I’ve been using Performance Analytics since Fuji and back then, I was impressed if somewhat daunted by the functionality. There were some “nice-to-haves” that were missing, but it had incredible promise. Since then, I have worked closely with the ServiceNow Performance Analytics development team and watched as it continues to grow in capability.
The additions in Kingston, particularly text analytics, helped a number of our customers justify an upgrade they may have otherwise skipped, and I can only say they have benefited from it.
Here are my highlights from the NowPlatform® London release:
- You can now easily see if PA is activated right from the Admin Console. A lovely big green tick will let you know you’re good to go!
- The admin console introduced in Kingston, is becoming the place any PA Admin should visit each morning. With some important graphical tweaks, you can easily see if there are any collection issues or other diagnostic errors that have been picked up. The latter is a growing set of automatic checks around things like indicators without active jobs, widgets not on dashboards, or other oddities that you could end up with if you get distracted while configuring the application.
- Predictions are seeing enhancements as well, with additional algorithms and the ability to set legal values for a forecast (like open tickets can never be less than 0, or a percentage can never be more than 100%).
- Spotlight is getting simpler and simpler to configure, with the inclusion of jobs per spotlight group instead of one job for everything.
Dashboard design improvements
A new role for dashboard administration will be available to you, giving more flexibility as you delegate responsibility for parts of the application more widely without major risk to destroying your hard work!
And you know all those people wishing their dashboard background was just a slightly off shade of muddy green? I don’t either. But you can have that colour if you like! You can also change the colour of widget headers. This is more helpful; you could, for example, group processes or services by coloured headers.
Text analytics (introduced in Kingston) can now also support phrases, not just words.
This is one of my favourite new features. In one interface you can follow a dashboard right down to a specific indicator or breakdown source and see all the dependent elements that would be impacted by an updated query or change in scope. This is incredibly useful in troubleshooting that query about why something doesn’t look right. Now you can see what an update would do to multiple dashboards by seeing what indicator is represented in which widgets, and which dashboards they are. The representation is similar to the service map making it intuitive to use, but incorporates nice little additions like being able to preview widgets without needing to visit that dashboard it exists on.
This removes a lot of manual back and forth’s. I had so many windows open it was difficult to keep track. Now it’s a matter of clicks. You can drag and drop breakdowns with ease, and manage the breakdown matrix. This is particularly useful in telling the potential exponential growth you might get with some breakdowns playing with others. For example, if you have 200 business services and 200 assignment groups, that is 4,000 possible combinations. Until now, that’s not been easy to see, and functionally, as it’s not being surfaced, not something you’ve worried about!
Detailed scorecard (the favourite thing you can’t have…yet!)
The scorecard is a big part of Performance Analytics. I would argue more so than dashboards. The new detailed scorecard (currently limited access only) adds more ad-hoc analysis capabilities, and less tabs and clicking to drill into what’s happening within the trend.
- When you click on a breakdown it will replace the single score trend with a trend representing the breakdown on the chart in its place.
- The comparison tab helps with comparing two dates in a simpler and more focused interface. This was available in earlier versions but has been given more prominence.
- The insights tab is a brand new feature aimed at surfacing underlying spikes or predictions from breakdowns you might not spot immediately from a standard analysis. It’s a bit like automatic headlines for the indicator you’re viewing, showing you new highs or lows in a particular area, or outliers not fitting with the usual trend. There’s also an insights widget that brings these to a dashboard near you…
Hopefully this whets your appetite and helps inform your decision to upgrade to London as soon as possible!
In my experience over the past decade I have seen the impact good, visible data has on business success. This means enabling businesses to depart from manual reporting by creating an appetite for interactive analytics tools, transforming business culture. I believe transparency at all levels of the enterprise will drive up ownership of the business goals through engaging data visualisation and ultimately real-time, actionable data.
As a result of this innovative work with Performance Analytics on the ServiceNow platform, I have presented at several ServiceNow conferences. Most recently at NowForum London 2016, Knowledge17 in Orlando and Knowledge18 in Las Vegas.