Data Analytics Project Management Tools
Fifteen years into an analytics career, I've had a chance to try out dozens of methods for managing data analytics projects. I've whittled those down to 2 data analytics project management tools I love to use.
This page includes affiliate links.
1. Online Project Management Tools
There are a lot of platforms for project management and it seems like there are new ones popping up every week.
Popular options for online project management include Trello, asana, and monday.com.
JIRA is incredibly popular as an enterprise solution.
Some people even use Slack, but that’s more for conversation than it is for project management.
ClickUp for Project Management
I like ClickUp for online project management.
ClickUp offers a lot of flexibility, integrating the things I like most about other platforms. Their goal is to replace all other productivity tools.
That seems ambitious to me and they aren’t currently there - at least they’re not the only thing I’m using.
However, as a project management tool, they’re excellent.
I can easily set up tasks with due dates, assign tasks to specific people, link tasks together, and move activities between lists.
Whether you’re working by yourself or with a team, ClickUp works well for both. I’m using the business plan which also lets me easily add guest access if I’m collaborating with someone else or need to give access to a client..
ClickUp is also very affordable.
They have a free plan which offers many of the features for getting started. There’s also an unlimited plan and business plan. The business plan is still only $9/mo per user if you pay annually which feels like a great deal for what you get.
The equivalent plan levels for the other platforms range from $10 - $25 with more limitations on activities, but also offering more native integrations at this point.
The only downside of ClickUp I’ve found is it does take some time to learn and setup, but it’s not a ridiculous amount of time.
2. A Physical Notebook
My second "tool" is a physical notebook.
As helpful as any tech tool is, I still haven’t moved completely away from a notebook for a few things.
I really like doing initial analytics planning on paper.
I find then when I start out setting up a project on the computer or on my phone that I always get more stuck on structure.
I want it to be organized and there’s usually some limitations on the software. Whether that’s a simple document or a mindmapping tool, there’s still something to follow.
Instead I prefer to do my earliest project planning on paper.
What I Look For
I have 4 major criteria for my notebook:
- Lay flat binding (or wirebound)
- Medium sized
- Grid or dots on pages
- Minimal ink bleed-through
A medium sized notebook is approximately half the size of a regular sheet of paper. That makes the notebook easy to have handy at all times.
Since I use this notebook for a variety of purposes, gridded or dotted pages work best for me.
These are easier to use than lined or plain pages when I'm sketching data visualizations.
My Current Favorite Notebook
My current notebook is the Leuchtturm 1917 A5 Squared Hardcover Notebook.
The A5 size is slightly larger than 8" x 5.5".
It's pages are gridded (squared) and numbered with a nice thickness to them.
There's also a nice blank space at the top of each page where I can add additional notes or labels.
Analytics Project Planning
I’ll use this to sketch out the project at a high level:
- What’s my overall objective?
- What are key milestones or steps along the way?
- What info might I need?
- Who else needs to be involved?
I find that when I use a no-tech option for this, I really focus on the content and don’t worry so much about the structure. I treat this as my draft notebook.
I’ll also use this notebook for sketching data visualizations and dashboards. Again, focusing on getting an outline in place.
Once I have the overview sketched out, then I’ll move to creating a new project in ClickUp to actually manage the project.
Could I do this phase directly in ClickUp or another app?
Sure. I just find that for me this method is really helpful.
Those are the 2 data analytics project management tools that I use on a day-to-day basis which help keep me more organized, productive, and effective.