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Understanding Your Data in Nintex Hawkeye

Understanding Your Data in Nintex Hawkeye
In my last blog post, I discussed scheduling workflows in the cloud. In this post I want to discuss what is stored in Nintex’ cloud infrastructure.  This is particularly important for companies who are using Nintex Hawkeye, the workflow analytic platform. 

What is a lens?
A lens in Nintex Hawkeye is a view of your data.  One can compare it to looking at dice. The total count on one die is 21.  Depending on your view, your count may be different. Maybe just two dots, maybe nine dots if you look at the corner of “6” and “3”.

Nintex Hawkeye functions the same way, collecting all sorts of data from your Nintex Workflow platform.  Applying a lens to the information gives you a focus point and one version of the truth, a subset.

Currently Nintex offers three Hawkeye lenses, one that is due in the coming weeks:

  • Usage Lens – gives you and understanding of key consumption metrics and the return on your Nintex investment
  • Inventory Lens – gives you an understanding of key governance and operation aspects of the Nintex Workflow platform, such as workflow, status, ownership, designer proficiency, reach and impact of workflows.
  • Intelligence Lens – shows you the process efficiency, business insights, and helps you optimize the processes in your portfolio

How does the data collection process work?
Data collection is straightforward.  Once your Nintex environment is connected to Nintex Hawkeye, data extraction will start automatically.  The Usage and Inventory lenses collect information every time a workflow:

  • Gets published
  • Is initiated
  • Changes its state
  • Executes an action
  • Or Executes a task

The Process Intelligence (PI) lens relies on some of the information gathered from one of the events listed. However, the main purpose of the PI lens is to extract business-relevant information. Because this relies heavily on the actual business process and the information an organization wants to track, this cannot happen automatically.

That is where Nintex Hawkeye Beacons come into play.  There are three beacon actions in the workflow toolbox, each for a different purpose.  For an expense approval process, this can include approval times, expense amounts, cost centers, processing times and more.

Understanding the data model
The most critical part for organizations that work with cloud services is knowing what information is kept on these platforms.  It is also important to understand the personal information being collected.

Below is the list of data points collected, grouped by each of the events mentioned earlier:

  • Workflow is published (or republished)
    • Workflow name
    • Publisher name
    • Publisher email address
    • Publisher login name
    • Location (string detailing path to the workflow home)
    • Location URL (link to the workflow location)
    • Type of workflow (i.e. list, site, tenant)
    • Assigned Use of the workflow (i.e. Production or Development)
    • Publish date and time
    • Current version number
  • A Workflow is run (instance) or its state changes:
    • Workflow name
    • Workflow version
    • Instance start date and time
    • Status of the workflow
    • Date/time of the last action in the workflow
    • Instance end date/time
    • Initiator name
    • email address
    • Initiator login name
  • An action executes:
    • The action type
    • The action name
    • Start date and time
    • End date and time
    • Status of the action
    • Outcome of the action
    • Estimated duration of the action
  • A task executes:
    • Initiator name
    • Initiator email address
    • Initiator login name
    • Start date and time of the task
    • End date and time of the task
    • Outcome of the task

As mentioned, the data sent to Nintex Hawkeye via a workflow beacon depends on the workflow designer.  Any data collected or used by a workflow can be part of the information hosted in your Nintex tenant.  If you are a workflow designer, I recommend that you consult your legal team or appropriate sources to ensure compliance with laws and regulations.

It is important to remember that each organization using Hawkeye has its own tenant. This ensure that data is separated from other organizations and you have full control and ownership.  No one has access to your data other than people specified in the user management page of your tenant.  All of the information is encrypted during transport and rest.