Expanding Visibility into Firm-wide and Project Health with Deltek Ajera Dashboards

March 01, 2023
Ellen Keeley
Product Director
Expanding Visibility into Firm-wide and Project Health with Deltek Ajera Dashboards

Deltek Ajera is an easy-to-use project management and project-based accounting system that automates manual processes for project-based businesses. Deltek Ajera dashboards help your teams understand company and project performance, uncover trends and make data-driven decisions. These dashboards provide a configurable, real-time view into your firm's health, a project’s progress, client invoices that need reviewed and much more.  Each dashboard contains table and chart widgets that can be configured and organized to your particular needs. These widgets contain data from sources, or bases, and Ajera offers more than 60 bases chock full of data. 

Dashboard widgets, which are the specific parts of the dashboard, also offer a direct connection to a record from the dashboard, allowing you to make schedule updates, preview an invoice or link to a specific project record. With the latest Deltek Ajera release, your project managers can update their reported percent complete (RPC) or estimated start/end dates directly from a dashboard widget.

With the broad range of data available and flexible design options at your fingertips, where is the best place to start to make Deltek Ajera dashboards work for you?

Start by Setting Permissions 

Ajera Role Security provides flexibility to determine who can create dashboards and widgets, as well as specifying who has access to them. Role security also controls access to sensitive information like cost, general ledger details and employee data.  This allows you to take advantage of the strength of the employees on your team.  Do you have a project manager who loves to crunch data?  Allow them to create dashboards for themselves.  Or possibly you have a team leader full of employees who crave data?  Let that leader create and share dashboards with their team.

Define Dashboard Roles

Designate role-specific dashboard and widget permissions in role security

With the Ajera Dashboard Designer and Widget Designer, you can create widgets and dashboards that are important to different roles in your company to configure the views to be most meaningful and empowering for your teams.  But it is important to have a solid plan of what you want to share.  Who is the audience for a dashboard and have you discussed this with them?  What is the purpose of the dashboard?  What data is needed to convey the information you want to convey?   Knowing your purpose and what information you want to share will make creating the dashboards easier.

For example, a simple sales funnel can provide both executive level management and your business development team a quick view into the potential projects on the horizon.  Using the new Funnel type dashpart introduced in Ajera 9.8, you can now provide a quick visual of the contract amounts grouped by Business Development (BD) phase. 

BD Pipeline Funnel Chart

To set this up the Project Base, create a new widget and select the Funnel chart type. Then use the BD - Total Contract Open and BD - Current Stage columns, set your grouping option to the BD - Current Stage and filter the BD-Current Stage to not include blank values.  

BD Pipeline Funnel Chart Setup

You can take this a step further and create funnels for different departments, marketing managers or project managers by adding the column to the widget and adding a filter on the column.  


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Highlight Critical Information with Conditional Formatting

Widgets often convey important status information and by using conditional formatting, a designer can bring attention to information that needs immediate action. Conditional formatting can be applied to an entire row or to a particular cell based on one or more conditions.

Take the Projects Approaching Budget widget, which is available in the Widget Gallery.  This widget displays all projects that have used at least 80% of their contract based on Billed + WIP / Total Contract.  

This is great information to have on hand and with conditional formatting you can bring attention to those projects that need immediate attention.  For example, projects that are over budget or close to approaching the budget.

Conditional formatting can be applied to an entire row in Edit Table Options or to a particular cell in the column options.  You can apply one condition or multiple.  In the example below, I have changed the background color to red if the % Complete is greater than 100 and applied a yellow background color if it is more than 95%.

Conditional Formatting Setup 1

By applying the conditional formatting to the entire row, it is easy to see which projects need attention.

Conditional Formatting Setup 2

Take Action Directly from the Dashboard

Let’s take our example above a step further and add the ability to take action directly from the widget.  Many bases have the ability to open or add new records directly from a widget.  The Project Base, which is the source of information in our example, has both.  Both are controlled in the widget designer.  In the Task Option area, check the Enable “New” Button to allow the end user to create a new project from the widget.  And in Add Columns, in the Actions section, add the Open Project to allow the user to open the project in the Project Command Center from the widget.  Both of these require that the user have Role Access to the Project Command Center.

Action from Dashboard

You can find similar functionality on the Timesheet, Expense Report and Client Invoice Bases.

The latest release of Ajera also allows project managers to enter their reported percent complete, estimated start and complete dates and add project notes–directly from the dashboard.

Add Widget

When adding a new widget, expand the tasks area and select ‘manage projects.’  This will add two new widgets to your dashboard.

Widget Manage Projects

Making dashboards work for your company takes effort and planning, but by creating a central place for your employees to view real-time updates that are relevant to their role, take actions directly from a dashboard and even create their own visualizations, you can empower employees and get even more from your Ajera product.