Home > Articles > Business & Management

This chapter is from the book

How Can Project Managers Use Analytics in Project Management?

Analytics finds its use in multiple areas throughout the project and project management life cycles. The key applications of analytics in this context include, but are not limited to, the following:

Assessing feasibility: Analytics can be used to assess the feasibility of various alternatives so that a project manager can pick the best option.

Managing data overload: Due to the contemporary Internet age, data overload has crippled project managers’ capability to capture meaningful information from mountains of data. Analytics can help project managers overcome this issue.

Enhancing data visibility and control via focused dashboards: An analytics dashboard can provide a project manager a single view to look at the big picture and determine both how each project and its project team members are doing. This information comes in handy for prioritizing project tasks and/or moving project team members around to maximize productivity.

Analyzing project portfolios for project selection and prioritization: Project portfolio analysis is a useful application of analytics. This involves evaluating a large number of project proposals (or ideas) and selecting and prioritizing the most viable ones within the constraints of organizational resources and other relevant factors.

Across all project organizations in general, but in a matrix organization in particular, multiple projects compete for finite resources. Organizations must select projects carefully after complete assessment of each candidate project’s feasibility based on the organization’s project selection criteria, which might include, but not be limited to, the following factors:

  • Technical, economic, legal, political, capacity, and capability constraints
  • Cost-benefits analysis resulting in scoring based on various financial models such as:

    • Net present value (NPV)1
    • Return on investment (ROI)2
    • Payback period3
    • Breakeven analysis4
  • Resource requirements

    • Internal resources (only functional department resources, cross-functional resources, cross-organizational resources, or any combination of the preceding)
    • External resources
    • Both internal and external resources
  • Project complexity
  • Project risks
  • Training requirements

Analytics can help organizations with selecting projects and prioritizing shortlisted projects for optimal allocation of any scarce and finite resources.

Improve project stakeholder management: Analytics can help improve project stakeholder management by enabling a project manager to predict stakeholder responses to various project decisions. Project stakeholder management is both art and science—art because it depends partly on the individual skillset, approach, and personality of the individual project manager, and science because it is a highly data-driven process. Project managers can use analytics to predict the outcomes of the execution of their strategic plans for stakeholder engagement management and to guide their decisions for appropriate corrective actions if they find any discrepancy (variance) between the planned and the actual results of their efforts.

Project stakeholder management is much like customer relationship management (CRM5) in marketing because customers are essentially among the top-level project stakeholders and project success depends on their satisfaction and acceptance of the project outcome (product or service). Demographic studies, customer segmentation, conjoint analysis, and other techniques allow marketers to use large amounts of consumer purchase, survey, and panel data to understand and communicate marketing strategy. In his paper “CRM and Stakeholder Management,” Dr. Ramakrishnan (2009) discusses how CRM can help with effective stakeholder management. According to him, there are seven Cs of stakeholder management:

  1. Concern
  2. Communicate
  3. Contribute
  4. Connect
  5. Compound
  6. Co-Create
  7. Complete

Figure 1.1 illustrates the seven Cs of stakeholder management.

Figure 1.1

Figure 1.1 Seven Cs of Project Stakeholder Management

The seven Cs constitute seven elements of the project stakeholder management criteria, which can be evaluated for their relative importance or strength with respect to the goal of achieving effective stakeholder management by utilizing the multi-criteria evaluation capability of the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP).6

Web analytics can also help managers analyze and interpret data related to the online interactions with the project stakeholders. The source data for web analytics may include personal identification information, search keywords, IP address, preferences, and various other stakeholder activities. The information from web analytics can help project managers use the adaptive approach7 to understand the stakeholders better, which in turn can further help them customize their communications according to the target stakeholders.

Predict project schedule delays and cost overruns: Analytics can tell a project manager whether the project is on schedule and whether it’s under or over budget. Also, analytics can enable a project manager to predict the impact of various completion dates on the bottom line (project cost). For example, Earned Value Analytics (covered in Chapter 8, “Statistical Applications in Project Management”) helps project managers avoid surprises by helping them proactively discover trends in project schedule and cost performance.

Manage project risks: Another area in a project’s life cycle where analytics can be extremely helpful is the project risk management area. Project risk identification, ranking, and prioritization depend upon multiple factors, including at least the following:

  • Size and complexity of the project
  • Organization’s risk tolerance
  • Risk probability, impact, and horizon
  • Competency of the project or risk manager

Predictive analytics models can be used to analyze those multiple factors for making rational decisions to manage the risks effectively.

Improve project processes: Project management involves the execution of a multitude of project processes. Thus, continuous process improvement is essential for eliminating waste and improving the quality of the processes and the product of the project. Improvement projects typically involve four steps:

  1. Understand the current situation.
  2. Determine the desired (target) future situation.
  3. Perform gap analysis (find the delta between the target and the current situations).
  4. Make improvement decisions to address the gap.

Analytics can help project managers through all four process improvement steps by enabling the use of a “Project Management—Lean Six Sigma” blended or hybrid methodology for managing the projects with embedded continuous improvement.

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020