Creating a Project Comparisons Report

Learn how to quickly utilize historical cost data to create a project comparison report

Leveraging historical cost data from past projects is a challenge that most companies in the industry face because their information is often siloed or stored in different locations and formats (estimating platforms, spreadsheets, PDF reports, etc.). When all of your projects are entered into Join, the cost data is stored in a central location and is easily leveraged using the project comparisons report. The project comparisons report can be used to quickly create a new Milestone estimate or budget by averaging the $/UNIT costs of past projects and can be organized by any categorization.

Included in Join Forecasting


Creating a Project Comparisons Report

From the Forecasting Tab

To create a Project Comparisons Report from the Forecasting tab, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Forecasting tab
  2. Click the Explore subtab
  3. Sort and filter the list of projects and click the Add to compare toggle next to all projects you want to add to the report
  4. Click the Create a comparison report button in the bottom right corner

From the Reports Tab in a Project

To create a project comparisons report within a project, follow these steps:

  1. While in a project, click on the Reports tab and expand the Built-in Reports section
  2. Click the Start Report button to the far right of the Project Comparisons section
  3. Sort and filter the list of projects and select the check boxes for all projects you want to add to the report
  4. Click the Add to report button to create the report with the selected projects

Display Settings

The display settings are used to change how the cost data is displayed.

Selecting a Categorization

Click on the first drop-down list in the Display Settings section to select a categorization for the report cost data to be organized by. The options include the built-in UniFormat, built-in MasterFormat, or Custom Categorizations.

If Custom Categorizations is selected, you will need to select the categorization for each project using the drop-down in each project column. These custom categorizations should use the same coding structure across all projects in order to be matched correctly.

Display Costs

Click on the second drop-down list in the Display Settings section to select the way direct costs and markups will be displayed in the report. This functions similarly to the display cost settings for a project in Join.


In the Metrics section click the Settings button to select the Units of Measure to be used as the unit price ($/UNIT) for cost calculations and comparisons. You can select from any of the built-in Units of Measure or custom ones you've created for your projects. To change the Unit of Measure used in the calculations click the Pin button when hovering next to a Unit of Measure.


The Escalation section can be used to adjust historical costs based on location and time. Escalation rates can be entered manually or automatically applied using Gordian's RSMeans Construction Cost Indexes. The Escalating Historical Costs article provides a detailed breakdown of how to correctly apply escalation factors to your data.

Creating a Comparison Average

After the projects have been added to a project comparisons report, a new average column can be added to help build a conceptual estimate for your project by following these steps:

  1. Click the Start a comparison average button in the top left of the report
  2. Rename the column based on your project or Milestone (optional)
  3. Upload an image and choose a color for the column by clicking the Options button in the top right corner of the column and selecting Customize
  4. Enter a quantity for the selected Units of Measure for the project and the total costs will be calculated based on the average $/UNIT of the comparable projects

Tip: You can manually override the average $/UNIT or average Total for each row by clicking into the cell and editing the cost value. Cells that have been overridden will be indicated with a green dot. Clicking the green dot will allow you to reset the value back to the average or add a note explaining why it was changed.

Saving a Report

The project comparisons report can be saved and accessed at any time from the Reports page using the following steps:

  1. Click the Report button in the upper right-hand corner of the report
  2. Select Save as...
  3. Enter a report name (required) and a description (optional)
  4. Click the Save button

Tip: If you make changes to a saved report, you will also have the option to select Save or Save a copy... during step #2.

How do I get access to Project Comparisons?

If your company doesn’t have access to the Project Comparisons report then please reach out to your account manager or send an email to If your company has access but you don’t see it, then reach out to your company administrator and ask them to change your company role to Manager or above.