical data that allows organizations to make informed decisions based on accurate and relevant information. Visualize trends, patterns, and performance metrics; identify areas for improvement; allocate resources effectively; and drive strategic initiatives.

2. Improved operational efficiency

ServiceNow reporting also enables organizations to seamlessly monitor KPIs across departments and processes, allowing business leaders to identify bottlenecks, inefficiencies, and areas of high performance. As a result, companies can optimize workflows and improve overall efficiency while streamlining operations. Smooth out your operations until they’re slicker than your CEO’s motivational speeches.

3. Increased transparency

Because ServiceNow reporting tools offer stakeholders clear visibility into all relevant data—such as incidents, processes, service requests, and more—it offers greater transparency and enhanced accountability. Not only does this help business leaders drive organizational success through better decision-making, but it also offers an opportunity to contribute to a better work culture by improving communication and collaboration. You’ll make your organization’s data as clear as your intentions to finish that leftover cake in the break room.

4. Compliance and governance

With reports that demonstrate industry standards, security protocols, and audit requirements, organizations can maintain compliance and show their commitment to governance and risk management. For example, ServiceNow reporting provides an audit trail and documentation of activities and changes throughout your system. Reports can offer information including user actions, system events, compliance audits, and internal reviews, ensuring you always have documentation that demonstrates your transparency and accountability.

5. Strategic planning

ServiceNow reporting provides organizations with the foundation they need to analyze historical data, identify patterns, and make forecasts based on that information. This helps business leaders make more informed decisions about investments and resource allocation, optimizing their long-term planning. Even your wildest strategic plans can be grounded in data, not just that third cup of coffee.

6. Continuous improvement

Because ServiceNow offers organizations the ability to track, measure, and evaluate their data and progress over time, it empowers them to continuously identify areas for enhancement to drive improvements. It also fosters a culture of innovation and consistent organizational growth.

7. Hidden benefit (bonus)

The last benefit in our list is that smug joy of saying, "I told you so," when your data-driven insights hit the bullseye.

When organizations can leverage their data effectively, they can gain actionable insights and make more well-informed decisions, enabling them to enhance their efficiency, drive continuous improvement, and obtain a competitive advantage.

ServiceNow Reporting


7 best practices to maximize ServiceNow reporting results

While ServiceNow reporting offers powerful capabilities that can help transform organizations’ processes, it’s not enough to simply implement the tool and let it sit. Teams must follow best practices in order to ensure that they’re not only maximizing their investments but also developing a single source of truth for all of their data. Otherwise, individuals may create their own reports, developing limited or conflicting data contexts.

Here are seven best practices to follow to ensure you have the right approach to building reports based on your specific organizational needs.

Grab an energy bar, turn off those notifications, and get ready to dive into the thrilling world of reporting best practices – yes, we said thrilling!

1. Define goals before creating reports

First, why are you creating a report? Before simply developing a report for reporting’s sake, be sure to define the goals and objectives that require measurement. For example, maybe you’d like to see if you’re meeting your incident resolution response goals or need to know your average lead time for a change.

Once you have outlined your goals, be sure to include all relevant information—not just the data that puts your team in the best light. Also, remember to give the report a clear and concise name, as this will help you share the information with other groups and users later.

Planning your reports is like packing for a trip – you need to know your destination before you start throwing things into the suitcase.

2. Start small and be agile

It’s easy to look at everything you want to accomplish with ServiceNow and dive into pursuing it all immediately. However, resisting that urge and focusing on smaller and more manageable pieces will help you establish what you really need, and improve as you receive feedback and learn. When considering metrics, less is more, so keep it simple when developing dashboards and deciding what to include.

Just because anyone can create a new report doesn’t mean they should. Along those lines, just because something holds data doesn’t mean it’s relevant to your goals. Remove the excess waste to ensure your metrics are working together to provide the information you need—not working against you.

3. Develop a context

Like you need to define goals before creating reports, you also need to develop a clear context for those goals. What are you trying to achieve, and what will you do if you aren’t reaching your goals? Identify the specific metrics, KPIs, and business questions you want to address and make sure to define specific numbers that will signal when it’s time to reevaluate your decision-making or processes.

For example, if your goal is to achieve 90 percent incident resolution, you may decide to reevaluate processes when that number drops below 88 percent. By developing these steps clearly at the beginning of the business process, you can ensure that advanced reporting is empowering you to do what you need to do: accessing relevant data to define your decision-making. With clarity in context, goals, and next steps, you can ensure your reports are aligned with your desired outcomes and that you’re supporting those goals with your operations.

Think of it as your report’s "backstory" – every good protagonist needs one, right?

4. Consider your audience

Who will be analyzing the reports you’ve created? The way you express the information should consider their specific language, visualizations, goals, and strengths, allowing your audience to understand the value of your report immediately. Similarly, consider how clear, visually appealing, and intuitive your reports are. They should be easy to understand and navigate, regardless of who’s reading them.

