This is the final post in a 3 part blog series focused on how Performance Analytics enables you to run a better ServiceNow by adding CONTEXT to the valuable data living in the platform.


In the first post, we focused on adding the context of TIME and how trend-based data gives you visibility into the momentum of the business and an understanding of whether things are improving or not.


In the second post, we concentrated on the ability to build relationships between the metrics you are tracking to better understand how your actions are influencing the outcomes you are looking to achieve.  This context of INFLUENCE reveals not only what improvements can be made, but which adjustment(s) will have the largest impact.


But if an insight appears in a dashboard and no one notices or acts on it, was it actually an insight at all?


This is where the context of PEOPLE comes in to play.


How do we take all of these insights and communicate them to the appropriate stakeholders in a way that will be adopted and can impact the decisions they make?


Too many organizations limit their roll outs of analytics to executive level dashboards - which are an important part of an overall analytics strategy, but alone will not allow them to fully achieve success with analytics.


These high level dashboards expose executives to the insights needed to make strategic decisions about the direction of the organization and outcomes they want to achieve, but now what?  How do they get to where they want to be?


Shouldnt they be able to use the same data to communicate these goals throughout the organization and drive the behaviors and actions necessary to attain them?


Of course the answer is yes, and you do this by fostering a data-driven, performance-based culture across the entire organization through two important guiding principles:


  • Effective communications of the overall goals (and progress towards them) to align everyone in the organization and influence behaviors


  • Embedding data in the flow of every stakeholders day to day lives to influence the decisions they make in a positive way


In both cases CONTEXT is important.



Lets look briefly at each of these principles:


Effective communication and alignment

In order to be successful, KPIs and metrics need to cascade throughout the organization from the strategic, to operational, to tactical level to keep everyone aligned.  However, to be effective you cant simply take the same dashboards and roll them out to everyone the exact same way.  They need to be presented in CONTEXT of that stakeholders role to ensure they are relevant.  If a stakeholder deems that they cant directly impact a metric, it will not impact their behavior. 


For example, the Head of Customer Service would be best served by having access to aggregated metrics that give him/her insight into the overall quality, delivery, and cost of service across the entire organization.




While that high level information may be nice to know for the manager of an individual Service Desk, access to a more targeted set of KPIs focused specifically on the performance of the Service Desk and their individual team members would have a greater impact on behavior.





Taking this aspect of the CONTEXT of people and driving behaviors one step further, many organizations are starting to use metrics to “gamify” their business.  Using the data and metrics, these companies create a system with milestones and rankings, so stakeholders can compare achievements and performance against both their own goals and others’ progress, which is a major motivational factor that sustains engagement, influences behavior and helps solidify a data driven culture.


For example, ranking individual agent and team call resolution efficiency as seen below.




No one wants to be at the bottom of these lists.  Peer pressure in an organization can have the same effect it had when we were in 4th grade.


Now, let’s take a moment to look at the second factor that is key to driving a data driven culture…


Embedding data and metrics in the flow of stakeholder’s day to day lives

For executives, “in the flow” might mean making performance metrics available via a mobile device so they have access to visualizations of the health of their business as they move from meeting to meeting or when they are on the road.




But what about those on the frontlines?  In the customer service example these are the agents and reps that are working cases all day long.  How do we embed impactful information in the flow of their day to day lives to make that will influence behanvior and drive performance?


By making it available at the same place the work gets done. 


For example, a call center agent should have access to an interface that lists out the cases they have to work on.  On that same screen they should be able to see the performance trends for their team and where they rank from an efficiency standpoint in relation to their peers.





Placing this information at the tactical level reinforces how important improvements in these areas are to the organization and helps to cascade organizational goals from the strategic level throughout the organization.   


Raising awareness and accountability is just one way to change behavior in an data driven organization.  Another way is to simply make more information available to individuals at the decision points themselves.


For example, providing a customer service agent/rep with information about the momentum of a given account or for a specific product would help them make better decisions about how to handle a certain customer or what type of expectations to set.  With ServiceNow in-form analytics they can do that right within the case themselves.




Having the current CSAT score, backlog of open cases, and the average age of those cases at his fingertips would give the agent/rep an understanding of a particular customer’s anxiety level and might change how they approach the case and improve customer interaction.




Or, for the product in question, having access to up to the minute information about resolution times or backlog for cases involving this product would help the agent/rep set more appropriate expectations with the customer.





Providing CONTEXT aware information at the point of decision for frontline and operational employees is a key component of making data and analytics actionable.


Its these data driven changes to actions and behaviors that enable organizations to reach the strategic goals and outcomes set forth by the executive teams.


Ultimately, the further we can extend the reach of the data we have available to us as organization, the greater the transformative effect it can have.


Read Part 1 Context: The ABCs of Performance Analytics


Read Part 2 Context: The ABCs of Performance Analytics - Part 2


Go Beyond the Executive Dashboard with In-Platform Analytics