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  • Writer's pictureDiana Landazuri

Data Visualization for a PMO

Updated: Aug 21, 2021

The large and complex data sets that may come from a Portfolio, Program or Project, need to be translated into manageable, understandable, effective dashboards which should help managers, leaders and executives, take faster and better decisions. Visuals are powerful, we must use them strategically. For this, the collection of data for trend analysis should be done on a consistent and ongoing basis to communicate in a timely-manner any deviations or risk alerts according to the pre-established baselines. Data analysis can help companies better understand their customers, and also it can help a Project Management Office evaluate the value of its projects, personalize trainings, anticipate risks, and more. How we visualize this data, is part of a data-driven storytelling strategy to convey the meaning of that data in a human but effectively fashionable way.

My favorite data visualization tools are:

* for mapping processes, I love IBM Blueworks live, a business process modeler that is maybe a bit overpriced, but totally worth every penny. (I also use Visio but I don't love it)

* for managing projects, my favorite is MSProject, and I use it at least 2 hours a day to update it, share the progress with clients/champions, analyze the critical path, anticipate risks and write down possible constraints. (My second best is Jira, more focused towards Agile project management and for collaborative team environments. It's my second best, but almost my first)

* for visualizing data sets, my heart is with Power Bi (I also like Tableau, which is more expensive, a bit more complex but allows more integrations, less customizations, and the drill down goes deeper than Power Bi).

* for high-impact presentations, my favorite is Prezi, for its innovative capabilities of presenting information (Power Point is a classic, but if I can choose, I would always go for Prezi).

... and Excel is like the Holy Grial for everything else, like optimization models (with Solver), simulations (with Data Analysis), heat maps, and a lot more.

And my favorite ERP? It depends for what type of industry/company; but SAP (Hana) is in my top 3.

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