When I was a child, I remember learning the difference between data and information. The number 100 is data, but adding 100 degrees Fahrenheit turns it into information. By contextualizing the data you have, you can do more with it and make informed decisions as you go about your day. The number 100 means very little without some context to make it meaningful. But now that we have the distinction, what do we do with 100 degrees Fahrenheit?
We know 100 degrees Fahrenheit is a high temperature, but it would be wise to apply sunscreen and hydrate before going out in the heat. Any company that understands the distinction between having information and how to utilize it to move the business forward will always have the advantage. But data volumes are constantly expanding and it can be tough to structure and analyze information nowadays. We'd all agree that any business must identify clear objectives and develop actionable steps to achieve them. And as the business grows, we need the ability to compare current performance to goals to determine whether it is on track to meet future expectations. Real-time visibility is essential to forecast the future based on previous events and present situations. Business owners and managers must also employ trends and patterns to better plan, avoid issues, and make more informed business decisions.
What if we told you that all you had to do to achieve all, or most, of the real-time visibility is install a plugin and put up some dashboards? To put it another way, Performance Analytics is the Clark Kent that today's businesses need.
Performance Analytics is a very powerful tool for helping with data correlation within a system. It captures information and allows businesses to assess their performance against measurable goals. It doesn't stop there: instead of reporting on a single point in time, it also allows you to measure, aggregate, and visualize important performance indicators across time. So if you’re running an organization, with PA you will be able to:
- Predict when the change is coming and how to take advantage of the opportunity.
- Validate the decisions made and how it affects the performance.
- Obtain daily trends and real-time actionable insights.
- Continually improve processes and services.
- Prioritize resources effectively so that it can focus on high demand areas.
- Pinpoint and eliminate efficiencies and bottlenecks.
- Identify issues in advance so it can fix them beforehand or in other words, be proactive over reactive.
The Dashboard is the centerpiece in a PA module. The great thing about dashboards is that we can customize them to meet our own business requirements. It is simple to use and displays an organization's KPIs, as well as trends, projections, and other information.
How do we configure a dashboard? Well, let's put the technicalities aside for the time being, but be assured, it's not tough.
Ok, enough talking about PA. Let's look at an example to see what it can actually achieve.
Bob is managing a group of ten people. He has a few things in his backlog that he is unsure who should be assigned to.
Bob can use PA to develop a dashboard that analyzes his resource allocation issues and helps him clear his backlog.
We can use Performance Analytics over any ServiceNow tables and draw useful insights. For example, we can create a PA dashboard on the Incident table to show the count of open and closed incidents per month.
At RapDev, we are using PA with the PPM module to draw insights like ‘Projects ending within 30 days from today’, ‘Projects ending within 60 days from today’, ‘Project Time Cards total’. This allows us to coordinate across departments and ensures we continue to grow in the right places. Not only that but being able to identify where we could use more support lets us properly allocate resources across the company.
If a company doesn't use PA, it's possible that they're wasting resources like time and money because they don't have access to statistics or in-depth analysis.
This could lead to overspending where they don't need to or underspending in departments that need it more which would be most unwise.