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Do You Have A Data Loss Problem?

 

Originally aired on 11/20/2019

13 Minutes

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As a project progresses through its life cycle, the goal is to seamlessly exchange data and documents from one stage of the workflow to the next. But construction project teams are typically composed of dozens of companies, all using their own solutions and standards. This has traditionally led to massive data loss as the project proceeds to the next stage of the life cycle.  In this webinar, learn how teams can mitigate data loss with a strong data exchange strategy bolstered by robust document management software. We’ll discuss strategies for:

  • Employing a digital single source of truth to ensure information flows smoothly through each project phase
  • Normalizing and standardizing project information to help to maintain the data’s integrity 
  • Supporting a “continuous turnover” process for streamlining the collection and preparation of project data and documents 

John Klobucar:

Hello, I’m John Klobucar with InEight. I’d like to welcome you to the latest webinar in our Document Management series. This webinar is titled, Do You Have a Data Loss Problem? We have two presenters today. First up will be Dave Wagner, who is a vice president of product marketing at InEight, as well as Tyler Ellerbeck, product manager of the InEight document management solution.

John Klobucar:

Let me tell you first about Dave. He’s been creating and managing construction-based document management software solutions for the last 15 years, and has worked with over 200 companies to better understand the cost-benefit structure for construction software.

John Klobucar:

Tyler’s chief responsibility is the management and delivery of the document product roadmap. Before joining InEight, Tyler worked in product management for Kiewit as part of the company’s technology department.

John Klobucar:

Now if you have any questions as you watch the webinar, please email them to webinars@ineight.com. Once again, that’s webinars@ineight.com, and Dave and Tyler will do their best to answer them. Also, this presentation is being recorded and we’ll be sending you a link to the video in about a week’s time. Once again, we’re glad you’ve joined us. And now let me introduce our first presenter, Dave Wagner.

Dave Wagner:

Thank you very much, John. So today what we’d like to talk about is do you have a problem with data loss as your projects move from one stage of the project to the next? So what’s the goal? The plan, the ideal situation is that we move through each stage of the project, from pre-planning all the way out to operations, that we can very nicely exchange data amongst all the members of the teams and move through the process without losing any data. The problem is, that’s really not reality. What we find is, is this collection of different products and different distributions and different people talking. And the information sort of gets moved in a bit of a random fashion leading to a consequence that you have this data loss problem and that as you move from one stage the project to the other, and as you move from one team to closer of dominating the work to the next, you lose a tremendous amount of the data that you collected during your earlier stages.

Dave Wagner:

So why is this, why do we have this huge loss or deprivation of data quality as we move through the process? Well, a big part of it is this idea that you have your siloed non-integrated software solutions that don’t talk, you have poor communication typically between your various team members. So even when the data is available, people may not know it. And we tend to use a lot of different types of data types in different files. So even if you have access to the data and you know it’s available, you may not be able to use it. So let’s dig into each of these in a little bit more detail.

Dave Wagner:

So for starters, we talked about disconnected solutions. This idea that you have a variety of different systems that could be as simple as hard copy or a file system over these two more generic systems like Excel or Office or Dropbox. To a variety of point systems that you use that do a great job at a very specific task. But frequently these systems don’t talk to each other, the data doesn’t exchange. You don’t have a way of even knowing in many cases what one side of the project is working on and to get that data when you need it at a future point of the project.

Dave Wagner:

So the simple goal is putting in a single source of truth. A single system that you can use, capture data into, find and retrieve it, use to distribute out to all the members of the project team, use to track to know exactly who touched it, when they touched it. And then of course analyze your data to see exactly what’s going on. This single source of truth allows this common environment at a project level for everyone on the project team to communicate and talk and work together so that you do need the data. The data is available, you know where to find it. The second problem we talked about, which is very true across all of our construction projects is you could have literally hundreds or even thousands of people working for tens or hundreds of companies, all trying to come together on a single project. And when those teams don’t collaborate, they don’t communicate with each other.

Dave Wagner:

You may not even know what data is available. And as a consequence you had that data loss. So another core key is creating an environment where you can collaborate across your project teams. It leverages the back of that single source of truth, but think of it as almost not just a single source of information, but a single source of truth to project members. A place where everyone can communicate and share information and know how to talk with everyone else, to make people aware of when data is available and what the data is. Third element I’d like to talk and suggest can also be improved that will help this data loss issue is normalizing and standardizing your data. If everyone is using different formats, different file types, different types of project data, different definitions of the project team members, different models. Then what you’re going to find is even if you have access to that data, it is the proverbial square peg in a round hole. It’s just not going to fit.

Dave Wagner:

And even if that data is available, you may not be able to use it. So by creating a standardization on the project, on what type of data you’re creating and how it’s going to be used, now you can combine taking advantage of that format to make sure that everyone can access the data very, very quickly and use it in tools that are necessary for them to do their job. Now, an interesting area of the project that probably suffers as much or more than any others when it comes to this data loss, is the turnover. Because the turnover by definition, you’re having to reach back into the project as it is transpired and pull that data, put it into a collection and then turn it over or close it out as part of a project handover and provide that to the rest of the project team.

Dave Wagner:

Now that data loss problem also means it really emphasizes your turnover problem, because you may not have access to the data that you need to do the proper turnover. Or if you do, it can take days, weeks, even months to collect all that data to properly do the turnover that you need. So as a consequence, one of the huge advantages to taking this approach to minimizing your data loss is that also means when it’s time to do the turnover, you’ve collected all that information throughout the project life cycle and turnover becomes now significantly easier because all that information is at your fingertips. So what does this all result in? Remember those huge gaps that we showed earlier when you were having that loss? Well, not only does that loss go away, but by putting this type of environment in place, you actually created additional opportunity, additional access to all the right data that you need as part of your overall project success.

