One of the most important difference between Primavera and other scheduling software is the number of useful columns available in Primavera.
In Primavera, there are more than 250 columns that can be opened for complete analysis of the project. These set of columns here mentioned below:
1. Budgeted 'Labor Units' / 'Non-labor units' , etc
All the columns starting with Budgeted show planned cost and units of Material, Labor and Non-labor resources that you have assigned.
2. Actual 'labor cost' / 'material cost', etc
All the columns starting with Actual tell you the actual cost and units of all the resources that has been incurred to date.
3. Earned Value columns
Columns in the 'Earned Value' category can be used to see where you are in the project cost and units wise. Furthermore, you can see how much more cost and units you need to complete the project / activities. You can also see variance between what you planned vs how much actually has been spent. You can also forecast how much time and cost will have been spent at the completion of the project.
For the definition of Earned Value columns, see this page.
4. Actual This Period 'Labor Cost' / 'Material Cost' etc
All the columns having 'Actual This Period' in them are quite useful. These tell you how much cost is incurred or how much units have been consumed since the last update (last Date Date)
5. Percent Complete columns
Sometimes, you want to view actual information in form of percentages. For example you may want to view how much of the planned cost or planned units have been consumed, in percentage. You can view such information by opening percent complete columns like 'Cost % of Budget', 'Duration % of Original', etc
6. BL (Baseline) columns
After the project has been finalized and approved, you want to keep a project for comparison with the actuals. We have plenty of Baseline columns like 'BL Project Duration', 'BL Project Finish', etc that we can use to compare the original plan with the actuals of the activities.
There are many more useful columns in Primavera that can also be used when required.
Other articles in Project Management
Free Guide/Tutorial on Primavera P6 24 January 2017
Learn About the Reflection Project in Primavera P6 22 January 2017
Oracle Primavera P6 Keyboard Shortcuts 13 December 2016
Primavera P6 PPM and EPPM: Best Application Environments 04 December 2016
Primavera PPM vs EPPM: Which One to Choose 04 December 2016