Why Project Managers Should Integrate Power BI

With data analytics becoming increasingly important in supporting project managers, today's article will explore the benefits of using low-code data solution, Microsoft Power BI in project management. 

The author of this page: Paul Mathison
Paul Mathison, Project Planning & Delivery Team Lead Jan 25, 2024

A core element of Microsoft’s low-code Power Platform, Power BI provides data visualisations via dashboards that help your company create informative reports that uncover the insights required to make effective business decisions. Although Power BI is a dynamic tool that can be used across any function, it can be particularly useful in the context of project management. By organising, analysing and visualising project data, Power BI provides managers with a clear overview of project areas from timelines to budgets, helping them to stay informed and better manage project processes. Below we discuss some of the key ways Power BI can benefit project managers.  

Optimise Project Processes and Planning 

Power BI provides real-time visibility into core data and project processes through dashboards that summarise and display important information and KPI’s. This means that project managers no longer have to work with historical data as they can quickly and easily access the most accurate and current data, allowing them to quickly respond to any emerging problems and make better informed decisions. Further, Power BI provides predictive analytics capabilities which involve using statistical algorithms and machine learning (ML) models to analyse historical data to predict future trends. Project managers can use these predictions to improve all-round project planning. For example, keeping managers informed on previous and predicted resource usage trends helps managers allocate resources more effectively and better forecast future project requirements. This in turn helps managers set more accurate project timelines and realistic budgets.  

Moreover, Power BI prompts managers to shift towards a more proactive style of project management. For example, managers can use Power BI to identify potential risk factors and then take corrective or preventative action like allocating extra resources to a certain project area or developing a risk mitigation strategy.  

Enhance Reporting 

Power BI automatically extracts project data and puts it into a visual format for reports, reducing both the risk of input errors and the resources required to manually extract information and create data graphics. This automation helps streamline and accelerate project reporting. As well as this, Power BI provides access to interactive dashboards and reports that can provide managers with a comprehensive overview of project elements like budget, timelines and resources, enabling them to quickly and easily assess project KPI’s. You can also easily drill down into specific details, for example by task. These dashboards and reports can even be customised according to the project's specific requirements, as managers can choose to display data in various formats and highlight the most important project metrics. Not only does Power BI enhance reports, but providing a clear, simple and visual way to convey project information means it is easier for managers to communicate project details with team members and key stakeholders. 

Custom Dashboard in Power BI

Strengthen Communication and Collaboration 

As Power BI dashboards are customisable, you can create different dashboards for different project teams to collaborate on. As well as this, Power BI offers seamless integration with Microsoft 365 apps like Microsoft Teams and SharePoint, making it easy for project managers to access and share project data from within the Microsoft 365 environment.  This integration enables effective communication and collaboration among project teams, empowering them to work together and drive project success.  

If you would like to learn more about the use of Power BI in project management, check out our case study with European Training Foundation or get in touch with one of our solution specialists today.

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