As Sherlock Holmes once said, “It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data.” But once one has the data, how do we translate it into actionable insight? While we may not have the preternatural deductive gifts of one of literature’s greatest detectives, we can leverage Power BI, a data visualization tool we’re using to change the way our clients think about their projects. 

Power BI is known for its ability to create deeper, more helpful insights through elegant charts and graphs whose meaning can be grasped immediately. Our experts at Management Solutions are skilled at assessing client needs and creating customized dashboards and data visualizations that give stakeholders better information on which to base decisions. Better information about resources, goals, budgets, and forecasts leads to better chances for project success. 

Our clients report high levels of satisfaction with the customized dashboards for data visualization that we have developed, noting enormous improvement in cost control, scheduling, and reporting. Some of the greatest benefits our clients have reported include: 

Clarity: When tasked with deploying Power BI for a large U.S. company with a vast remediation program, Senior Project Controls Specialist Rose Echols addressed the client’s need for a tool to clearly show project progress at over twenty sites. Echols was able to create order and tease out insights from a large, complex data set, developing a dashboard of visualization tools that could show progress at all sites simultaneously, in addition to Earned Value, percent complete against plan, and budget vs. actual expenditure.  

Accessibility: “We took a legacy data management system and upgraded it to a modernized system that met the client’s needs for greater accessibility for a large team of stakeholders,” said Associate Engineer Nathaniel Sexton, describing a project for a Department of Defense client with multiple construction projects. Prior to Sexton’s application of expertise in Power BI, the client struggled with both accessing and entering data, which led to issues with documentation and data organization. Once Sexton created tools for greater data visibility and ‘cleanliness,’ such as a new database and automated tests for outliers, the client was astonished at the improved pace of progress. 

Customization: “Every dashboard is fully customized according to client needs,” said Echols. In the case of the utility company client, Echols developed a system to manage decades of data to support a multimillion-dollar portfolio of over 20 remediation projects which could provide a wide variety of reports and dashboards that give visibility to diverse project stakeholders. In addition to creating customized timelines with milestones to help measure progress, Echols developed budgeting and cost forecasting tools to support the client’s need for actionable information on annual budget allocation. 

“The types of data visualizations we can do, most clients didn’t even know it was possible,” said Sexton. “The possibilities for data management and visualization are almost infinite – we can create a customized, automated information system to help clients meet their goals.” 

Power BI is one of the many tools Management Solutions uses to simplify complexity and deliver measurable, sustainable, positive impact for our clients.