In project management, the data date is thought of as the “as-of” date – this is the date that the project has been updated up to. For baseline schedules, the data date is generally the date that the project begins. Once the schedule is updated, the data date should be updated as well to match the date the project was updated up to.
For example, let’s say that my project started on January 1st. For my baseline schedule, the data date would also be January 1st. I would conduct my first schedule update in February, and would update activities with progress up to February 1st. After that schedule update, I would need to update my data date to February 1st as well to match the current data. As subsequent updates are done, I would need to continuously adjust this data date.
In Primavera P6, the data date will display in the bottom status bar. It will also be shown graphically by the red or blue vertical line on the Gantt chart. Activities to the left of the data date indicate work that has been completed up to that date, whereas activities to the right of the data date indicate work that has not yet been done.
By default, the data date in P6 will be set to the project’s start date, which would have been determined during the project’s creation.
There are two ways to update the data date in Primavera P6.
#1 – Updating the Data Date from the Projects Screen
If you want to adjust the data date for your baseline schedule before any status updates are performed, you can do this in the Projects screen.
If the Projects screen isn’t already open, you can access it by selecting Enterprise > Projects.
Select the desired project from the Projects table, and navigate to the Dates tab in the bottom Details section. Then, select the ellipses next to the Data Date field.
Use the calendar window to choose a new data date, and then press Select.
The Data Date will automatically adjust to the selected date.
#2 – Updating the Data Date While Scheduling
You can also update the data date when scheduling the project. This can be useful for when you are performing schedule updates, as you can update the project and the data date simultaneously.
To schedule the project, select Tools > Schedule.
The Schedule window will open. Scheduling the project will cause P6 to run a forward and backward pass through the project to determine new start and finish dates for each activity. It is important to schedule the project after any changes are made with your project – such as after updating activity statuses
Here, there is an option to schedule the open project using either the current data date or a selected data date. Select Apply selected data date to all open projects and select the ellipses to choose a new data date.
Select Schedule, and the data date will automatically adjust to match the selected date.
The data date is essentially the date that the schedule has been updated up to. In Primavera P6, this date will be shown both in the Status bar and on the Gantt Chart.
It’s important to continue to update the data date as needed. Generally, it is a good idea to update the data date whenever the status updates are done. Regardless of the way you update this date, whether in the Projects screen or the Schedule window, it is essential to ensure that the data date continues to match the current schedule data.
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Lauren Hecker is a Primavera P6 Professional Instructor and teaches onsite and virtual Primavera P6 Basics and Advanced training courses. To see her next open enrollment course, please visit our calendar. To schedule an onsite or custom course, please contact us!