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Data Indicators and Initial Account Setup in BigTime Foresight

To get started with BigTime Foresight, you must add specific data to the system. Below, we explain what kinds of data you’ll need to upload, what it will help you accomplish in Foresight, and what the data upload process looks like.

Account Setup Glossary of Terms

Before explaining how data import works in Foresight, let’s define some terms you’ll run into when getting started. 

Initial Start Date: Foresight will start measuring indicators based on fully uploaded data from this date.

Assignment Bill Rate: the price a client pays for a staffer’s working hours on a time & materials project. These bill rates are set up in various places – read this article to learn more.

Bill Rate: the hourly revenue rate set up at the project level. When calculating time & materials invoices, this is the rate that clients will be charged when staffers put work toward their project.

Contract: an agreement between two or more parties that outlines the rights and obligations of each party. Foresight allows managers to configure financial data related to a specific staffer working in the company to predict projects and company profitability better. A contract includes the bill rate (amount), bill rate (source of amount), cost rate, start date (contractual hiring date), and end date (of the staffer’s employment). 

Contract Start Date: the staffer’s contractual hiring date. 

Contract End Date: the end date of the staffer’s employment

Initial Account Setup: setting up a Foresight account/instance. These steps and system rules are followed while importing data from BigTime. 

Account Start Date: a start date for the data on a new Foresight account. This data is exported from BigTime to Foresight. 

BigTime’s Cost Rate: An established amount a staffer will charge per hour to work on a project. Both full-time employees and contractors hired by a firm can have hourly cost rates.

Time Entries: a detailed record of working hours devoted to a project. 

Contractor: Contractors are employees with hourly rates specified in their contract. Their compensation depends on how much work they put into a project. 

Initial Account Setup

Now that you understand some terms you’ll run into while setting up your Foresight account, let’s go through each type of data and how it applies in Foresight.

Account Start Date

You and your implementation manager should define the Account Start Date before creating your Foresight Account. The Account Start Date should be three months from the current date. Otherwise, there will be too much data for a user to configure easily. Since Foresight is about planning for the future, storing too much data from the past is unnecessary.

Objects that should not be updated before that start date include:

  • Time Entries (BigTime) - if they change in BigTime, those changes sync to Foresight
  • Bill Rates (BigTime): likewise, since these are connected with time entries, any changes to these in BigTime sync into Foresight automatically. 
  • Contracts: These are configurable in Foresight

Time Entries and Bill Rates

To import Time Entries (worklogs), you’ll first create assignments in the system without utilization set (0h planned). Time entries for those assignments will then be imported into Foresight from BigTime automatically. The same goes for bill rates, set up first in BigTime.

For clients who use Foresight, the source of truth about financials is Foresight. From the moment Foresight is launched, clients can use it to manage the bill rate source added to an assignment. They can change the rate source freely. The stake amount is only configurable in BigTime. The client manages this to predict project revenues and make financial plans. Users can change the bill rate when scheduling for the first time.


When you create your Foresight account, one contract will be created for each staff member on your BigTime staff list. From then on, these contracts will be managed in Foresight. Any change in the contract in Foresight will affect the corresponding contract in BigTime, making Foresight the source of truth for contracts.

Some important things to keep in mind about contract data:

  • The Contract Start Date should be the same as the Account Start Date if BigTime’s Employment Start Date is before the Account Start Date.
  • The Contract Start Date should be the same as BigTime’s Employment Start Date if BigTime’s Employment Start Date is after the Account Start Date.
  • The Contract End Date should match BigTime’s Employment End Date.
  • The contract Type will always be “Contractor (Hourly Cost)”.
  • Contract Capacity is calculated as BigTime capacity divided by 20 and distributed for every working day (Mon - Fri).
  • Hour Cost will be imported from BigTime’s Cost Rate field.
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