How The Construction Industry Can Use Data Effectively to Maximise Benefits
The construction industry is one of the most data-intensive industries in the world. Construction companies generate thousands of gigabytes of data daily. The quantum of data has more than doubled in the last couple of years since the construction industry has embraced digitalisation and opted for construction software solutions. From design plans and blueprints to real-time project updates and job site videos, construction companies have a wealth of data at their fingertips.
However, until recently, most of this data was ignored or underutilized. Construction companies have only begun to scratch the surface of what’s possible with data analytics. By using data analytics, construction companies can gain insights that can help them improve safety, reduce costs, and optimize schedules.
Allow us to start with some statistics about data mismanagement
What are the sources of Data in the construction industry?
An FMI study says that roughly 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are generated every day. So, where does this data come from? The main source of data in the construction industry is from where the work happens — on the site! This is in addition to the data generated in the offices too!
Here’s a list of the main sources of data in the construction industry
- Design and construction
- Building management systems
- Infrastructure and transport systems
- Cost management
- Resource management
And this is where the traditional construction industry depended greatly on spreadsheets and sticky notes. However, these days, many construction companies have moved ahead to digital cloud-based construction software solutions like VisiLean which helps in streamlining and enhancing the workflows. VisiLean offers an integrated Lean-BIM environment that is easy to use.
Why is data mismanaged in the construction industry?
So, this brings us to a very basic question. If the construction industry is loaded with data, why are the companies not using it to optimise their outcomes? What are the challenges that construction companies the world over are facing when it comes to drawing insights and improving the processes based on this data?
Here are two of the main challenges the construction industry faces when it comes to managing data effectively.
Challenge 1: Bad Data
30% of firms shared that over 50% of their data is bad [Autodesk + FMI]
Bad data creates a cascading effect. The insights from bad data fuel poor decision making, and that, in turn, leads to unnecessary risks and heavy losses.
Challenge 2: Lack of data strategy
Since this is a relatively new area, many companies do not have a cohesive data strategy in place. This might be due to huge amounts of data piling up. This data would not be easily accessible to the stakeholders, creating a gap in communications. The need of the hour is to put a data strategy in place along with your digitisation plans.
So, why is data important in the construction industry?
The construction industry today is in a state of flux. It is highly competitive. There is tremendous pressure to deliver projects promptly despite the many shortcomings. The decisions have to be made quickly and accurately so that projects are completed within the budget and time constraints. And for this to happen, data, analytics and insights have to be available quickly to everyone involved. This exchange of information has to be harmonious for the construction companies to maximise their benefits
The key benefits of using data effectively are:
- Focus on decision making
- A common data environment
- Flexible visualizations
- Workflow integrations
1) Focus on decision making
How are you, as a team, making decisions? What are the data sets that you are using to come to these decisions? With digitalisation, a project manager has a huge amount of data that is easily accessible. Having a data strategy as part of your solution allows you to have improved clarity in decision making. It is also important to upskill your workforce when you shift toward a digital — data-driven environment.
2) A common data environment
With digitalisation and the increased use of construction management solutions, it is now possible for stakeholders to have all the data in one place. This makes it more effortless for everyone involved to work collaboratively. This common data environment reduces the chance of manual errors too.
3) Flexible visualizations
Data, by itself, cannot work magic. It has to be represented visually in a user-friendly format for the best outcomes. Be it through Gantt charts, coloured boards, or BIM visualisation, the data has to be presented in such a way that everyone involved can understand and work optimally.
4) Organising & managing data
With more and more construction companies replacing the traditional methods with digital software solutions, there are different tools to manage different requirements. However, if you are looking at optimising the workflows it is imperative that these systems should be able to function harmoniously when integrated. This allows the construction company to work with ease and more efficiently to attain favourable outcomes.
The key benefits of using VisiLean to manage data
The construction project management ecosystem these days cannot thrive without a robust construction software solution. The huge amount of data that gets generated has to be analysed and churned into insights that will help stakeholders to make decisions faster.
VisiLean helps the stakeholders to collect, collate and collaborate their workflows based on this data.
VisiLean is a Lean-BIM integrated solution that allows teams to work more collaboratively
VisiLean uses a simple, easy to understand and user-friendly interface to decode the data sets you have.
It is visually powerful and allows you to work more efficiently.