UBC Theses and Dissertations
An OLAP-based PM prototype for cost control and manpower allocation Nie, Hao (Howard)
In the past decades great efforts have been made in applying Information Technology (IT) in the construction industry. The existing IT-integrated PM tools seem to be helpful to improve the efficiency of a single project control task, such as scheduling, but they lack a level of integration and coordination that can help manage construction projects from multiple perspectives in a unified manner. Although the OLAP (On Line Analytical Processing) technology has been widely used for business management, known as "Business Intelligence" (Bl), it has not been well adopted by the construction industry in the project management domain. The main objective of this thesis research is to test and evaluate whether the fast growing OLAP technology can facilitate project management in the construction industry, at least in some selected aspects. A Web-based, OLAP-integrated PM prototype was established to do the testing and evaluation. A data warehouse with multidimensional data structure was established in Microsoft Access, followed by the design and processing of OLAP cubes through Microsoft SQL Sever Analysis Services. The Microsoft Bl Portal was utilized as the front-end OLAP solution for multidimensional data representation and analysis. Two OLAP cubes were developed in the prototype for project cost control and manpower allocation analysis respectively, and the testing and evaluation was carried out by combining the OLAP features with several realistic project management scenarios. The thesis concludes that the OLAP technology does offer potential improvements to project management, but a great deal of future work is needed to extend the prototype to a well-rounded system. The benefits of this OLAP-base PM prototype, along with its shortcomings and limitations, are summarized at the end of the thesis. Also included is the discussion and suggestion of the future research work in this area.
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