Over the course of 2018 we’ve had more conversations with ServiceNow customers and ServiceNow partners around data viz than (likely) any other ServiceNow partner. We’ve learned a lot from these convos and have started to see some trends emerge that I think are going to start catching fire in 2019. I spent some time listing my predictions for ServiceNow data viz and ranked them in order of most bold to least bold.

The Laptop/Desktop will no longer rule data viz

From what we’ve seen, customers mostly use their laptops and/or desktops for viewing ServiceNow dashboards and reports. This isn’t going away anytime soon which is why I have this as my most bold prediction. Laptops and desktops are simply where people are doing their work so it makes sense for them to check in on their data from those devices.

But what about the periodic gaps throughout the day between working where you pull up your phone to check Twitter/LinkedIn/etc (everybody does this and I can’t be convinced otherwise)? How nice would it be to be able to check in on your KPI’s on your walk back from lunch right after checking your Twitter feed? Having the quick accessibility to the data you need can help you get back into the work frame of mind and give you some direction. We already know that ServiceNow is expanding its mobile capabilities so it’s not just a trend.

Another underutilized data viz medium is the wall monitor. We’ve all seen the futuristic operation command centers that companies use to monitor the state of their environment with walls blanketed in monitors displaying real time dashboards. With more and more data in ServiceNow, I expect customers to start leveraging these more whether it’s event monitoring, help desk queues, dev-ops overviews, or a plethora of other processes.

In-platform reporting will emerge as consensus best-path

The reason I had this as the second most bold prediction is the term consensus. People have started realizing why embedded analytics is the way to go, but not everyone has recognized it or even thought about it.

Visualizing your data in the same place the data lives and is generated has so many advantages over using an outside BI tool or manual presentations via exporting data. The obvious one is that you don’t have to deal with a data-lag so you’re actually using real time data. Also, you don’t have to worry about maintaining an integration and the potential security concerns associated with that integration. Another advantage is that the data is immediately actionable without hopping into a separate tool.

If the primary data you’re reporting on originates in ServiceNow, that’s where you should be reporting. As more and more data begins to originate in ServiceNow, you’re going to start to see ServiceNow emerge as a data destination where customers will bring outside data into ServiceNow for reporting purposes.

End users will expect data transparency

As organizations work through their digital transformations there is going to be a new demand for data transparency from their end users. Your organization is going to want to know what’s going on and they are going to want access to some of the associated data. If you put your end users first, data transparency will help keep your team honest and will improve employee/customer satisfaction as a result.

One way I believe organizations are going to start delivering this data transparency is similar to the last section, embedded analytics. The end users are going to want to see this data where they are interacting with your team and that is oftentimes in the ServiceNow Service Portal. This isn’t a very bold prediction, but data transparency is going to pick up steam this year.

PA customers will continue show their ROI to leadership

The least bold prediction for ServiceNow data viz in 2019 is that customers who are leveraging Performance Analytics are going to continue to be able to show their leadership what they’ve been able to do on the platform and how PA is helping them shape those results. These organizations will continue to find effective and creative ways to tell these stories.

Did I miss anything? Do you have any bold or not so bold predictions for the ServiceNow data viz space? If so, let me know what you think!

January 14, 2019

Mitch Stutler

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