What is the Utilization > Overview report all about?  How do I use it?  In this article, we'll break down what the Utilization > Overview report is and what it can tell you about your business!

What is Utilization, and why does it matter?

Check out this section to find out.
What the Utilization > Overview Report can tell you

The report can help answer the question of how well your results stack up against your goals, how well you're planning to reach those goals and how well you're executing on plans. 

How to Navigate the Utilization > Overview  Report

We step through each section of the report to share best practices.

What is Utilization, and why does it matter?

This in-depth article explains what we mean by Utilization, by contrasting it to things like Capacity and Availability. Broadly speaking, Utilization is how well you are performing against a specified goal (Target Utilization). How well are your People's hours planned out? How often are People successfully executing against those Plans? This is what Utilization tells you.

Each Role (or Person) within your Organization has a set Utilization Target, a percentage of their Schedule that should be spent on billable hours. By tracking People's Utilization, you ensure that time is being spent on what matters most to your business.

What the Utilization > Overview Report can tell you

The Utilization > Overview Report allows you to monitor Utilization variances between the Targets you're setting, the Plans that you're making, and the Actuals that are being realized. It's going to help you answer three big questions:

  • How do the results stack up against my goal (Target)?
  • How well are we Planning?
  • How well are we executing on Plans?

You do this by comparing the Variance (v) columns

Using this report, you can view past periods to analyze your actual utilization compared to what you had planned (actual vs. planned). Red indicates that you are tracking under plan, whereas blue indicates that you are tracking over plan. Look out for any trends in variance when reviewing multiple periods in the past. You can also look ahead, in order to see if People have enough work planned for them to hit their utilization goals (Planned vs. Target).

Unassigned roles are nestled into their respective role or department for inclusion in utilization numbers. If you view this report by Person, you may notice unassigned roles that have yet to be staffed. Review these in the open roles report to see which People are available to fill the role.

How to Navigate the Utilization > Overview Report


There's a lot of information presented in this report. We segmented the page into five sections in order to show you around. This will make it easier to navigate this page, understand what you're seeing, and make the best use of the powerful data.

(1) Filters and Customization


This part of the page is where you'll pick out what Data segments you want to view. Many of these options will be standard in one or all reports. In the top left, you'll find Filters which you can use to segment your data (with options for Department, Role, Stage, Financial Model, Project Status, Worker Type and People Tags).  

On the right side of the page, you'll pick out the Date Range, as well as the data type (Hours, Percent) and period (Weekly, Monthly, Quarterly, Yearly).

Lastly, in green in the far-right corner, you can create a Saved View for easy access to the filter-state you've chosen in the future!

(2) Total Callouts


The Total Callouts you'll see below the filter/data set options will tell you the total story of the data you're seeing in the Data Set (see below). It will show you totals for Actual, Planned and Target Utilization, as well as the overall Variance between Actual/PlannedActual/Target and Planned/Target. This is where you'll go to see the full story of the data you've chosen.

(3) Graph


The Graph on this page is a visual representation of the data set you've chosen, over the timeframe you've selected. You'll see ActualsPlans, your upcoming Pipeline, as well as Billable and Target Capacity.

Much like Total Callouts, this graph will tell the overall story of the data you've selected and help highlight deviations to dig into.

(4) Drill Downs/Search/Columns


Between the Graph and the Data set that it's pulling from, there are a few additional customization options. On the left side, you'll see Drill Down options - using these, you can view your data by Department, Role or Person in order to get a more broad or granular perspective.  

On the left side, you'll see the Variance Key that helps you understand coloring in the Data Set below, and also an eye icon you can click on to hide/reveal different columns in the data set.  

Finally, you'll see a Search function to look for a single Department/Role/Person and a CSV option to save your data set for future reference.


(5) Data Set


At the very bottom of the page is where you'll see the Data Set you've selected. While you can customize the columns, here are the basic data points that are revealed by the Utilization > Overview Report*:

  • Billable Capacity - The maximum hours/percentage for Billable Projects (T&M, Fixed Bid, Fixed Retainer, Mixed)
  • Target Utilization - The Target Goal that was set
  • Planned Utilization - The Plans that were allocated to meet that Goal
  • Actual Utilization - The Actuals that were executed in Timesheets
  • Planned v. Capacity - Tells you if your plans align with your Billable Capacity
  • Planned v. Target - Shows you if your Plans align with the Goal you've set
  • Actual v. Target - Highlights if the Actual hours are in line with your Goal
  • Actual v. Planned - Tells you if Plans are being met or not
  • Planned Pipeline - Amount of Planned Utilization that is in Sales Pipeline (Planned Utilization - Backlog Pipeline). (This column is hidden by default)
  • Backlog Pipeline - Amount of Planned Utilization that is in Active Projects (Planned Utilization - Planned Pipeline). (This column is hidden by default)

Parallax Tip: Need a reminder on how a Data set is calculated?

Unsure how a metric is being defined? Just hover over a Column header to see the definition that's being used!

These options work together to help you highlight where you may be missing your Target Utilization goals, but also why you may be missing them, by highlighting where Plans aren't being successfully actualized or are properly aligned with the goal.


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