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May 8, 2009

Data Marts for Project Performance

Data marts in the world of project performance management are a different beast than you may be used to if you come from a traditional data warehouse and BI background.

That is because project plans & project baselines are vital in project management and are not transactional systems. Progression of the project over time and changing the status are transactions. But to measure, monitor and optimize project performance, you must compare a set of "actuals", or the schedule dates and costs, against the baseline plan. That is how you will know whether you are meeting, are ahead or are behind in your project.

Without getting into the earned value world of applying progress to a cost & budget, I want to point out to those of you looking at solutions or building data warehouse & BI structures around project performance to be aware of these phemonon. I pasted a GIF from an article I wrote for Information Management below that shows what a very simple beginning set of fact & dimension model may look like for this effort.

Just keep in mind that you will want to look at the ENTIRITY of the project when measuring budget and schedule. Because it may be acceptable to be over budget now if you are ahead of schedule, or have grouped payments to contractors in bulk throughout the project. In other words, unless your payments are leveled throughout the entire project lifecycle (not very likely) then you may be giving a false negative or positive if you are looking at typical fact table discrete measurements.

Posted by Mark Kromer at May 8, 2009 3:45 PM

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