Introduction: Milestone Trend Analysis

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Effective and clean supervision of your project progress

In every medium to large project there is a set of milestones. Milestones are critical moments during a project that are used to mark project progress. But we also know the dates of these milestones can change: some are brought forward and some get delayed.

These changes in milestone dates are early warning signals of challenges in your project progress. The Milestone Trend Analysis Chart for Power BI gives every project manager a clear overview of these changes. It visualizes what is and is not working in the project. It also helps to signal issues with the project scope.

Key features of the Milestone Trend Analysis Chart are:

  • Visualization of milestone trends: get a clear overview of multiple milestone changes and easily detect the milestones brought forward or delayed;
  • Formatting options are in line with the options you know from the Power BI Line chart, so no need to learn a new interface. And of course, theme colors and settings are supported;
  • Selection & Highlighting: like in standard Power BI charts you can make use of the Selection & Highlighting functions within the Milestone Trend Analysis Chart;
  • Context menu: like in standard Power BI charts you have access to the context menu to include and exclude data points;
  • Full Tooltip support: Besides the default Tooltip behavior (show the value of the element you hover) you can also add additional fields to the tooltip;
  • Full Bookmark support: like any of the standard visuals the Milestone Trend Analysis Chart supports Bookmarks.

How to use: Build visual

To use the Milestone Trend Analysis Chart, you need to have a dataset with at least a Milestone and two dates: the Reporting Date and the Milestone Date. The available buckets are:  

  • Milestone: This is the name of each Milestone as it is displayed in the legend.
  • Milestone Date: The expected delivery date of the Milestone on the reporting date. This date is used for the position on the y-axis.
  • Reporting Date: The date the expected delivery date is reported. This date is used for the position on the x-axis.
  • Tooltips: The fields added here will show in the tooltip when the user hovers over a specific line marker. If multiple milestones are on the same point, they all will be visible in the tooltip.

How to use: Format visual

The Visual specific settings contain formatting properties that allow you to change the default behavior of the visual, besides the standard format sections there are a number of additional format sections that allow you to change the behavior of this visual:

  • License: here you can enter your license information to disable any license reminders.
  • Milestones: you can change the standard colors of each of the milestone lines, and change the shapes per line. There are 7 different shapes available.
  • Line styles: these options allow you to change the visual style of all the milestone lines. This includes the stroke width and marker size and the option to Switch off/ on the Show markers.
  • X-Axis: the formatting options for the x-axis (Reporting Date axis) are similar to the options available within the Line Chart (standard Power BI visual). These familiar options allow you to change the visibility and formatting of the x-axis elements (like: color, title, labels, gridlines, etc.). Here you can set the Date type, the options range from Year to Second.
  • Y-Axis: the formatting options for the y-axis (Milestone Date axis) are also similar to the options available for the X-Axis. As additional option, you can set the Minimum category width.
  • Date diagonal: the formatting settings of the diagonal line on the same Reporting and Milestone Dates. This includes line style, color and stroke width.
  • Legend: here you set the legend position, enable the title, add a custom title and change the font family, text size and color of the labels. Set on the Direct labelling option to add a label next to the line, this will help you to beter identify the different lines. If enabled, the following properties specific to direct labeling will be available:
    • Overflow text: this flag will show all labels (even in case they collide);
    • Position: the positioning of the labels…Before first, After first, Before last, After last;
    • Show background: will toggle the label backgrounds;
    • Background color: the color of the labels in case the labels are shown;
    • Background opacity: the opacity of the label background;
    • Font family & Text size: the font and size used for the labels;
    • Use milestone color: by default on, will pick up the different colors set under the Milestones or switch off to select one default Color for all labels.
  • Zoomslider: enable the zoomslider option to easily examine a smaller range of the date in the MTA chart without having to use a filter. The zoomslider is added on the chart’s x-axis. Click and drag endpoints on sliders to adjust the dimensions of the chart, slide both endpoints toward the center. The closer the two endpoints are to each other, the more you zoom in to display shorter, finer segments. Click and hold down the left mouse button on the center section of the zoom bar and then scroll left or right to a particular point. You can also click on the label to display and select from the Calendar instead. You can also change the color, Text size, Font color and family of the zoomslider.

The General settings contain options that affect the visual container and are consistent across all visual types. Here you can also customize the general Title and Tooltips.

For any questions or remarks about this Visual, please contact us by email at Nova Silva Support, or visit the Community forums.

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