Today’s real-time collaborative technologies are mining large data repositories to get game-changing benefits from keeping all project decision makers on the same page
Power of Big Data- Construction during the pandemic accelerated adoption of technologies that is changing the building business model, improving collaboration and productivity, and driving up salaries and profit margins.
Tools such as 5D BIM, data analytics, drones, mobile solutions, and collaborative tools such as common data environments, are becoming more common among larger construction companies around the world. While they improve productivity in real time, they are perhaps more significant in paving the way for more disruptive technologies to be adopted in the future.
Big data provides construction companies with a method to collect, analyze, and apply vast amounts of information to help solve business problems and provide critical, informed insight for future activities. It helps companies complete projects on time, bid more accurately, and build more efficiently. Big data in construction, however, also poses a significant challenge when it comes to collecting, sharing, and using the data generated across the complex construction ecosystem.
Today’s construction firms are starting to adopt collaborative technology such as real-time, cloud-powered analytics to mine large structured and unstructured data repositories to make sure all stakeholders – architects, consultants, engineers, subcontractors, specialty tradesmen, clients, operators, agents, and suppliers – are on the same page and informed with real-time data. These technologies have the potential to redefine the industry by offering game changing benefits.
Here’s what industry leaders need to know to manage big data better:
- Prioritize digital technology – Big data enables construction and engineering companies to collect and analyze cost-related information, site-based transactions, photographs, communications, planning changes, and more. The construction industry is awash with data – literally thousands of pieces of information are generated for every project. Without digital technology, it is nearly impossible to identify key data items to enable a swift reaction to potential problems or apply positive outcomes to future projects.
- Mitigate risks – Harvesting and analyzing big data from construction projects can help identify potential risks and problems. For example, by analyzing productivity of key resources such as labor and equipment, big data solutions can inform the project team of potential delays, possible fatigue, and overall project time and cost overruns. In addition, by collecting both structured and unstructured data, it is possible to overlay project-centric information with corporate data to help identify trends. If a negative trend is ignored, the entire business could be exposed to unacceptable risk.
- Leverage predictability – Using big data systems alongside disruptive technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) provides critical information and insight before a project even breaks ground. This allows potential issues such as coordination problems on construction sites, conflicts between different disciplines and trades, and even the weather impact to be addressed before it’s too late. Research suggests that 98% of mega projects suffer cost overruns of more than 30%, and 77% of mega projects are completed at least 40% late. The ability to pivot based on data insights could make a significant impact on reducing costs and time overruns.