The Report Consumption Experience

Part 2 of a 2 Part Blog Series

Who Consumes ServiceNow reports?

Reports made up of ServiceNow data go to many different audiences, both inside, and outside of an organization. A few examples would be:

  • The CIO who needs to understand at a high level, which high impact IT projects are currently awaiting approval, and what the estimated cost and impact of those projects are, so they can be prioritized and approved accordingly
  • A VP of IT Service Management who needs to understand by region, the total incident count in given categories, and how that has been changing month over month throughout the last year
  • An external customer group who wants visibility into service and performance levels they are receiving on their investment

All of these reports deliver specific insights that decisions should be made off of, but how and when they get delivered varies widely from company to company because of a few factors.

What Determines Frequency?

Because reports like these often have to be put together manually, they are only delivered on a monthly or periodic cadence. Other times, the relevant metrics can be calculated on the fly, so a dashboard is provided to give visibility and access at any time. So, the amount of time and work that goes into a report, and the ability to template the calculations, in some sense dictates how often it is distributed.

How is it Delivered?

The report delivery method is often dependent on access. Does the end consumer have access to the system that the data in the report is created with, or will the data have to be exported and put in a shareable format like a document or slide deck.

Looking at these two factors in tandem: the amount of time it takes to create a report, and how it gets distributed, largely dictate how often the report gets distributed ie. how often the consumer gets visibility into the data to make decisions off of.

Ideal Experience:

From the consumer perspective, the best report consumption experience would not include making a special report request, or waiting for the monthly or periodic cadence to come in order to see the data, but would allow a self-service experience that gave them access to the metrics that they could use to make decisions off of, anytime they need. The concept of a self-service dashboard, is preferred because it eliminates the manual report prep, and the waiting time for a report to be delivered. Self-service dashboards are used as much as possible, but we have found there are still barriers to this experience due to some factors.

Barriers:

The major barriers we have found to this dashboard setup being more widely used, are access to the system the data lives in, and manual calculations required to display data in a consumable format. If these two barriers could be overcome, self-service reporting for CIO’s, key business stakeholders, and external customer groups could be unleashed, creating a much better experience, and overall more data driven decision making culture.

VividCharts is striving to break down those barriers specifically for ServiceNow data, so data visibility can become available as a service to those who benefit, and organizations can become more data driven through self-service access.

March 26, 2019

Rob Walsh

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