The Vision Performance Management (VPM) module serves as Vision business intelligence stack and is intended to serve up organizational performance data in easy to read, interactive, visually oriented dashboards that help drive more effective decision making within Vision-using organizations. Initially introduced in 2009, VPM has evolved over the past several years. However, the evolution of the VPM module represented in the Vision 7.0 and Vision 7.1 releases are really a rebirth of the module. Deltek has invested heavily in the VPM module and as a result it will harvest and bring visibility to your organizational performance like never before…driving the effective, real-time decision making that is critical to a successful company.
Components of VPM
The VPM module is made up of two primary components. The first of these components is the data layer. For VPM, the data layer is served by Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services in the form of an OLAP analysis cube. The OLAP cube contains key measures and dimensions that are “pre-calculated” so as to drive high performance and ease of use. This OLAP cube is regularly refreshed from the live Vision transactional database.
The second component of the VPM module is the presentation layer. This is the component that takes all of the data contained within the OLAP cube and translates it into interactive graphical dashboards where it can be easily consumed and understood.
Vision 7.0 – Massive Data Expansion
Prior to Vision 7.0, the analysis cubes were limited to primarily project financials and some general ledger information – all in all about 60 measures were included in the pre-7.0 cubes. With the 7.0 release, the cubes were expanded by more than 20 times and the areas covered by the cubes were also expanded. With the 7.0 VPM cubes, the following areas are included within the cubes:
- Project Planning
- Time Analysis
- Contract Management
- General Ledger Budgeting
- Employee-Centric Dimensions
- Expanded Accounts Receivable Measures
- Expanded Project Financials Measures
- DSO and DWO
In addition to the expansion of the areas covered by the cubes, functionality was also added to make the cubes even more powerful. This new functionality includes:
- Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) – KPIs can be configured within Vision so that actual data from within the cubes can be reported against KPIs or goals. This ability makes the data presented within VPM more relevant. KPIs can be configured at a very high level (i.e. company-wide) or at a more granular level (i.e. per project manager).
- User Defined Fields – user defined fields can now be included within the analysis cubes as measures or dimensions so that they can be included within any of the VPM visualizations.
- Calculated Measures – when the existing measures do not work exactly as needed, calculated measures can be added to the analysis cubes. The calculated measures can be made up of any combination of the existing measures using all the standard operators and expressions (creating a calculated measure is very much like creating a calculated field).
- Multi-Currency – additional power has been added around multi-currency in that currency measures within the cubes can now be dimensioned based on a desired currency. Currencies and associated exchange rates that are included in the cubes are configured within Vision. This added functionality makes it possible to represent any currency value in the system in any currency supported by the Vision database. (this functionality is only available when running the Enterprise Edition of Microsoft SQL Server)
Vision 7.1 – Presentation Layer Powered by Tableau
With the release of Vision 7.1, the VPM module will utilize a brand new presentation layer powered by the world class business intelligence solution from Tableau. Tableau as the presentation layer brings an extremely powerful and flexible visualization platform. The presentation layer takes all of the data served up by the cubes and presents them in interactive, graphically oriented and visually rich dashboards.
The VPM module ships with 38 sample dashboards that are role based. The list below represents all of the sample dashboards that are included with the VPM module.
- Business Development Manager Sample – Opportunity Wins and Projections
- Business Development Manager Sample – Pipeline Revenue
- Business Development Manager Sample – Promotional Costs
- Executive Sample – Accounts Receivable and Promotional Costs
- Executive Sample – Opportunity Wins and Projections
- Executive Sample – Pipeline Revenue
- Executive Sample – Profit Drilldown
- Executive Sample – Project Status
- Executive Sample – Revenue Analysis
- Executive Sample – Trends and Multipliers
- Executive Sample – Utilization and Realization
- Finance Sample – Balance Sheet
- Finance Sample – Income Charts
- Organization Manager Sample – Accounts Receivable Trending
- Organization Manager Sample – Charts at Billing
- Organization Manager Sample – Charts at Cost
- Organization Manager Sample – Opportunity Wins and Projections
- Organization Manager Sample – Pipeline Revenue
- Organization Manager Sample – Profit Drilldown
- Organization Manager Sample – Project Status
- Organization Manager Sample – Variance Drilldown
- Principal Sample – Accounts Receivable Trending
- Principal Sample – Charts at Billing
- Principal Sample – Charts at Cost
- Principal Sample – Opportunity Wins and Projections
- Principal Sample – Pipeline Revenue
- Principal Sample – Profit Drilldown
- Principal Sample – Project Status
- Principal Sample – Variance Drilldown
- Project Manager Sample – Charts at Billing
- Project Manager Sample – Charts at Cost
- Project Manager Sample – Profit Drilldown
- Project Manager Sample – Project AR
- Project Manager Sample – Project Status
- Project Manager Sample – Variance Drilldown
- Resource Manager Sample – Opportunity Wins and Projections
- Resource Manager Sample – Pipeline Revenue
- Resource Manager Sample – Utilization and Realization
These dashboards cover everything from executive levels views into overall company performance to more granular views relevant to the project manager role. Below are some examples of the sample dashboards and the different roles that they serve.
Create Your Own Visualizations
While the sample dashboards provide a lot of relevant information and act as a good starting point for use of the VPM module, there will certainly be needs for your organization to look at data differently or a different set of data. As a result, the VPM module also comes with an extremely power desktop authoring tool with which organizations can create their own dashboards that meet their specific needs. The desktop tool provides full access to all of the different types of visualizations available from the Tableau platform. And, dashboards created via the desktop tool can be published and made available from within Vision. This desktop tool is also very accessible – which means someone can get up and running and producing very professional data visualizations without a lot of training or previous knowledge.
Gain Insight Into Your Business Like Never Before
The easy to understand dashboards presenting relevant real-time information that VPM provides will drive individuals across the organization to make effective decisions. Sample dashboards provide a great starting point for any organization to determine how best to leverage the organizational performance data within VPM. In addition, the extremely powerful desktop authoring tool makes it easier than ever to tweak any of the sample dashboards or create your own dashboards to get the visualizations to work exactly how your organization needs them to work.
All in all, with this rebirth of the VPM module, insight into your organization’s performance will be more accessible and more effective than ever before.