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Time-phased view & analysis of multiple other tables?

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5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

Hello!

Have a bit of a challenge and wondering if anyone else has been in a similar situation / need, and how they may have addressed it.

Scenario

(1) Simplified case: Say I have a Projects table that specifies a StartDate, EndDate, and EstimatedHours. I have one record (Project#1) that starts in JAN and ends in AUG with 800 hours. Assuming a simple linear average, how [would we get Airtable to tell me how] many hours should I expect to spend in MAY?

(2) The first complication: There are many projects (of course), each with their own overlapping StartDate, EndDate, and EstimatedHours. How I can get Airtable to report what our total monthly commitment is for MAY? JUN? etc?

(3) The second complication: Say there is also a Resources table (i.e. the labour that will be working down the commitments). Each of these records has their own StartDate, EndDate, and AvailableHours (not actually, but simplified for our purposes here). How would I see [and use in other calculations] the result of (2) alongside the analogous metric from Resources? Or perhaps more declaratively: How could I chart my monthly loading ratio (i.e. total estimate / total available, by month)?

The base isn't actually built like the above, but hopefully it conveys the core functional bits I'm looking to solve!

 

Solution so far

We can get a version of the time-phasing / aggregating using the Timeline interface page and its Summarise feature. However, that appears baked into the view, and isn't materialised into the data for further manipulation. Also that's just one table.

The main obstacle seems to be [native] multi-table calculations being coupled to linked record fields. There is nothing binding any given Project to any given Resource in MAY, apart from the fact that their start/end dates both straddle that month.

The approach I've currently chambered is to create a master calendar table, then set up a series of automations that [on new / on change / forced reindex] link each record, of each relevant table, to each of their applicable date records, on the master calendar. I can then use this master calendar to spin off what I need.

HOWEVER, that feels like a lot of artifice and overhead and secondary records and record links... So again, just wondering if anyone else has encountered a similar situation / need, how they may have addressed it, or if people have any ideas. Sorry for the long post!

1 Reply 1
robert2001b
4 - Data Explorer
4 - Data Explorer

To calculate the total monthly commitment for all projects, you would need to aggregate the hours for all projects that are active in a given month. This can be done using a combination of rollup and lookup fields to sum the estimated hours for each project that falls within the month. Your idea of a master calendar table is a good one, as it can serve as a central point to link projects and resources by dates. Automations can help to keep this table updated, but as you mentioned, it can introduce overhead. Instead, consider using formulas to calculate the active days within each month for each project and resource, and then use conditional rollups to aggregate this data. Remember, the key is to ensure that your Projects and Resources tables are structured in a way that allows for these calculations to be made efficiently. It may require some trial and error to get the formulas and table relationships set up correctly, but once done, it should provide the insights you need with less manual overhead.