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What construction leaders must know about data and analytics?

Engineering Procurement and Construction

Data, analytics, and business intelligence have started being discussed more in the construction industry as organizations witness the benefits other industries are realizing from these technologies. The construction industry that is already reeling under productivity shortages has realized that turning towards data and taking a data-driven approach towards decision-making, problem-solving and risk management may well be crucial for productivity, profitability, and success.

Many forces are influencing this interest towards accelerating digital transformation strategies; the pandemic being the most compelling of the reasons presently. Tools such as BIM, data analytics, mobile solutions, and the use of data science in the construction industry are seeing growing interest as use-cases and success stories form.

Collaborative methods and transparent operations are also becoming increasingly important in the wake of constant disruption. Granular transparency is emerging as a critical driver of good business decisions and optimized risk management.

By leveraging construction data with construction data analytics, companies can gain deep insights that can help them solve business problems with greater confidence and make informed decisions to improve present and future outcomes.

Construction companies are looking towards construction data analytics to boost the productivity and profitability of existing projects and better plan future projects.

Here are a few construction analytics examples and areas that can help this industry augment outcomes.

Improve job site processes and productivity

Construction companies can leverage construction data, analyze it and identify opportunities to drive improvements across the job site. Construction technology data analytics helps organizations identify gaps in existing processes and workflows and help them evaluate ways to improve workflows, select the best candidates for automation, and improve efficiencies and productivity.

Construction data analytics also helps companies identify the wasteful, time-consuming, or error-prone processes that lead to time and resource wastage. Knowing where to plug the leaks and where to drive better technological enablement using construction data then helps organizations drive better outcomes like on-time project delivery and better cost control.

Better risk mitigation

Capably harvesting and analyzing construction data can help companies operating in this space identify potential risks and problems and assist them with better project management. Real-time data and insights delivered from construction data analytics help organizations gain better transparency into project costs and overruns.

Overlaying project-centric information with construction data also reveals trends that can be further utilized to improve project outcomes and avoid risks.

Improve decision making with predictive analytics

The construction industry has multiple stakeholders and several moving parts. Construction technology data analytics helps organizations move towards more predictive capabilities and move away from their existing reactive stance. Developing the capacity to mine, harvest, manage and analyze large volumes of construction data in real-time can be a game-changer.

With predictive analytics joining the construction technology data analytics toolkit, organizations can apply multiple scenarios based on the insights to improve estimates, avoid failures and reduce costs. Predictive analytics not only helps construction companies leverage construction data to improve outcomes of existing projects but also helps them avoid failure in future projects.

Asset and equipment management and maintenance

Equipment delays or failures can significantly impact schedules and cause delays and budget overruns. Elevating asset and equipment management and maintenance capabilities can bring about a big difference in productivity and also drive timely project completion.

Construction data analytics takes the pain out of asset and equipment management and maintenance by leveraging predictive analytics. With deep insights into equipment performance and maintenance needs, construction companies can ensure that all assets and equipment are performing as desired, maintenance schedules adhere, and future maintenance plans are designed with greater confidence.

Improve budgeting and planning

Construction data analytics can be a valuable tool to improve budget and planning capabilities for construction companies and ensure that the budgeted costs meet the actuals and enable all stakeholders to take proactive actions to mitigate risks.

With insights drawn from real-time as well as historical data, construction companies can view the dynamic movements and unforeseen challenges that emerge in projects owing to either lack of preparation or without detailed information. The capability to leverage construction data with financial information helps companies analyze expenses and costs daily or weekly and provide timely alerts that assist in keeping the projects on track.

Construction data analytics helps companies quickly and continuously analyze project data, assess progress, and design mitigation plans. With real-time or near real-time controls in place using the right technology implementations, construction companies can capably track events or problems that correlate with the erosion of bid margins. This approach moves the company’s stance from retrospective reporting to proactive management of factors influencing budgets and planning. Construction technology data analytics, for example, quickly and continuously analyze project data and evaluate the progress rate. This enables managers to react faster to potential problems.

What drives construction data analytics?

As construction companies move towards digital transformation to build resilience in disruptive times, it will become essential to treat these initiatives as a part of the core strategy. Leveraging construction technology applications to increase the volume of construction data to drive analytics addresses one part of the data analytics spectrum. Along with this, it becomes even more essential to create an interconnected enterprise through which data flows seamlessly.

Many construction companies collect loads of construction data. This data, however, remains stored in disparate systems, purchasing order histories, or accounting records amongst others. This data not only has to be cleaned and organized into a format that can be digitally recognized, but it also has to be cohesive. When construction data analytics gains access to comprehensive data, they can then capitalize the hidden insights.

Construction leaders have to now move beyond old school activities such as installing new software and hardware systems. However, the explosion of digital transformation in construction gives those operating in this industry the capability to create competitive differentiation, reduce costs and improve profitability. Analyzts and advisors like McKinsey have spoken of how mining insights from construction data that is distributed across different groups, such as project estimates v/s actual costs, person-hour data, cross-project field-productivity metrics, etc. become essential to deliver value and drive improved outcomes. This is again, only possible, where workflows, processes, and core operating units integrate seamlessly with the IT.

Organizations that leverage construction data and move ahead on the construction data analytics path can significantly improve their win rates. They can conduct better negotiations with contractors and sub-contractors, drive better time and resource management, improve decision speed and reduce costs. An integrated ERP platform like Microsoft Dynamics 365 and specialized solutions to address various problem areas become central to the digitization move. Ensuring that the platform unifies the data across all fields, sites and contractors also becomes essential.

Leaders in the construction space have to look at increasing digital capabilities to thrive in this VUCA world. They, however, will only be able to leverage the promise of digital technologies when they can capably put the available construction data into use, identify ways to build an interconnected enterprise to access more comprehensive data and make the right data co-relations that ultimately impact business outcomes. Let us show you how data-driven businesses can thrive and achieve great construction outcomes with construction technology data analytics.