August 16, 2021
Capital projects amass an endless amount of details: labor, material and equipment resources; schedule, cost and work scopes; more stringent requirements to adhere to and risks to assess. Sorting them out can feel like wading through a thousand flags, all vying for your attention.
Individually, each one imparts a piece of information from a moment in time in your project. But what do they mean collectively for the overall picture of your project? Because that data is connected, this is where portfolio analytics can help you make sense of it all.
Portfolio analytics consolidates and organizes all those details into understandable, quantifiable, data-driven insights — not just across the life cycle of one project, but all the ones on your current project docket. Here’s how.
Transforms quantitative data into easily digestible visuals
In construction, time is precious, finite commodity that you can’t afford to waste. Analytics software makes more efficient use of the hours in your day by taking copious amounts of information and presenting all that connected data in portfolio dashboards and other simply formatted graphics. Think of these as a much more focused, scaled-down version of a report that is designed to serve up just what you need, when you need it. Portfolio analytics dashboards — often customizable to specific needs and audiences — help you focus your energies on managing the critical aspects of your projects, rather than scouring through piles of indecipherable or hard-to-find data. Such graphic representations help you analyze in a snapshot where things stand at any given moment.
But rather than just responding to the information in reactive mode, you can use those visuals in a more proactive way to more easily stay on top (and ahead) of anything that develops during the course of the build. Maybe you simply want to keep tabs on the financial performance of all your projects. Or you want to know at the beginning of the day’s work where to focus your time and attention. Or you want to take a comparative approach to monitoring the progress of site crews to see who’s working ahead of schedule or may be starting to fall behind so you can divert necessary resources.
Directs your attention to developing or occurring risks
One of the most effective ways to truly know when you do have to divert resources is by employing earned value management (EVM) metrics. These key performance indicators interpret your data for you, translating it all into simple numeric values (and presented in your dashboards) that can give you real-time insights into the efficiency of your schedule, costs and work scope.
EVM metrics are sensitive to fluctuations in timelines (reflected in the schedule performance index) and budgets (in the cost performance index), allowing you to know in real time — and even trending over a period of time — when something is veering far enough off course (outside their natural, acceptable operating ranges) to warrant a closer look and possible remedy. When this happens, alerts and status indicators will draw attention to the issues that most require your time and attention, making EVM a worthy time-saving, reliable, risk-management tool.
That’s part of what makes these metrics so valuable to your portfolio analytics. When evaluating performance within a project, or when comparing one project against another, you’ll know which areas are performing better than others, and which need to be tended to.
Enables immediate decision making through real-time analyses
As you look at the connected data of your projects, what patterns are emerging? Are any creating cause for concern? What areas (and teams) seem to be underperforming and what can be done about it before it worsens and impacts project milestones and budgets? Are there unexpected and marked irregularities in your metrics indicating the need for a deeper dive or is it traceable to a known event? Where are opportunities for improved ROI?
When the right people (key project team members) have the right information (through EVM) at the right time (via dashboards, charts and other graphics), the right decisions based on the above questions and more can be made to keep your project moving forward. That’s what the combination of earned value metrics along with dashboard flexibility and accessibility can do for your portfolio analytics.
It’s the timely, easily understood data that helps optimize the decisions vital to overall business profitability, not just day-to-day jobsite progress. The good news is that data analytics is increasingly being adopted as a process within the construction industry. And there are strong signs it will grow in the next few years as more construction companies discover its applicability across their capital projects portfolio.
Portfolio analytics allows you to leverage the value of your connected data. Industry-leading software like InEight’s Connected Analytics helps you not only make sense of the quantitative metric values, but enables you to gain the qualitative insights from them that you need to confidently manage the complexities of your capital projects. Request an InEight software demo today to get started.