Project data analytics: creating a project analytics community


Stephen Ashley

Stephen Ashley

Digital Transformation Solution Centre Manager

This is the third in my series of blogs looking at how advanced project data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) have the potential to transform how we deliver projects. In the first blog, I summarised the opportunity available to us; and in the second I examined the considerations in mobilising a data trust.

The vision and delivering the strategy
Now, I want to delve a little deeper into delivering the vision. We won’t deliver it purely by setting up a data trust - we need a community, one which has one foot in project delivery and one in data science; neither can deliver it alone. The challenges associated with projects are very specific and very different to the data challenges in, for instance, maintenance or IOT (internet of things) data. Data quality and volumes differ immensely.

In the Technology Fallacy, the authors highlighted three major barriers to delivering a digital strategy, which I believe are particularly relevant within a project context. They are:

1. Lack of strategy
2. Too many priorities
3. Lack of management understanding

We will only change this if we understand the art of the possible and back this up with evidence that the vision can become a reality. We can’t do this just through the efforts of the OGTC or a couple of determined individuals.

Developing a community
We need to develop a community. A community where we inspire people and develop a passion for advanced project data analytics. Where we share good practice, plug into the latest news and developments and upskill people to prepare for inevitable future. Only then, will we have enough momentum and evidence for organisations to commit resources to developing a strategy, successfully compete against other strategies and provide the body of material to assist with management understanding. We create a movement.

Bringing everyone together
We held a hackathon on project data analytics as part of DataFest earlier in the year which was very successful. We are currently looking at holding a hackathon later this year to further develop interest in applying data science principles. In addition to this, in early in 2020, we aim to deliver something similar focused specifically on project analytics, bringing together the data science and project communities. We’ll need the community to get involved and need organisations to identify challenges, provide supporting data and help to make things happen.

Get involved now!
On 31st October, the OGTC will be working with PMI UK and Projecting Success to establish an Aberdeen branch of the project data analytics meetup, which will be hosted by the OGTC initially. Please join us and be part of the community.

Since Dec 2017, they have developed a community of over 4,000 people and are on track to expand this to 10,000 by end of 2020. It’s a free community, for the benefit of its members. It’s a great opportunity to get involved and share cross sector experience. There’s numerous events in the pipeline, so if you have some news or have a presentation/paper to share then please contact Martin at Projecting Success.

Martin is also pulling together a small community to work up a white paper to flesh these issues out in further detail. The OGTC is supportive of the initiative and I’d encourage you to get involved and reach out to him if you have a few hours to spare. It could be the start of a new era for project and data professionals.

We are doing what we can to support this initiative, but we need your support too. Get involved and make a difference. Get in touch if you or your organisation can support this initiative by contact