What does it mean for a software application to offer Business Intelligence? Data Visualization? These terms are familiar, but the features they get applied to sometimes vary widely in Enterprise software. Is a list of Projects really BI? Can we call a custom PDF report a “Dashboard”?
Active Oversight differentiates itself by providing the types of powerful visual analytics tools that you imagine when you hear the words Data Visualization. Specifically, our Project Analysis solution is a tool that allows you to visually compare the constituent parts of different Projects, past or current, which share a version of a Project Template. This immediately highlights trends, problem areas, and items of interest within the Project structure and contents.
The Project Analysis visualization in Active Oversight comparing 7 projects of the same Project Template Version
Getting Efficient With N/A Analysis
Because Project Analysis lets you compare the data contents of completed Projects, it’s dead simple to perform what we call N/A Analysis. This is the ability to easily scan down Project Analysis to identify a Task or group of Tasks that have been consistently marked as Not Applicable by field users.
This photo Completion Steps in the Task called Construction Photographs has been consistently marked as Not Applicable by a user assigned to complete the work
Why has this occurred? Usually, it’s a set of superfluous Tasks or Tasks which are only applicable in a small minority of situations. Setting up a new version of your Project Template without these steps or finding another way to handle them can reduce busywork and streamline future Projects.
Revealing Historical Problem Areas
Inefficient Project Setup is not the only issue surfaced by this type of visual analysis. Because Project Analysis also shows rejected work and failed completion steps in red, it’s easy to identify patterns of gobacks or incidents of re-work happening consistently across Projects. Multiple failed inspections in the same Build over time or multiple rejections of similar documentation could point to a larger problem such as a poorly formed or enforced standards or persistent maintenance issues.
These two Tasks have had consistent rework and failed inspections, which might indicate an issue
Identifying Opportunities for Incremental Refinement
Even when your Projects are set up efficiently and worked without major problem areas, Project Analysis still can give you insight into which steps in a given Project Template could be altered to capture work documentation with less overhead. For each Completion Step, Project Analysis records and shows the number of uploads and the number of comments on each step.
This photo Completion Step has historically attracted a lot of conversation in the form of Comments - why is that?
You might find, for example, that a series of photo upload steps in your Project Template may be consistently satisfied with only one photograph submission. Should these steps be combined in the future? Perhaps a certain Completion Step frequently accrues many Comments asking for additional information or clarification. Are the Completion Step instructions clear enough, or is an additional Reference Document needed to clarify requirements?
Real-Time Project Analysis
Finally, because Project Analysis can compare multiple in-progress Projects, it’s an ideal tool for real-time analysis of Project completion and quality for ongoing work. At a glance, you can see a Project’s entire history - including a history of work marked Not Applicable, and work with gobacks - from inception to present. Look at one Project in depth, or compare multiple similar Projects. This will allow you to spot outlier Projects, have fine-grain visibility into how an active Project is being completed thus far, and ultimately help potentially disruptive "fire drills" from flaring up and derailing the work day.
The two In Progress Projects on this report, N09 Obsidian and N22 Outlander, can be easily compared across multiple success criteria, including progress and quality
Project Analysis is an incredibly information-dense visual analysis tool and one of the only of its kind in Enterprise software. To use it to its full potential, make sure you are also leveraging the power of Project Templates and Project Template Versioning. This is a one-two punch of process control and process visibility. And it’s a unique offering from Active Oversight we are sure will reveal previously hidden trends in your work process.
To learn more about how to use Project Analysis, visit the Active Oversight Project Analysis Report Help Documentation.