Advanced Reporting in ServiceNow

This blog will help to learn how to create a Data Source and use advanced methods for building reports.
Using the following tools in the report designer, one can consolidate data to create reports that contain exactly what one wants to share with others:

  • Report Sources
  • Condition Builder
  • Dot-Walking
  • Related List Conditions
  • Drilldown and Dataset
  • Report Source:
    • It is recommended to use a Data Source instead of the table while building a report. Data Source one can create a standard set of conditions for querying a particular table that can be used in other reports.
    • A Report source, also known as a Data source can be created by going to the report source module.
    • For example:
      • Create a report source for active incidents assigned to the Software assignment group.
      • Give the report source a logical name.
      • Select the table where the data source can be used for reference.
      • Add AND/OR conditions and submit to save it.
      • Now, while generating the report, select the data source that was just created for the same purpose. Here, one will see the existing condition that was used to create the data source.Advanced Reporting in ServiceNow
      • One always need to create reports so that ServiceNow can provide the information needed for making decisions and take required actions.
      • This allows reports to communicate multiple types of data for users.
    • With the filter icon, additional conditions can be placed that would be built on top of the ones set in a data source created earlier without modifying the original data source.
    • The data source and applied conditions remain visible throughout the report creation process so does the condition builder. One can access it at any time.
  • Condition Builder:
    This can be achieved as follows:

    • Let’s create a report source showing all active incidents assigned to the hardware assignment group.
      • Select table as the source type and select the desirable table (In this case the incident table).
      • Run a report and save it as a data source. This leads to a form for saving the report source.
      • Again, let’s give it a logical name to make it easily identifiable in a report source list and submit it.
      • The new data source is available for use.
  • Dot-Walking:
    • It allows to include report data from fields and related tables.
    • For example, if one wants to see a list of active incidents that have related problems.
      • In the condition builder, select problem and extend the condition to active as true.
      • Now, one can find the list of all active incidents with an active problem attached to them.
      • There are number of fields on conditions that call reference related tables to allow expanding the reports at multiple levels. Just look for condition builder icon.
      • It will give the option to Dot-Walk, so that one can include data from a related table for that field.
  • Related List:
    • With related-list, connection between different tables for the same report can be made.
    • For example, to see the list of all active incidents with the Service Level Agreement (SLA) breached.
      • This requires to access to two separate tables. The incident table and a Task SLA table.
      • To achieve this, name the report accordingly and then proceed to build a report that will allow to see all active incidents.
      • First, create a condition to show all incidents that are currently active and run it.
      • Below it, set the Related-list conditions. Select the table to apply these conditions to.
      • In this case, it’s going to be ‘Task-SLA’ table and in below condition filter, create the condition to be applied to that particular table for this report.
      • Choose ‘Has-breached is true’ and then run it.
      • One can see the incidents with the ‘breached-SLA’.
      • The report here contains data from two separate tables.
  • Drilldowns and Datasets:
    Drilldown adds value to reports, providing additional visualization to divide the data into subgroup while dataset can be used to view multiple tables and the same visualization.  One can create a drilldown mostly on existing reports that they have permissions to add.
    For this walk through, let’s use the incident priority report.Go to the Report Application->view/run->search-> incident priority and locate it.
    Note: Simple report is already created with priority of incident.

    • Let’s analyze the report structure. Report is represented here as a structure and there is an option to add a drilldown. The form looks very similar to the report creation form and the steps to follow are also similar.Advanced Reporting in ServiceNow
    • So let’s get visualization on priorities incident within a different Assignment group.Note: Give Drilldown name as Assignment group.
      • The ‘Source Type’ and ‘Data Source’ filled values get added by default to the corresponding values and the reports that one is adding a drilldown to. These can’t be changed when adding a drill down.
      • The report visualization in the drilldown can be different than that of the top level report. The choice of the report should reflect the information shared. So here, if one select a horizontal bar and group a report, then it aggregates the records to provide a high level summary of data. In this case, by assignment group, one can achieve it.
      • This can’t be shared until saved. At the top level view of the report, one will see the report structure icon indicating that the report has a viewable drill down. Clicking it expands the report structure where one can find the drill down.Advanced Reporting in ServiceNow
      • Further, the bar chart segment displays the summary of the underlying data and clicking any bar displays the drill down data.
      • If one wants to add a Dataset to the report, they can open the report structure and click on the ‘add Dataset’ option.
    • This will bring back the user to the guided workflow where user can name the Dataset.
  • Dataset:
    • The main report is created on ‘Incident’, so let’s create a second Dataset of ‘Problem’ using the same source type (one change the source type but here data source is used).
      • Select ‘Open’ problem for the data source.
      • For the Type, the system only offers visualizations that are compatible with the type of the report one is building their dataset on. So, here select the only available option.Advanced Reporting in ServiceNow
      • Let’s set the group by priority and click next. Save it and the high level report is displayed.
      • Make the report easier to read by using one color with the option style.
      • Click the report structure icon to view the current report structure and add new drilldown and datasets.
    • Now, updated records are ready to share.