MS Project Online vs Desktop version- MS Project Online has all the same functionality as the Desktop version with additional enterprise capabilities, such as:
(+) Timesheets- Team members can create/update task status through a Project Web App (PWA) webpage
(+) Resources can be managed across multiple MS Project files
(+) check-in/ check-out capability if multiple PMs or project coordinators are modifying the project file. here is some online project editing capability, but it's limited and works best by checking out to modify on the desktop client, publishing, and checking back in.
MS Project Online licensing- Project Online comes in 3 subscription licenses. Project plans 1, 3, and 5. Plan 1 required for each team member for timesheet/task reporting. Plan 3 for project managers. Plan 5 for the Project Web App administrator.
Jira BigPicture (ver 8.4) Limitations I've only spent a few hours tinkering with BigPicture. Limitations I've found so far (vs MS Project).
(-) Cumbersome task planning. No ability to switch between a basic task vs a Jira Issue. If a task is a Jira Issue, I'm not finding the ability to assign assign multiple resources to it.
(-) No budget management.
(-) No timeline feature. Useful feature in MS Project to pick select items from the Gantt chart.
Jira BigPicture (ver 8.4) Advantages
(+) Risk management. Looks like risk management activities can be linked directly to the risk register/matrix. Not sure if this exists in MS Project
(+) Agile/Kanban features are in MS Project but seem to be limited.
Regarding task tracking-
When individual team members to enter timesheets in MS Project Online, the remaining hours decrement automatically against logged hours. Individuals can also update the estimate remaining hours. Some disadvantages are that populating a timesheet and searching for the right task is cumbersome and slower than the Tempo app in Jira.
Regarding budget management-
BigPicture does not have any budgeting capabilities as far as I can tell. Not even basic functionality of baseline vs actual costs, unless you customize a workaround with custom number field.
Regarding project reporting in PowerBI
I've found any data in a project file was accessible for custom PowerBI reports. A bit of a learning curve for the Odatabase schema, but all the data is there. PowerBI reports won't be live, but you can program to refresh at a specified time on a daily basis.
Regarding project analysis-
The Visual Reports feature in MS Project is powerful. You can export all data to an excel workbook and use pivot tables. For example you can slice the data to analyze cost/labor/material by resource/task/time period, etc.