Use the correct chart, table, or visual to present data clearly; avoid clutter; and prioritize the most relevant information by showcasing it visually. For example, ServiceNow offers the following formats for data visualization:

  • Pie charts
  • Donut reports
  • Bar charts
  • Semi-donut reports
  • Column reports
  • Line reports
  • Pareto reports
  • Histogram reports
  • And more

All data represented in your information should have contextual meaning and tell a story. Consider which report type will be the most effective at getting the point across.

It’s kind of like arranging the seating at a dinner party. You have to consider who’s coming and what they’d like to get out of the evening.

5. Utilize automation

One of the key advantages of ServiceNow reporting is the ability to automate and schedule the delivery of reports. This means you can consistently ensure that the right information reaches the right people at the right time—and save time while doing it. On top of saving time, automating delivery can enable you to ensure stakeholders always have the dataset needed to make well-informed and timely decisions, eliminate the need for manual intervention, reduce the risk of human error, and improve collaboration between team members.

Establish report schedules based on the frequency of reporting needed. This could be daily, weekly, monthly, or even on a customized schedule. Similarly, consider using report triggers based on specific events or conditions. This ensures that stakeholders receive reports when specific actions or events take place. However, while this capability can make your job a lot easier, don’t forget to regularly monitor the delivery of automated reports to ensure they are being delivered successfully and reaching the intended recipients.

Imagine having a Marauder’s Map for your reports, showing you where everything is, and all you have to do is say, “I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.”

6. Regularly review and adapt

Although a report may offer exactly what you’re looking for now, that doesn’t mean it always will. Schedule periodic reviews of your existing reports to ensure they’re always relevant and align with evolving business needs. Along those lines, don’t hesitate to collaborate with your team and report viewers to gather feedback and incorporate suggestions for improvement.

After receiving feedback and evaluating current business needs, update or retire outdated reports and create new ones to ensure you’re addressing emerging requirements. You’ll also want to make sure everything is documented to maintain consistency when working with multiple report creators or training new users.

7. Encourage continuous improvement

Like other aspects of digital transformation, embracing continuous improvement when it comes to reporting can offer you consistent, long-term results. Regularly evaluate the effectiveness of your reports, monitor key metrics, and track the impact reporting has had on your decision-making processes. That way, you’ll not only maximize the overall value derived from ServiceNow reporting but also always have your sights set on the next big thing.

Beyond your own processes, fostering continuous improvement throughout your organization can empower you to enhance your reporting workflows over time and drive even greater results. Think of it as data yoga—continual flexing, bending, and stretching to ensure your reporting stays in tip-top shape.

These best practices can help you alleviate confusion, drive better decision-making, reduce your time-to-value, and deliver actionable insights with every report. Clear goals, understanding the audience, and continuous improvement are crucial for creating reports that address specific needs and empower your organization with the full power of ServiceNow reporting.

Leveraging advanced features and integrations

ServiceNow reporting isn’t just a standalone powerhouse. It becomes even more formidable when integrated with various tools and platforms, maximizing the reach of your data-driven decisions. This section outlines the integrations and advanced features that elevate ServiceNow’s capabilities:

  • Integration with Microsoft products: ServiceNow seamlessly integrates with Microsoft, synchronizing data across both platforms. This compatibility is beneficial for organizations using Microsoft’s Business Intelligence tools, ensuring a unified and smooth user experience.
  • ServiceNow’s API: The API provides developers direct access to interact with the platform, enhancing self-service opportunities. This functionality offloads tasks from your service desk, empowering end-users to manipulate their data on the ServiceNow platform.
  • ServiceNow mobile app: With the ServiceNow mobile app, users can access data and services anywhere, anytime. Compatible with numerous ServiceNow features, the app offers a more direct interaction with incident management, service catalog, and other functionalities.
  • Use cases with ServiceNow data: ServiceNow data can be leveraged to generate reports for a wide array of use cases. One notable feature is performance analytics, offering time series analysis - a valuable tool for identifying and predicting trends over time. This insight drives strategic decision-making.
  • Service catalog and SLAs: ServiceNow’s robust service catalog streamlines IT service requests. The service catalog links with SLAs, tracking service delivery performance and ensuring compliance. This integration increases transparency, efficiency, and customer satisfaction.

In essence, the integration capabilities of ServiceNow, coupled with its self-service functionality, mobile app accessibility, and SLA-linked service catalog, enable businesses to extract maximum value from ServiceNow data. This power drives business intelligence and assures a competitive edge, by reducing downtime, enhancing service delivery, and supporting a range of use cases.

We’re with you for what comes next

You're working in a rapidly shifting environment.

Global dynamics, AI advancements, heavy competition–the only certainty is change.

We get it. And we’re here to help you harness the full potential of ServiceNow to simplify transformation.

Let's navigate the future together.


Dance with data using Cask’s ServiceNow expertise

Turn your data into action with Cask’s mastery of ServiceNow reporting. Experience enhanced decision-making, operational efficiency, and real-time insights to make your data dance to the rhythm of success.

We’re with you for what comes next

You're working in a rapidly shifting environment.

Global dynamics, AI advancements, heavy competition–the only certainty is change.

We get it. And we’re here to help you harness the full potential of ServiceNow to simplify transformation.

Let's navigate the future together.


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