Time Tracking Metrics: Making Sense of Your Data Using Intelligent Reports

John Reeve | May 7th, 2014 | , ,

Time Tracking Metrics: Making Sense of Your Data Using Intelligent Reports

There are hundreds of options available to your agency when choosing online time tracking software. And most of them do a really good job at tracking your time. But, is that all you want your software to do? Probably not.

Time tracking software should put your data in a meaningful context. At the very least, it should tell you how much time you’ve spent on a project, how much to bill the client, and a few other simple metrics. Good time tracking software will tell you even more.

Reporting is an important feature to consider before committing your agency to time tracking software. Good reporting can help you estimate projects with more accuracy, analyze client profitability, and reveal exactly where your time is going. The following is a list of reports, available to agencies using our time tracking software Intervals, along with some ideas on how they can be used to extract more meaningful intelligence from your time tracking data.

The Pie Chart

Pie chart for comparative time tracking data report

This report is an essential asset in any project managers toolbox. When you need to run a comparative analysis of a cohort, this is the report to use. The comparative metrics we gain from this report can help quantify and address issues of team morale and client effort.

  • Compare time tracked per person to see if anyone is trailing off or doing too much.
  • Compare clients to one another to see which clients are requiring too much, or too little, of your time.
  • Segment the data by billable rate to see which services are being billed the most.

Trends Chart

Trends Report for Patterns and Seasonality Time Tracking

The ability to segment historical data is most beneficial to identifying patterns or seasonality within your agency. This report analyzes past data and presents it in a meaningful timeline. By looking back at the past you can predict the future, and prepare for it accordingly.

  • Review a given client’s history to identify seasonality, so you can take on less work when they are active, and more work when they are dormant.
  • Review your team’s history to see how the holidays and vacations impact your agency’s overall efforts, so you can plan client work accordingly without jeopardizing deadlines.

Crosschart Report

Crosschart Report for Cross Referencing Segments

The crosschart report is characterized by its ability to cross reference one segment of time tracking data with another. You choose the segment to use for the X and Y axis, and the report does the rest.

  • Cross reference people and projects to see who worked on which projects the previous week.
  • Segment your projects by tasks to see which tasks are taking the most time

Project Activity Report

Project Activity Report for Detailed Time Tracking Data

Client’s will often have questions about how their money is being spent. They may have received an unusually high bill or seen their retainer run out sooner than usual. The activity report provides a detailed breakdown showing exactly where their money was spent, and will answer most of the client’s questions with a single report.

  • Show the client exactly which tasks were completed, along with a subtotal and the amount of billable time each one required.
  • Compare the estimated amount of time on each task to the actual amount of time it required.

Project Landscape Report

Project Landscape Report for a Birds Eye View of Projects

When you are juggling several projects at once it helps to have a birds eye view of it all. The project landscape report provides a quick way to review each project and its time and tasks, so you know where each project is at, and where it needs to go next.

  • Filter the report by a single client and see which projects are close to using up their budget.
  • Run the report for all your client projects to find out which ones have outstanding balances and need to be billed.

 Photo credit: Sebastian Wiertz

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Intervals is online time, task and project management software built by and for web designers, developers and creatives.
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John Reeve
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John Reeve

John is a co-founder, web designer and developer at Pelago. His blog posts are inspired by everyday encounters with designers, developers, creatives and small businesses in general. John is an avid reader and road cyclist.
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Jennifer Payne
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Jennifer Payne

Jennifer is the Director of Quality and Efficiency at Pelago. Her blog posts are based largely on her experience working with teams to improve harmony and productivity. Jennifer is a cat person.
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Michael Payne
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Michael Payne

Michael is a co-founder and product architect at Pelago. His contributions stem from experiences managing the development process behind web sites and web-based applications such as Intervals. Michael drives a 1990 Volkswagen Carat with a rebuilt 2.4 liter engine from GoWesty.
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