In today’s fast-paced business environment, data-driven decision-making is more critical than ever. Project managers and stakeholders rely on accurate and insightful data to track and manage their projects effectively.
Everyone is in a hurry and top management needs to see the main KPIs in a good-looking page that indicates everything in the projects, with the ability to dig deeper and see every detail about each activity in the project.
Here we see the importance of business intelligence tools with Power BI on the top to deliver a spectacular experience of creating smart and interactive reports. As we know, Power BI alone is a visualization tool only that needs data in the first place. Our source of data in construction projects is usually data from time schedules software like Primavera P6 or Microsoft Excel.
In today’s article, we will learn how to connect Primavera P6 to Power BI to create amazing reports and dashboards from the data stored in Primavera P6
What is Primavera P6?
Primavera P6, developed by Oracle, is a well-known project management software used across various industries. It offers advanced capabilities for planning, scheduling, and managing projects of all sizes. P6 enables project managers to organize tasks, allocate resources, and monitor progress, ensuring that projects are completed on time and within budget.
What is Microsoft Power BI?
Power BI, a product of Microsoft, is a business intelligence tool that empowers users to visualize and analyze data from various sources. It allows users to create interactive reports and dashboards, transforming raw data into actionable insights. Power BI’s user-friendly interface and powerful analytical capabilities make it an ideal solution for organizations seeking to unlock the value hidden within their data.
Why do we need to connect them?
Connecting Primavera P6 with Power BI is the first step in creating interactive dashboards for your projects. Power BI alone is a visualization tool that uses data to create visuals and reports. We need many types of data like activity IDs and names. We also need each activity’s start and finish dates, cost, and resources. This data and more is stored in P6 time schedules.
After getting data from Primavera P6 we will use Microsoft Excel to modify and clean the data.
Primavera P6 employs specific characters to signify distinct “events” associated with dates (Start and Finish) of activities. For example, the character “A” indicates that an activity’s date is marked as complete, while the character “*” is used to identify activities with constraints like “Finish On,” “As Late As Possible,” and so on. To ensure a smooth data transformation process in Power BI and avoid any complications arising from these special characters, it becomes imperative to remove them from our data tables in Excel.
We can delete these characters using functions or simply by the find and replace option in Excel.
Connect Primavera P6 to Power BI step-by-step
1- Collect data from P6
Start with opening your time schedule on Primavera P6 and then show the columns that have the data you want to use in your dashboard.
Note: Make sure before copying any data from Primavera to check the user preferences for time and date. We recommend using two decimals to increase the accuracy of the numbers extracted.
From grouping and sorting, delete any grouping and sorting option before copying the data. Then select all then copy.
2- Paste data in Excel
Open a new Excel file and paste your data. Create a table with this data and name it with a relevant name.
Save the Excel file in a specific path and name it with a relevant name.
3- Connect Power BI with data
Open your Power BI desktop software, Select Get data from Excel file.
Select your Excel file and open it.
Power BI will ask you, which tables in your Excel sheet you want to import in this report. We will choose the set of tables in the picture and click “Load”.
After loading your data you have to revise your data and check the relations first, so navigate to the data view.
Here you can have a quick look to make sure that all data has been imported.
Now we successfully added our data from Primavera P6 to Power BI. The next step is to start adding visuals and creating interactive reports.
If you’re interested in creating an enterprise multi-project interactive dashboard that is totally customizable and connected with your data, we created a special training course that takes you from knowing nothing about Power BI to creating a professional dashboard to monitor your project and to see real-time KPIs.
To learn more and view course lessons and details click here.
The integration of Primavera P6 and Power BI offers a powerful solution for project management and data analysis. By combining the strengths of these two tools, project managers can make informed decisions, optimize resource allocation, and ensure project success. Through a streamlined process of exporting, cleaning, and visualizing data, connecting Primavera P6 with Power BI opens the door to a new era of data-driven project management.
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