“Excel” with ServiceNow Advanced Reports

Krishna Koneru - 5th July 2013

We all know that using ServiceNow OOTB Reporting users can generate table reports and chart reports. But there are some situations where it lacks more advanced functionalities like sections, sub-sections and adding free text inside the report, etc.

The Requirement

A recent requirement by a client of ours was that they needed a report to see percentages of Resolution/ Response SLAs for incidents, further grouped by priority to compare these values against their targets. This report should have the ability to let users dynamically select their desired assignment group, assigned to, and SLA stages. Also this report should have the SLA Target matrix table at the top of the report to let user know what the SLA targets are for Response SLAs and Resolution SLAs. An example of this report is in the figure below.

Figure 1: An example of a complex report. It is not possible to create this in ServiceNow OOTB

The Problem

It is not possible to create this report in ServiceNow using the ServiceNow OOTB reporting functionality because:
1.    Free text cannot be added inside a report to show target levels
2.    It is not possible to show multiple sub-sections in the table Assignment Group → Assigned To → SLA Stage
3.    The OOTB Custom Charts module doesn't give dynamic/ flexible graphs for the end user

The Solution

To overcome these drawbacks and generate more dynamic reports we can use ServiceNow's integration tool called ServiceNow ODBC Driver to create reports in Excel. The solution also lets users run this report whenever they want without a need to schedule the report and send them via emails from ServiceNow. ServiceNow ODBC driver is easy to use once configured; see the figure below.

Figure 2: We can use ServiceNow's integration tool called ServiceNow ODBC Driver to create reports in Excel

To import data into Excel and create reports you need to
1.    Install ServiceNow ODBC Driver on your system
2.    Use ODBC to build Microsoft Query and import ServiceNow data into Excel

I will show in my next two blogs how to install and configure these.

The Benefit

The benefit of using the ServiceNow ODBC Driver includes:
1.    Create more advanced and complex reports using Excel
2.    All ACL Security Rules are in place as it requires ServiceNow login details
3.    No extra Capex cost involved
4.    Once the report is distributed to users, there is no need of sharing reports via email, etc
5.    Reports are readily available on their system for users

Remember, the ODBC Driver allows customers to query their LIVE PROD database. So imagine someone who's not sure what they are doing and end up doing an endless query…