Introducing Project Analytics in Oracle Fusion ERP Analytics

October 24, 2022 | 6 minute read
Steffy Jenson
Senior Product Marketing Analyst, Oracle Analytics
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Whether managing large enterprise or small projects within an organization, project teams need agility to thrive in a constantly changing business environment. To reach their goals and reduce risk, modern project management organizations (PMOs) are data-driven and recognize the need to analyze their data and understand its impact and correlations for cross-functionally at every stage of the project lifecycle. A critical role includes budget control and margin optimization and for this purpose, they need not only a bird’s eye view of their costs, budgets, forecasts, and spend. They also need to be able to undertake detailed analyses to find hidden insights.

Oracle has introduced Project Analytics as part of Fusion ERP Analytics. Using a prebuilt integrated analytics approach, Project analytics helps project members identify cost optimization opportunities, understand revenue and billing trends, predict variances in budget and forecasting, and integrate all data across departments to enable faster decisions and better project outcomes.

Quickly infer financial health of the project portfolio with prebuilt and best practice KPIs

The biggest challenge is keeping project expenditures on track with allocated budgets as the project progresses. With information spread across multiple systems, project members spend a lot of their time on manual data extraction and manipulation, trying to keep track of and monitor budgets and forecasts, then analyze the variances from what was planned and from the original baseline cost.

Budget and forecast analysis: Project Analytics smooths out the budget and forecast analysis process. With prebuilt KPIs, project teams can keep financial health in check by identifying “at-risk” projects with proactive comparisons of budget and forecasts versus approved original and current baseline costs. Embedded analytics helps to predict budget and forecast overruns by leveraging trends from historical performance. This allows PMOs to make necessary adjustments in costs, expenses, resources, and commitments to reach project goals.

Three key questions that Project Analytics helps users quickly answer are:

  • What's the overall financial health of projects that I'm managing?
  • In which cost categories am I overrunning the budget?
  • What's our current and updated forecast against budget?
Financial Performance Dashboard
Financial Performance Dashboard

Get timely visual insights on revenue and billing  

Organizations often have difficulty getting accurate and timely project performance information for themselves and their clients. With complex project data managed across siloed systems and continued reliance on multiple spreadsheets, it's hard for teams to connect the dots and understand what the up-to-date revenue trends are, who their top customers are, and who isn’t paying on time.

Revenue and Billing Analysis: With interactive dashboards and easy-to-use self-service visualizations, project teams can now follow day-to-day project trends and variances across the project execution phases and billing milestones. With complete visibility in trends across revenue, billings, customers, contracts, and funding allocations, project teams can instantly get the answer to their queries without waiting for IT to extract the reports they need:

  • Who are my top ten customers, and who's the most profitable?
  • Which are the top projects driving revenue?
  • How do current billings compare with billings from the last quarter? 
  • What's accrued revenue compared with billings right now?
  • How am I performing against original funding contracts?
  • Which of my projects are doing well and how do they compare with each other?

Time is of the essence. Particularly with the rise of virtual collaboration, there's an immediate need across project organizations to enable seamless and rapid communications. With built-in natural language processing (NLP) features, PMOs can use speech-driven visualizations to get insights related to revenue and billing at any time from any device. Ask time-sensitive questions such as “how's my revenue trending this month?” or “Which customers haven’t paid this month?” to receive visual insights and share the results with stakeholders.  

Mobile phone with voice
Mobile phone with voice

Improve controls over project costs and expenses

PMOs need to constantly monitor the status of their project costs and manage changes to the budget. Always a challenge as the project evolves, this requires project members to analyze various costing reports periodically—whether that's expenses, variances from initial estimates, or profit margins and commitments. All of this can be a time-consuming process, as project-related data and associated costs are often stored in different locations and managed by different people, thus reducing the visibility for teams into project costs and overall spending.  

Project Cost Analysis: Project Analytics provides a telescopic view, powered by prebuilt analysis, enabling dynamic decision-making with self-service visualizations, to quickly assess the impact of project costs on margins and budgets. With the ability to take a deep dive and uncover variances proactively, project members can make project cost adjustments and improve project control. Get detailed insights into the drivers of cost commitments and expenses. Slice and dice data in multiple ways at any time—either by project organization, project type, or category. Deep dive into revenue and cost distributions at account level details by project, or general ledger account and fiscal period using prebuilt analyses and metrics. Some of the queries that the prebuilt cost analysis can answer include:

  • Where am I forecasting to overspend and how can I control that?
  • Which resources can I use to maximize profitability and minimize cost?
  • What's my revenue variance quarter over quarter?
  • How's my cost trending over the last six months by project and category?
Project Cost Analysis
Project Cost Analysis

Gain an integrated view of projects with finance, HR, and supply chain operations—all in one place

Typically, project members have very limited visibility into the project related information across other departments that can either positively or negatively impact their milestones. Project Analytics in combination with Fusion SCM (Supply Chain Management) Analytics provides teams ability to slice and dice supply chain data such as sales orders, procurement requisitions and orders, inventory transactions by project attributes.

Cross-Departmental and Project-Driven Supply Chain: With visually connected insights, project members now have an integrated view across the organization. This helps them not only recognize how to leverage resources but also deliver projects on time. The single, analytical, extensible data model provides integrated visualizations to quickly present correlations of project data across finance, HR, and supply chain operations. This enables members to find correlations in project-driven supply chains to reduce risk and control costs. They can recognize opportunities for next budget allocations and see how much additional labor is required to reach their budget. They can get ahead of any bottlenecks in supply chain operations that will hinder their outcomes. Using the extensibility feature, project members can easily bring together data from different sources or import external files with drag and drop integrations for a secured analysis:

  • What are my open sales orders by project?
  • Which orders have been currently shipped out and for which customers?
  • Which are the current POs that are open by supplier and by project?
  • How many hours of labor is yet to be processed in projects?
Project-driven Supply Chain Analysis
Project-driven Supply Chain Analysis

Conclusion

With the new prebuilt Project Analytics capability in Oracle Fusion ERP Analytics, PMOs can spearhead projects and make strategic decisions with laser focus and integrated insights. With this powerful new analytics feature, project managers can now analyze costs, budgets, forecasts, spend, and margins—across the organization and all in one place, anywhere, anytime. Key features include:

  • Embedded machine learning (ML) capabilities to predict variances from original budgets.
  • Out-of-the box 80+ project-based best practice KPIs, metrics, and dashboards to quickly recognize deviations.
  • Easy-to-use self-service data visualizations to uncover irregular trends and distributions in cost, revenue and expenses.
  • Prebuilt single, extensible, cross-departmental analytical data model.
  • Natural language processing and generation to instantly search for project related queries.

Check out our free interactive product tour to understand the value of prebuilt project analysis.   

Steffy Jenson

Senior Product Marketing Analyst, Oracle Analytics


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