5 Ways to Improve Project Management with Business Intelligence

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A common question we get when talking to decision-makers and strategists across any industry is – how can business intelligence (BI) benefit my business?

Luckily, after hundreds – if not thousands – of in-depth discussion over the past 20+ years, we’re no stranger to how BI can help any industry.

Recently, we were working alongside a professional services consulting firm, and they had one burning question:

“How can BI improve our project management?”

We had highly detailed answers at the ready.

BI can provide tremendous value and insights from operational data. It can also help optimize resource management.

The explanation doesn’t end there, though. Those are broad strokes, and project management is reliant on specifics.

So, in what distinct ways can BI benefit those in the project management sphere?

Read below, for five examples:

1. Stay Informed with Service Level Agreement (SLA) Monitoring

One of the best use cases of data is making sure nothing falls through the cracks.

Enabling project managers will real-time and live data on project status, the exact state of their ongoing tasks can be critical. And when you bring in things like start date, due date, and tie that to your business service level agreements, you can also provide project managers with critical information, especially if they are about to slip on critical tasks.

We’re not talking about replacing GANNT charts for project managers, we’re talking about a set of business intelligence reports that show all project information at a glance, highlighting percentage complete or deliverables, budgets, resource overhead, and any other important metrics you need to measure.

Not just project managers but the entire team can have the necessary insights to react in real-time.

2. Remaining Compliant with Contract Requirements

When teams end up in the trenches working on a project, it’s entirely possible to lose sight of crucial details. When this happens, critical matters such as defined thresholds levels of spending and deliverables might slip through the cracks.

It’s so vital to remain compliant with contracts—an organization’s reputation depends on it.

The right BI tool can ensure trigger-based reporting, such as notifying project managers, when 80% of the billing has been reached. It’s also capable of providing alerts for several other threshold-based triggers, such as if 75% of the deliverables have been completed.

3. Painting Everybody the Big Picture with Real-Time Tracking and Oversight

With Business Intelligence, it’s not just project managers who are privy to all dimensions of a project’s performance and outlook.

Executives and customer support reps also get the full picture of high-priority aspects involved in any project. Whether its billable hours, milestone approvals, or billing status, etc., those who need the information can access it.

With the right BI tool (hint: read more about DashboardFox below), you can also apply data-level security so that even clients or contracts can have access to this live real-time data.

This vital data can then be converted into valuable information.

4. Keeping Fingers on the Pulse with Trend Analysis and Oversight

We’ve already highlighted just how lucrative real-time data can be—but historical data is as integral to spotting trends.

Through the right BI tool filtering tools, project managers can use the current and historical scopes to determine the quality of performance based on:

  • Profitability
  • Customer reviews
  • Low utilization of resources
  • Reviewing projects through the lens of a project manager, customer, type of project, etc.

With this type of data segmentation, questions such as:

“What are the highest bench times of my team?”

“What types of projects, customers, project managers drive the most profit?

Which projects are chronically poor performers on our key metrics? Why?

Which customers have the most open issues? Slowest payers?

The vastness of this trend analysis and oversight allows organizations to pinpoint which projects cause trouble. Then, with the insights, it’s possible to create a sound improvement strategy.

Alternatively, these tools highlight successful projects so organizations can aim to emulate such a performance.

5. Keeping Eyes on the Clock with Cyclical Trend Analysis

Cyclical trend analysis places that real-time focus and actionability on the timeframe of projects.

For instance, project managers can hone into when resource utilization is low and bench time is high throughout the year.

If the above information is provided to the sales team, they can offer discounted pricing to handle those slower times of the year. On the other hand, during busier times, they’ll know it’s time to raise rates.

Furthermore, cyclical trend analysis empowers the accounts receivable team with knowledge of client habits. More specifically, the department can differentiate those who are late on payments from those who are on time. Plus, there might be a seasonal or data-driven impact on those payment cycles.

How DashboardFox Helps with Project Management

One of the primary purposes of DashboardFox is to provide project managers with the framework to streamline their processes while increasing productivity and profitability.

DashboardFox allows for seamless connections to one or more databases that store raw data (or you can import data from Microsoft Excel spreadsheets).

Upon importing that data, you can immediately convert it into key metrics and the required reports.

Furthermore, it’s possible to control who sees these reports and the dashboards. There’s a ‘security by role’ feature. So, PMs and executives can access big-picture details that help them shape the direction of the organization.

Lastly, DashboardFox won’t break the budget—as it’s an affordable solution. Nor will its implementation swallow time. Meaning, it’ll provide a massive return on investment, since the upfront cost (of both time and money spent) will be vastly eclipsed by the value of the data presented.

Get Started today

Why not take advantage of one DashboardFox’s demo and contact us today? We’d love to discuss your project management requirements. Our services go beyond BI software, and we’re more than happy to offer strategic project management advice for your business as well.

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