Traditionally, reports are viewed as end-of-cycle activities. Through custom reports for contracts and entitlements, ServiceNow transforms reporting into a powerful tool to provide vital strategic insights that can drive decision making.
Empowering Smart Decisions
Contracts and entitlements define the type of support that customers receive as a part of Customer Service from the company. A contract can include a company, contact, specific assets that are covered, multiple service entitlements, and SLAs. An entitlement defines the type of support that the customer receives and the supported communication channels. An entitlement is associated with a product, an asset, an account, or a contract.
ServiceNow’s CSM feature leverages the existing contract application to create and maintain service contracts. An entitlement check is performed when a case is opened, which takes into consideration the existing cases for the specific account, product, asset, and service contract. Entitlements can have associated workflows that propose recommended activities for a case.
|What’s the big deal about custom reports? Actually, quite a bit! By providing vital insights into critical parameters, custom reports help you understand and analyze your data and drive key decisions – quickly and easily.|
The Art of Slicing and Dicing Data
The ServiceNow reporting application allows you to control what information is contained in the report, how it is represented, who has access to the report, and when and how reports are generated and published. You can even schedule reports for automatic generation and distribution at pre-defined intervals, such as daily, weekly, or monthly.
|Reporting is the face of the ServiceNow instance!|
When you want to create custom reports, some good practices to follow are:
- Get clarity about your reporting strategy
You have to be totally clear about the reporting strategy, else it can lead to a proliferation and duplication of reports, which can quickly get out of hand. This is due to the power that every stakeholder has to create his/her own reports. Over a period of time, the reports may cease to be meaningful from an organizational standpoint, as stakeholders mine their own information out there.
It is also advisable to circle back and link reporting to the application or service that you provide. The single most important question to ask is, “What is the most meaningful report for people to see and consume with respect to a particular process?” Based on this insight, you can arrive at what you want to visualize. Essentially, make sure that reports are aligned with the people who are consuming them.
- Ensure manageability through administration and monitoring
With administration and monitoring, you can see how many reports are unused, which ones are the biggest offenders, i.e., the most heavily used, and so on. You can club reports together, which will allow you to reduce the amount of duplication of reports.
You can look at the different kinds of reports and their visualization— who is creating them, why are they creating them, what they are querying, and the different types of data sets emerging in each report. This would allow you to present data in the right way, allowing stakeholders to make the right analysis and decisions.
- Ensure that reports offer a single source of truth
ServiceNow reports are very sensitive to Access Control Lists (ACLs). ACLs ensure that the right information is seen by the right people, so it is imperative to make sure that ACLs are configured right. What you visualize and give to your workers may be different than what you visualize and give to your managers, which in turn may be different than what you visualize for your executive.
|While all these data views differ, they are going to come from a common place, so there can be no argument over whose data is accurate — there’s only a single source of truth!|
This is the most crucial aspect of keeping people aligned and driven towards common business goals.
Reporting — An Integral Part of ServiceNow
There is a tendency to look at reporting as an end-of-cycle activity. The line of thinking goes thus: I have implemented a process or application, so now I need reports to see what’s going on.
Actually, when you think about reporting, you really should be thinking of it as the face of your service, as the face of your application, and treat it the same way as you develop a service or an application.
If you can pull together the information to see straight upfront what you want to measure and report, then reporting becomes an integral part of your rollout — which is what it is ideally meant to be!
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