Performance Analytics concepts

Performance Analytics uses terms and concepts that can differ from industry norms due to the unique nature of the ServiceNow platform.

Note: Performance Analytics is used by other applications, such as Benchmarks. The information below describes the core Performance Analytics functionality. For information about other applications that use Performance Analytics, refer to the documentation for those applications.
When working with Performance Analytics, you can use:
define a performance measurement taken at regular intervals of a business service, an activity, or organizational behavior. These performance measurements result in a series of indicator scores over time. Businesses track these scores to measure current conditions and to forecast trends.
The following are some key characteristics of the Business Process indicator:
  • Indicator scores can be generated automatically from a set of records defined in an indicator source, entered manually, or calculated from other indicators.
  • Indicator scores can be viewed or analyzed in generated scorecards or presented, via widgets, on dashboards.

Synonyms: Metrics, business metrics, KPIs

Indicator sources
define filtered sets of records from a facts table to evaluate when collecting indicator scores. An indicator source configuration specifies a table, such as Incident, and it specifies the frequency with which to collect data from that table. Indicator sources can also include filter conditions to limit the included records. Multiple indicators can use the same indicator source.

Typically, an indicator tracks the situation on a certain date. The indicator source conditions should include a date-related filter, such as [Opened][on][Today]. Indicators collected less frequently might specify a larger date range, such as [Closed][on][This month].

can refer to either of the following functions:
  • The Performance Analytics function of aggregating, or collecting, indicator scores over time. The indicator configuration includes the frequency with which indicator scores are collected.
  • Statistical functions applied to collected indicator scores over a time period. For example, you can apply a 3-month SUM to indicator scores. Aggregation functions can be added either in the indicator form or later in the scorecard or widget. Aggregation functions in the scorecard or widget are named time series.
divide data in different ways. Breakdowns enable you to organize and filter indicator scores for more detailed analysis, such as to show separate scores for each assignment group. You can apply a breakdown on scorecards and dashboards.

Breakdowns are automated, manual, or external. Automated breakdowns are based on existing data in breakdown sources. A field in the facts table is mapped to a set of records on the breakdown source, or a script is used for more complex mapping. Manual breakdowns have their scores entered manually to define an organization. Lastly, an external breakdown specifies the JDBC data source and SQL statement for retrieving breakdown elements.

For example, a breakdown could divide incident data by priority, by assignment group, or by age, or divide a geographical area by country or region.

Synonyms: dimensions, drill-downs
Breakdown sources
specify which unique elements a breakdown contains. A breakdown source is defined as a set of records from a table or database view or as a bucket group. Multiple breakdowns can use the same breakdown source.
visualize the scores of an indicator. Scorecards can be enhanced by adding targets, thresholds, trendlines, and useful comments for significant changes. In a scorecard, the scores of an indicator can be analyzed further by viewing the scores by breakdowns (scores per group), aggregates (counts, sums, and maximums), time series (totals and averages applied to different time periods) and drilling down to the records on which the scores are based.
show multiple Performance Analytics, reporting, and other widgets. Dashboards can be responsive or non-responsive. To create or share a responsive dashboard, you need at least one role, but this can be any role. You can drag to move and resize widgets on responsive dashboards. Non-responsive dashboards use less flexible drop zone layouts, and require Performance Analytics roles to view, create, and edit.
are a reusable graphic visualization on a dashboard. In Performance Analytics, widgets show the scores of one or more indicators. For example, a widget can display the evolution of an indicator over time, how an indicator can be broken down, or how several indicators look side by side. Many variations are possible. Widgets are visible only when added to a dashboard.
Data collector
is the engine that collects indicator scores on a regular basis by running jobs. Usually set a job schedule to match the frequency in the indicator source. You can also set up jobs that run manually, such as historical jobs, which you run only when collecting data for a new indicator.
Time series
can refer to either of the following items:
  • A type of widget that aggregates and shows multiple scores of an indicator collected over a period.
  • A statistical function applied to collected indicator scores over a time period in a scorecard or a widget.
are goals your organization wants to achieve. Targets enable you to visualize the difference between the desired score at a certain date and the actual score of an indicator.

A target can be personal or global. A personal target is visible only to the user that created it and appears as a light line. A global target is visible to all users and appears as a dark line. Personal targets appear only on scorecards, whereas global targets appear on scorecards and time series widgets.

define a normal range of scores for an indicator and alert you when certain events occurs, such as when a score reaches an all-time high or low.

When a threshold is triggered, the instance generates an email notification. This message is associated with the indicator and the message is directly available via the detailed scorecard.

A threshold can be personal or global. A personal threshold is visible only to the user that created it and appears as a light gray dotted line. A global threshold is visible to all users and appears as a dark gray dotted line. Personal thresholds appear only on scorecards, while global thresholds appear on both scorecards and time series widgets.

Bucket groups
are custom groups that can be used when you define a breakdown source that uses Bucket [pa_buckets] as the facts table.

Bucket groups can also be used with a script. When configuring the indicator, you can attach a script that runs through the collected data and places the records into a bucket group. For example, you can arrange open incidents according to age, such as <1 day, 2-5 days, 6-30 days, >30 days old. In this case, the indicator Open Incidents is broken down by Incident Age.