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Get More Value from Your Data with ServiceNow Service Portal Reporting

A few tweaks to the reporting function can yield valuable insights.

On its own, the baseline data captured on the ServiceNow Service Portal can be useful. The Portal logs can be found under Service Portal > Log Entries, and some basic reporting can be found under Service Portal > Usage Overview. While the baseline functionality is powerful, with a little configuration you can capture and display more usable information.

Learn about ServiceNow and CDW’s Amplified Services.

This blog post will share some suggestions for how to glean more value from the baseline data.

Extending ServiceNow Portal Log Data Storage

To get started, Portal log information is only stored for 90 days in baseline setup. If you want to save information for longer than that, you have to adjust the Table Cleanup rule for the table, “sp_log.” To do that, go to System Maintenance > Table Cleanup. Search for the rule with the table name of “sp_log.” Change the Age in Seconds to a higher number — i.e. 31536000 for 365 days.

Adjusting ServiceNow Portal Reports

Organization is the key to making sense of your data. Making a few changes can yield a lot of additional value. Under Service Portal > Usage Overview, the following reports are included in Baseline functionality:

  • Service Portal Page Popularity
  • Service Portal Search Terms
  • Service Portal Catalog Views
  • Service Portal KB Article Views
  • Service Portal Catalog Orders

These reports capture all usage, which is useful, but by segmenting and comparing things, you’ll be able to see where you can improve. For example, from all the reports, I’d recommend filtering out the entries where the user is an admin. An admin troubleshooting something that is only happening in production can easily generate dozens of log entries that skew your data.

I also recommend creating two versions of each of the other reports — one where the user’s roles are empty and another where the user’s roles contain ITIL. That way you can see what your fulfillers are ordering, searching and reading separately from your end users. Since the baseline reporting captures the user records, you can also create reports and view them by any detail on the user’s record, such as department, location or cost center.

Creating two versions is also valuable when putting together monthly or quarterly reports on overall portal usage. If you need to justify additional work on the portal, it can be useful to say, for example, that there were 23,000 unique page views by end users in the last month, and that they ordered “X” number of things that didn’t require the Service Desk to do the data entry.

ServiceNow Knowledge Improvements

For knowledge improvements, you can see your top search terms. You can have your knowledge manager compare those search terms to the articles available and add them to the meta text to ensure the right articles come up in search results. You can also see if users are searching for things you haven’t written articles about yet.

ServiceNow Catalog Improvements

For the catalog, you can compare the numbers of views to the numbers of orders for each item. You can then review those with discrepancies to determine if their descriptions need to change or if the forms are too long and being abandoned.
With Baseline reporting, you can measure your impact and gain valuable insights on what your users are looking for. And if you need even more detailed reporting, it’s also possible to integrate Google Analytics.