This past weekend my wife and I didn’t have any “formal” plans - no family parties or kid-centered events. But, at the last minute we scrambled to find a sitter for the kids so the two of us could have a “date night”.


Date nights are an important part of any long term relationship.   A chance for a couple to spend a few hours reminding themselves what it’s like to enjoy each others company without being interrupted by a spilt milk, dirty diaper or sibling debate over whose favorite YouTuber is more popular… An opportunity to communicate about topics outside of the daily grind.


Just like with our relationships at home, we can get into ruts in the workplace with the technology we use, and if the technology is working we can start to take it for granted. A statement like this can sometimes be viewed as a negative, but as Dr. Joyce Brothers reminds us it’s also a compliment.


Being taken for granted can be a compliment. It means that you've become a comfortable, trusted element in another person's life.

—Joyce Brothers


Stability and confidence can sometimes lead us to overlook opportunities to continue to improve.


Consider this post a Performance Analytics “date night” - a break for the daily grind to remind you of three key value-add Performance Analytics capabilities you may have overlooked: the Workbench Widget, Spotlight, and Interactive Analysis.


Workbench Widget


The Workbench Widget enables you to analyze multiple facets of multiple indicators on a single screen without drilling down. This widget is particularly useful when you want to monitor a process or service that has a workflow but can be applied to any situation where the stakeholder really wants to have a back and forth conversation with the data via a single screen. 


In the below example we are looking at our open incidents broken down by the state in which they currently sit.  Using this lens, we are able to identify different bottlenecks in the process.  For example, we see a steady rise in both the average age and the % of open incidents not updated in 30 days of incidents in the "On Hold" state in the screenshot below.  We could drill into either of those to see the cause of those bottlenecks.




If you are interested in more Workbench use cases you can find them here

If you are interested in learning more about configuring the Workbench in your own instance, check out this post



Spotlight is a declarative scoring mechanism that was introduced in the Istanbul release. It’s primarily used to help you prioritize work based on multiple weighted criteria instead a single aspect of the piece of work.  This enhanced prioritization drives additional efficiencies within your processes. For example, let’s say I was only using priority to determine where to focus my work efforts.  What happens when I have 8 Critical incidents?  How does the agent know which of the 8 is most critical? With Spotlight we can take into account additional factors such as the business service, the age, where the incident stands in relation to an SLA, and bring all of these together into a single weighted score for the incident.


The Score column in the prioritized list of incidents below is the weighted Spotlight score.



This score was driven by the criteria below:



The Spotlight score becomes a numeric value that you can apply to any use case.  For example, one organization has applied Spotlight to their resolved incidents and then ranks their agents by the number of Spotlight points they resolved on a period to period basis.  This allows them to more accurately identify their top performers, as well as the “cherry pickers” or agents who may need additional training.


You can read more about Spotlight in this post here.


Interactive Analysis


Information tends to be very contagious and addictive.  You give someone a little bit and they’ll always want more.  Interactive Analysis is a new advanced reporting capability that was made available in the Jakarta release that satisfies the information craving for ServiceNow users.

During the course of most of the analysis people do, users are at some point presented with a list of granular information.  Up until Jakarta, when the user got to this list they could sort it, filter it, visualize it as a pie or bar chart, all of which was a one dimensional view of the information. Using Interactive Analysis you can now extend the back and forth dialogue you have with a list of data further.   


For example, let’s say I’m looking at a my current number of open incidents.



When I drill into investigate those 421 open incidents I get a list of the records.




That’s still quite a large number of incidents in list format to analyze and look for outliers and potential opportunities.


In order to more efficiently analyze the data we can now “Launch Interactive Analysis” from the titles of the list.




This single click will take the displayed records and present them in an interactive dashboard view of the data that we can group, stack, and filter in different ways. The stakeholder can now visually see and interact with the data without having to author any new content on their own.





All three of these value-add capabilities provide you with visibility into the relationships that exist in the data that’s been created by all the services you’ve enabled on the Now Platform. Your ability to understand those relationships, ask questions of them and communicate the answers to those questions is what will help you to continually improve those services.


What’s the status of your relationship with the services you’ve deployed? Are you taking them for granted? Maybe it’s time for a “date night”, not just with the services but the data behind them.