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
following concepts and components:
- 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.
Key characteristics of indicators include:
- Indicator scores can be generated automatically from a set of records defined in
an indicator source, entered manually, or calculated from other
- Indicator scores can be viewed or analyzed in the Analytics Hub or
presented, via widgets, on dashboards.
For convenience, you can organize indicators thematically into an
Synonyms: Metrics, business metrics, KPIs
- Indicator sources
filtered sets of records to evaluate when collecting indicator scores.
An indicator source configuration specifies a
table, such as Incident [incident], and it specifies the frequency with which to
collect data from that table. An indicator source cannot specify a rotated table. Multiple indicators can use the same indicator
Typically, an indicator
tracks the situation on a certain date. The indicator source conditions usually
include a date-related filter, such as [Opened][on][Today].
Indicators collected less frequently might specify a larger date range, such as
- Breakdowns and elements
- enable you to group or filter indicator scores for more
detailed analysis, such as to show separate scores for each assignment group. You can
apply a breakdown on the Analytics Hub and on dashboards.
For example, you can look at the Number of Open Changes by
Assignment Group. Or you can see the Number of New Changes by Priority.
The values for each breakdown are called breakdown
elements. For example, the Priority breakdown may have the elements
Critical, High, and Low. Breakdowns are categorized as automated, manual, or external,
depending on where these elements come from. Automated breakdown elements are
specified in breakdown sources. Manual breakdowns have their elements
entered manually to define an organization. Lastly, an external breakdown specifies
the JDBC data source and SQL statement for retrieving breakdown elements.
- Synonyms: dimensions, drill-downs
- Breakdown sources
- specify which unique values, called breakdown
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.
For example, instead of seeing ALL assignment groups for the Number of Open Changes
indicator, you can limit the element list to just those groups that are part of the
change process by configuring the Breakdown Source.
- Breakdown mappings
- specify the relationships, or 'map,' breakdowns to indicator sources. A
breakdown mapping either specifies a field on the indicator source or specifies a script
that queries the indicator source. The latter is sometimes called a scripted breakdown
mapping, and a breakdown with such a mapping is called a scripted
- Data collector
- is the engine that collects the process and service
performance data that are presented through indicators and breakdowns. You can set up
data collector jobs to run automatically according to a schedule. 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.
- Analytics Hub
- is the central interface where you
assess, compare, and predict the performance of an indicator over time. Set on
the indicator record whether that indicator is to be included in the Analytics Hub.
The Analytics Hub was previously named the
- are single-screen displays of 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.
- 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 the Analytics Hub or in a widget, also called an aggregator.
- are goals your organization wants to achieve, operationalized
as indicator scores. 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 Analytics Hubs, whereas global targets appear on Analytics Hubs and time
- 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
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 Analytics Hub.
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 Analytics Hubs, while global
thresholds appear on both Analytics Hubs and time series widgets.
- are reusable graphic visualizations for use on dashboards. 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.
- 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 Analytics Hub or widget.
Aggregation functions in the Analytics Hub or
widget are named time series.
- Bucket groups
- are used to recategorize data so it can be used as a
breakdown, for example by grouping a range of values into discrete buckets.
To work with a bucket group, create a breakdown source
that uses Bucket [pa_buckets] as the facts table and specifies the bucket group in a
condition. If a breakdown built on this source uses a breakdown mapping with a script,
the breakdown groups the values that the script returns into buckets. If the breakdown
mapping specifies a field instead of using a script, the breakdown groups the values
of the mapped field into buckets.
In the data
architecture, bucket groups are defined in Bucket Group [pa_bucket_groups] records and
buckets in Bucket [pa_buckets] records. Each Bucket [pa_buckets] record contains a
Bucket Group field that is a reference to a Bucket Group [pa_bucket_groups]
- A day in Performance Analytics is
always defined as 24 hours. Performance Analytics does not use
the concept of 'business days.'
- Scripted breakdown
- is a breakdown that uses a script to query the indicator source as its
- are the lists of records (sys_ids) that are collected at the
time that the scores for those records are collected. A snapshot is made only for
indicators with Collect records selected.
The snapshot/list of records can be retrieved in the Analytics
Snapshots are kept for the main
indicator and for first level breakdowns. Second level breakdown snapshots are derived
as an intersection of the two first level breakdown snapshot lists.