Dave Wagner:

So again, single source of truth, creating a commitment, communication and collaboration, normalizing and standardizing your data and creating a continuous turnover really are the key, the magic bullets to making sure that you don’t have a data loss problem in your organization. Now what we’re going to do is turn it over to Tyler. And Tyler is going to show you a little bit on how the InEight document products can effectively solve these problems for you and minimize your data loss. Tyler, the floor is yours.

Tyler Ellerbeck:

Thanks, Dave. I’m going to go ahead and jump into the product and show how InEight document helps with managing data throughout the project life cycle, and also managing the collaboration against the different project teams. So obviously the document register is one of the key areas for collaboration and exchange of information. So the great thing about the document register is, is that it is the single source of truth. So you don’t have to worry about duplicate copies and people working off of different versions of the document. Another great thing is that the register displays the latest revision or version of the document. And so, as you can see here up top by default, it is viewing the latest unrestrained, making sure people aren’t building off of outdated drawings. If there is a need to see all the versions or revisions of the drawing, and then really see how the history has played out from engineering to construction, it can easily switch to my all view.

Tyler Ellerbeck:

And if I’m looking for my second floor plan in particular, I can come in here and easily see the 30, 60, 90 IFC. So like I said, you really see from engineering to construction, and then I can also see all the different revisions associated to that. Another way to manage and organize your documents on the project is using the folder structure. So if I come over here and select my document discipline status type, that will automatically create that folder structure for me, based on the metadata associated to the documents. So as you can see there, once I’ve selected that it automatically builds out the folder structure. Another nice thing about the register is that you can easily organize the documents using a folder structure. So if I come over here and expand out the folder structure, right now it’s set to standard, but I can use something called dynamic, which will actually build out the folder structure for me, based on the document’s metadata.

Tyler Ellerbeck:

So if I come here and select discipline status type, what you’ll see is that it automatically creates that folder structure for me. So if I come in here and underneath architectural, again throughout the project life cycle from engineering to construction, I can see my 30, 60, 90, my IFC. So if I want to go ahead and look at my IFC drawing for architectural, you’ll go ahead and filter the register to that view. And again, the nice thing is here. It’s not creating copies into these folders. It really just is a filtered view of the register, right? So as the project progresses and you need to share and distribute this information and these documents to other project team members, it’s very easy to do that from the register. So now that I want to send out the second floor plan and the first floor plan for architectural, they’re both IFC.

Tyler Ellerbeck:

I can go ahead and actually just generate that transmittal directly from the register and then using the project’s address book, I can go ahead and send this to Joe Fredricks internally at InEight, and I can also send it to Tyler Ellerbeck from engineering project services. And I can go and put a subject to let them know what it’s referencing. And then since these are both IFC, I can go ahead and say, the reason for issue is issued for construction and let them know to please respond by December 3rd, and then go ahead and fill out the message. And you’ll see, once I send this, it actually puts it into a formalized template with my project logo here in the top right. And then another nice thing is it’ll actually give them a link to download all the files that are associated to the transmittal, or they can actually have the individual links to download the files.

Tyler Ellerbeck:

The good thing about the transmittal is it not only sends us notification with the download links, but it also is providing access in the product. So now these users can go into their document register and see these drawings available. So if I log in as Tyler Ellerbeck, if I now go search for that second floor plan, you can see here that that document now shows up in my register. And again, just ensures everyone is working off the same version and there’s that single source of truth. So now that I’ve shown how to easily manage data throughout the project life cycle and exchange information across the different project teams, I will now demonstrate how the archive solution provides really that seamless turnover, both throughout the project and at closeout. So moving over to the archive solution, what this really provides is a locked down, offline version of the projects at a particular time.

Tyler Ellerbeck:

So this can be completed at any point during the project or at final closeout, and then making sure that it’s locked down, obviously ensures that the data integrity is maintained, which obviously is a very important part to the turnover process. But it still provides you the ability to locate in view information easily. So if I did need to come in here and actually reference a particular file on the document, I can come in here and actually easily view that file and then download it as well so I can view it on my desktop. And then if there were actually any comments associated to that drawing, I can actually come in here and view the comments that were made during the project. And then if I also want to see the metadata associated with the document, I obviously have the view here in the register, but I can also bring up the details page itself to see anything more particular.

Tyler Ellerbeck:

The nice thing is I also still have all the filtering and searching capabilities I would in the web. So if I do need to find something in particular, say I want to find all my civil drawings. I can go ahead and filter the register on that. And it still brings up the same information like I could in the web. And also here at the bottom I still have the toggles for the latest drawings or the documents, including the superseded versions. So again, the turnover solution really helps make sure that you don’t have to spend time collecting and identifying which documents need to be provided in the turnover. And you can give a simplified offline version that allows all the information to be accessible, but not necessarily modified. So, that shows the benefits of InEight document. So I appreciate everyone’s time and I will go ahead and pass it back to you, John. Thanks.

John Klobucar:

Thank you, Tyler. Again, if you have any questions, please email them to webinars@ineight.com. To learn more about InEight as well as our document management solutions, visit ineight.com and click on the request a demo button. And if you’d like to see a schedule of upcoming webinars, visit ineight.com/webinars. Thanks for watching, this concludes our presentation.