It should not come as a surprise to anyone working within the industry that high-investment construction projects are always risky. Nowadays, the intended structure will be completed eventually in most instances, but the project will often change hands between different contractors before completion. From the perspective of contractors, it’s a failure each time they are unable to finish a capital project and turn a good profit from it. However, the chances of failure and loss can be reduced significantly with the introduction of construction infrastructure analytics.
Construction Infrastructure Analytics: Introduction
Construction infrastructure analytics refers to the use of data science for planning, developing, implementing, executing, streamlining, securing, and improving the project in its entirety. For example, this civil engineering firm St. Louis contractors, architects, and investors work with, provides a wide range of services in infrastructure analytics. They assist professionals and investing businesses with everything from project planning, workflow management, and GIS mapping/implementation to asset management, database management, and field data collection.
Data Management Problems Contributing to Failure Rates
Data suggests that there are five primary data management issues which have a high correlation to construction project failures. If the identified problems can be dealt with effectively in due time, the risk of failure could be diminished considerably. Let’s quickly go through the five data management problems that the construction sector is facing today:
- Incessant, time consuming, and repetitive pen and paper reporting.
- Disorganized data management.
- Use of too many separate and often incompatible data management methods.
- Poor interdisciplinary collaboration.
Digital Data Vs Paper Data: Wasting Money, Time, and Effort
It should be evident that the problems cited are all directly or indirectly related to a lack of digitization and automation. While several other sectors across the multiple industries have already accepted digitization for its advantages, the construction sector is still too reliant on archaic methods of pen and paper data collection and management.
Even if a company adopts software tools to manage one division of the project, they might be reluctant to digitize others. This creates several additional problems such as the following:
- Paper data and digitized data cannot be synced without converting one or the other into a compatible format (scanning/printing).
- Unless all sources of available data are synced, data analysis and risk assessment steps will remain incomplete.
The amount of time wasted in repetitively converting and then interfacing the two different sources of data into one format is an extremely time-consuming process which must be eliminated to save money, time, and effort. Digitize as much of the paper-reliant data as possible, as quickly as possible.
Common Benefits of Using a Digital Construction Analytics Solution
In addition to the points already made, digitized construction infrastructure analytics also has several other benefits such as:
- Aggregating and organizing structured and unstructured datasets.
- Providing data-backed, actionable insights to improve project efficiency.
- Predicting possible risks and suggesting best possible alternatives.
- Automating repetitive reporting processes.
- Reducing data calls.
Perhaps the biggest issue with trying to manage data without a singular digital interface is the lack of visualization. Productivity receives an immediate boost, and data interpretation becomes so much easier when everything is being constantly organized, reorganized, updated, and presented to the entire team in an interactive, easy-to-understand, visual format.