Business Intelligence (BI)

Understanding Reporting in Microsoft PPM

Posted By Posted by: Laith Adel on July 8, 2015

PPM Reporting Overview

A key driver for many organisations adopting a PPM solution, is the desire to gain better insight and visibility of a project portfolio through reports. The Microsoft PPM Solution is based on Project Server which, in combination with the underlying technologies of SQL and SharePoint, provides a powerful, feature rich ‘Business Intelligence and Reporting’ platform.

PPM Reporting Overview

The purpose of this blog is to provide a brief overview of the frequently used reporting technologies available within the PPM solution to provide clients with the required background knowledge to enable informed discussions when potential report designs are discussed.

This document will elaborate on the following reporting technologies:

  • Project Server Views
  • SSRS (SQL Server Reporting Services)
  • Excel Services
  • Power Pivot/View
  • Dashboards*
  • Custom Developed Technologies

* Dashboards are technically not a reporting technology but are discussed within this document for conceptual completeness.

Project Server / Project Online Views

Project Server / Project Online provides users with the ability to display project and resource metadata through views. Views are highly configurable both in the fields displayed and the ability to provide visibility to specified users groups.  The table data displayed in most views can be exported to Excel in an unformatted state however the graphical representations are visible through the browser only.

Project Server

Report Name: Project Centre view
Comment: View displays traffic lights and short Summary Status Comments

 Project Server

Report Name: Project Centre view
Comment: View displays projects grouped by Program

 Project Server

Report Name: Project Centre view
Comment: View displays financial data

 

 Project Server

Report Name: Resource Centre view
Comment: View compares workload vs. availability for selected resources

SSRS Reports

SSRS (SQL Server Reporting Services) provides a rich reporting technology capable of querying multiple data sources. Due to the ability to control the way a report will print – SSRS is frequently the reporting technology of choice for reports that are likely to be printed as hard copies or saved as PDF for circulation with a wider audience.

SSRS REPORT

Report Name: Portfolio Status Report
Comment: Groups projects by Program with drill down to project status report

 

 Project Status Report

Report Name: Project Status Report
Comment: SSRS returns data to a single page from multiple sources; the site, the schedule, project metadata and potentially another unrelated data source such as a financial extract or database

Excel Services

Excel Services reports return the data to excel, either within a browser window, using the Excel Web App or directly into the Excel application. Frequently the data is returned in a Pivot Table format and enables users to modify the reported fields within the constraints of the data returned by the underlying query. Excel Services reports are constrained to querying a single data source, and to rendering the returned data in a simple, data centric, format.

A series of Excel services reports are deployed out of the box (OOTB), some of which are presented below.

Excel Services

Report Name: Simple Projects List
Comment: Above screen shot displays the report as rendered within a browser window

 

 Excel Services

Report Name: Milestones due this month
Comment: Above screen shot displays the report as rendered to excel – (note the pivot table)

Excel Services

Report Name: Task Effort Stats
Comment: The report is grouped by Project, then by resource with drill down to task level details

 

 Project Server

Report Name: Portfolio Overview
Comment: Note the ability to apply filters by clicking on values on the left

Power Pivot/Power View

Like Excel Services, Power Pivot and Power View reports return the data to excel, either within a browser window, using the Excel Web App or directly into the Excel application. However Power Pivot & View provide users with the ability to query multiple data sources and offer a much broader range of report presentation options including the Geospatial representations below.

Power Pivot 

Report Name: BI Kit Overview – Department Status
Comment: By clicking on a Department the above report will filter the data

 

Power Pivot

Report Name: BI Kit Overview – Health Overview
Comment: By clicking on a Department the above report will filter the data

Dashboards

Dashboards are not specific to a reporting technology. It is a generic term that typically refers to a chart or collection of charts embedded within a web page with drill down functionality. Dashboards are designed to be viewed on line (although when SSRS is used as the underlying technology they can also be generated as a report and shared via a PDF or hard copy).

Dashboards

Report Name: Program Overview
Comment: This dashboard combines reports utilising the following technologies –
Performance Point, SSRS, Excel Services

 Dashboards

Report Name: Business Performance Dashboard (SSRS)
Comment: The report is grouped first by business category with drill down to project level data

 

Dashboard
Comment: The Financial Sustainability Business Group has been expanded to reveal the projects associated with this business group

Custom Technologies

In addition to the standard technologies described above some clients may benefit from reporting functions delivered through custom solutions. Typically these are developed so that the solution can be packaged as an app and therefore be available to clients using infrastructure options that limit the ability to use a standard reporting technology.

Custom technologies

Report Name: Project Overview

 

Custom Technologies

Report Name: Portfolio Overview

Conclusions

The Microsoft PPM Solution is based on Project Server in combination with the underlying technologies of SQL and SharePoint and provides a powerful and feature rich reporting platform.

Conclusions

A range of technologies are available to report developers to provide organisations with the reporting outputs they need to make better business decisions.

If you would like to discuss your organisations needs, give us a call today.

Business Intelligence (BI) & Reporting (1)1300 123 EPM


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