The Power of Connected Construction Data
By Catie Williams
November 10, 2020
We are all connected — this is an undeniable fact. We feel it day in and day out, although it might be hard to actually quantify. But in construction, true connectivity can be measured in terms of increased efficiency and productivity if meaningful data is being shared and used proactively.
Too many times in the past, a project team member would manually manipulate and input data on a paper spreadsheet. That information, that important data, was often not being shared with fellow stakeholders in real time. Worse yet, the historical data used to make those entries might be lost forever because the organization was still working with desktop spreadsheets that resulted in siloed planning.
Connected Data Is the Answer
As capital projects grow bigger and more complex, there is a growing demand for better decision-making in real time. That means project data must be connected across the entire project life cycle. Unfortunately, owners often don’t have the time or the tools to know on a micro level what is going on daily with a contractor on a given project. But all parties want to know, at any time, if the schedule is in alignment. Are there any major issues that need to be addressed right now? Perhaps from a safety perspective — those high-level metrics everyone absolutely needs to see. This heightened visibility between the owner and the contractor helps mitigate any potential issues that might arise because issues are being presented in real time as opposed to monthly or even weekly reports. With a connected system, the data is flowing constantly, visible to every stakeholder.
The more integration and connectivity that occurs through this data sharing means crews and equipment will be better in sync. Crews can begin work on time because the materials and equipment are in place — everyone is on the same page at the same time. The best construction project software can pull together people and materials and put both in alignment with a realistic schedule that provides everyone with the most advanced level of project certainty. This certainty includes a real-time assessment of productivity — perhaps a view of crews that are over or underachieving and where to move people and materials to ensure a project will be finished on time and on budget. And when all is said and done, isn’t that the end goal?