5 Ways Power BI Can Make Project Management Easier
Research shows that 59% of project managers simultaneously handle two to five projects. Meanwhile, 11% are running up to ten projects at a time. When working with a diverse set of teams and projects, it becomes difficult to monitor the status of all your projects and do justice to them.
For this reason, it is essential to choose an effective project management tool that can monitor activity across all projects and keep you on track.
Microsoft Power BI (Business Intelligence) is one such tool for creating powerful dashboards that enable users to interact with relevant business data in real time.
Being a cloud-based tool, Microsoft Power BI frees organizations of the hassle of infrastructure support and capital expenditure. Therefore, it is a cost-effective solution for business intelligence.
Below, we discuss how Microsoft Power BI can make project management easier and more efficient for businesses.
What Is Microsoft Power BI?
Microsoft Power BI is a cloud-based tool that brings together all your data and enables you to interact with it in real time.
Power BI consists of interactive dashboards and reports providing insights into your organization’s key metrics across various projects. It also empowers the development of custom reports for deeper analysis.
You can also use smart tools to share meaningful insights with team members working on the same project. Power BI’s built-in artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities are perfect for analyzing data to provide insights.
Moreover, the tool keeps your data secure with end-to-end encryption, real-time access monitoring, and sensitivity labeling.
Power BI is an excellent option for organizations that want to use a visual tool to monitor and manage project portfolios. It can help them create better dashboards by combining data in a centralized place.
How Microsoft Power BI Makes Project Management Easier?
Power Bi has a host of features that make project management efficient, especially for multiple projects going on at the same time.
1. Create Personalized Dashboards
A Power BI dashboard, also called a canvas, is a graphical representation of your data. It allows you to interact with reports and gain valuable insights into the performance of your projects.
With Power BI, you can create multiple dashboards for different people, such as project managers, executives, and stakeholders. All they need is a Power BI account to view these personalized dashboards on any device.
Since a dashboard is a one-page visualization, it allows project managers and team members to keep track of everything in a single place. Here are some benefits of creating dashboards for project management:
- Improve Collaboration Flow: A dashboard helps project stakeholders to stay updated with the status of different projects. Therefore, they can contribute more meaningfully to each project and its outcome.
- Increase Team Engagement: Dashboards inform your team about what is expected from them by displaying key metrics for their projects. This helps in better engagement across teams leading to improved project outcomes.
- Align Priorities: Project teams need to align their priorities with organizational goals. A dashboard can help project managers by displaying each team’s contribution to the organization’s revenue/costs along with the impact of delays on deadlines. This helps in better resource management and project prioritization.
By creating a Power BI project portfolio dashboard, project managers can view the performance of the projects in one place. Since there are many Microsoft project dashboard templates to choose from, there’s something for every type of project.
2. Enrich Data Through Custom Visualizations
Using Power BI’s built-in custom visuals editor for deeper insights into your project data, you can create custom visuals. You can also import visuals from Gallery or use Microsoft Excel to enrich your data.
Some out-of-the-box visuals that come with Power BI are waterfall, histogram, line-of-business (LOB) apps, maps, scatterplot matrix, sunburst charts, and treemap charts.
You can use your data to create insightful visualizations with custom visuals in Power BI. Custom visuals play a significant role in analyses since they allow you to transform your data in a way you want to view it.
It helps project managers go through various projects and visualize and understand their performance easily.
For example, a scatter plot is a type of visualization that displays the correlation between variables in an XY-coordinate system. Project managers can use it to compare the relationship between two variables to understand which one impacts the other.
Moreover, you can add filters and legends in your custom visuals by using any dataset in your report.
3. Create Insightful Reports
One of the major benefits of Power BI is the creation of reports for significant insights.
Power BI’s built-in report builder makes it easy to create interactive dashboards. You can create reports in Power Bi according to the specific needs of various project managers and teams within your organization.
Some of the available report types in Power BI are column, matrix, and table.
- Column Chart: It is ideal for displaying data in columns with different measures for analysis. For example, you can display total project costs against total days taken for its completion on two different axes. The x-axis can show different projects, while the y-axis shows total costs and days taken for a particular project.
- Table Report: It allows you to display certain fields in a grid with their corresponding measures. You can choose from various table styles, depending on the types of data within your organization. For example, you can choose between star and clustered tables for different visualizations.
- Matrix: It is similar to table reports, but it shows multiple measures within the same grid. For example, you can create a matrix report to show total project cost on one axis and total project duration on another.
- A: It shows that the report has four pages. Currently, it’s on the Sentiment page.
- B: On this page, you can see a page title (Sentiment Analysis) and five visuals, including line graphs and column graphs.
- C: In the Filters pane, you can see the filter that has been applied to the pages of this report. You can also collapse this pane.
- D: On the banner, Power BI shows the report’s name. It also shows when the report was last updated. If you click the arrow pointing down, it will show you who owns the report.
- E: The action bar has a number of actions that you can do in this report. For instance, you can export the report’s data or add a comment to it.
As evident, project managers can use reports to display everything about a project, from growth opportunities and performance to capital expenditure. If you’re new to it, you can use a pre-built Power BI project management template.
BrightWork 365 is a portfolio and project management solution that allows anyone in your organization to manage, plan, and report on projects. Deployed on the Microsoft Power Platform, BrightWork offers a collaborative hub for project teams, allowing them to perform their duties seamlessly.
4. Use Industry-Leading Artificial Intelligence (AI)
According to the Artificial Intelligence impact in Project Management 2020 report, the main role of artificial intelligence (AI) would be as project management assistants, advisors, and substitutes.
Power BI’s industry-leading artificial intelligence (AI) features allow project managers to extract insights from reports. These insights are then used to automate certain processes within your organization.
For example, Key Phrase Extraction is a prominent Power BI feature. It evaluates the unstructured text and gives you a list of key phrases. Meanwhile, Sentiment Analysis shows you whether a text is positive, negative, or neutral.
Let’s say you’re a Project Manager at a leading IT company and have been assigned to lead a team of software professionals that are building an AI-powered chatbot for your clients.
You want to know whether the chatbot is garnering a positive response from customers. Power BI’s Score Sentiment gives you a score for customer reviews, with 0 being negative and 1 being positive.
Using this information, organizations can determine if they need to tweak things in the project.
5. Turn Insights Into Action
Finally, Power BI facilitates project managers to turn insights into action. For instance, the number of customers who experience glitches in their chatbots can be overwhelming to determine manually.
However, you can use Power BI to identify what people are talking about and take appropriate measures accordingly.
Power BI’s Power Query makes it easy for organizations to import datasets from a variety of sources. It also allows users to transform raw data from campaigns or reports into actionable business insights.
To sum up, Microsoft Power BI proves to be helpful in project management due to its pre-built templates, interactive visuals, and industry-leading artificial intelligence (AI) features.
Power BI’s ability to turn insights into action boosts organizational performance and enables managers to improve productivity by a significant margin.
Project managers can find Microsoft project dashboard templates online or create a customer Power BI project portfolio dashboard for each task at hand.
Meanwhile, if you don’t want to go through the hassle of perfecting the Power BI project management template yourself, BrightWork 365 is the ideal project management solution, delivering data-driven insights and easy collaboration.
Using Microsoft Power BI and BrightWork 365, anyone in your organization can connect to a data source, and build and share engaging reports – no coding or statistical skills required.
Pulling data together from multiple sources into one tool, Power BI simplifies project reporting and amplifies the management capacities of BrightWork 365 for managers, teams, and senior executives.
Here’s a quick read on how to leverage Brightwork 365 to get maximum benefit from Power BI to manage your projects and portfolios.