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Project data analytics: opportunities explored in new APM report

The project delivery profession is in the midst of unprecedented technological innovation. Ever-increasing complex projects and programmes combined with the arrival of new digital technologies offer a wealth of opportunities to improve project performance.

Project professionals who anticipate these opportunities will be able apply these practices to benefit their project delivery. A clear example is project data analytics, at its simplest – the use of past and current project data to enable effective decisions on project delivery.

Many organisations already use project data analytics in various ways, such as by collating data from various project tools into dashboard reports. However, there are also opportunities to use past data to predict future performance. Within organisations, this approach is being used at a very limited scale, presenting opportunities for expansion and even to use such ‘predictive analytics’ across multiple organisations.

As with any emerging opportunity, there are anticipated barriers. When it comes to using project data analytics, these include unfamiliarity with the terminology and technology, outdated attitudes to data sharing and poor quality data being gathered.

APM’s new pathfinder report, Project Data Analytics: the State of the Art and Science, provides a concise overview of project data analytics. It defines some of the key concepts and summarises what’s happening now in this field.

The report also highlights the research and activity APM is undertaking to identify future developments in project data analytics; work that is being extended through the creation of the Project Data Analytics Research Network.

Professor Naomi Brookes, professor of complex programme management at WMG, University of Warwick, is the author of the report. She is playing a leading role in coordinating the Network, commenting: “Project data analytics can transform the way in which projects are managed. However, the language of analytics is a turn-off for many busy project professionals. This report will be a useful starting point for people who are unfamiliar with project data analytics and want to plan their next step in benefiting from it.” 

Get involved

As the world undergoes a shift in technology, project professionals are the change makers who must embrace and understand its importance. We have long recognised the importance of utilising data to aid project delivery. As such, we’ve recently formed a Data Advisory Group, bringing together partner organisations including professional bodies, government departments, funding providers and thought leaders in the field to explore how we can support the project profession on its data journey.

The Data Advisory Group aims to signpost developments, share learning and improve ‘data literacy’, enabling individuals and organisations to understand how they might be able to make better use of data.  For more information on this work please contact us.

The Project Data Analytics Research Network plans to undertake a variety of research investigations in project data analytics and is interested in hearing from potential collaborators. For more information, contact Professor Naomi Brookes, professor of complex programme management at WMG, University of Warwick.



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