5 ways the construction industry can innovate with analytics in 2022

Construction Analytics 2022

Data analytics might seem overwhelming but here are 5 ways the construction industry can innovate with analytics in 2022.

Data analytics could give you a competitive edge

If you aren’t analysing your construction project, don’t stress. You are not alone.

It’s estimated that only 50% of businesses are gathering data.  Only 12% of those are taking action to analyse it to uncover deeper, actionable outcomes.  The stats for the construction industry are less encouraging.

This means on the plus side, data analytics will give you an edge over your competition!

Construction data is a gold mine

So much data is collected in the construction industry, whether knowingly or not.

It’s collected at every stage of a project, from design to build and through to occupancy, by a variety of data-generating devices and systems.

That means that there’s a whole lot of data being collected.  Years and years of data, from a range of projects. Many with large budgets, across different locations and serving various clients.

Using your company’s data, you can analyse and present your information with simplicity through visual dashboards to reveal efficiencies, productivity, and growth opportunities is true value add.

That helps you also uncover problems that are draining your projects. It could potentially reveal blind spots and inefficiencies that can shift your operation into a positive trajectory when rectified.

In fact, when analysing thousands of data streams for a project, it’s often that you’ll uncover other real problems and opportunities that you weren’t aware of.  Find insights that could help save you from a major crisis or identify hidden opportunities.

Here are ways the construction industry can innovate with analytics in 2022.

Project Benchmarking

Imagine a cost library of all your projects that allows you to compare projects side by side.  You would even be able to create a graph of all your projects and compare them from any perspective.

Imaging having a library containing cost breakdown and key project benchmarks including $/m2 and functional units like cost per bed, cost per key, etc.

You’d be able to examine drivers such as:

  • Variations
  • Weather
  • Location and access
  • Resources
  • Plant usage
  • Build time

The tool would form the backbone of any preliminary cost or time analysis on prospective projects.

Then you could interrogate the data to compare progress of completed projects against active projects. The you might be able to highlight any common challenges or hurdles that may be imminent.

The power of benchmarking is very real.  The capabilities of a benchmarking solution could also include these types of user functions:

  • Filter and search a project cost database
  • View details of a single project
  • Compare multiple projects side by side
  • Produce project benchmark data
  • Calculate probable cost breakdown of proposed projects

A great example is DC2O’s Yardstick (https://dc2o.org/), which provides benchmarking for the operating costs of buildings.

Resource planning

Over time, as more and more data is collected, project managers gain deeper insight into forecasting and planning projects.  This level of data means that actual project roll outs and resources can be compared in great detail to the plan.  This helps to isolate the key drivers to any blowouts or shortfalls.

Somethin like this could be valuable for managing project maintenance across a portfolio of properties:

Live property maintenance dashboard

Live property maintenance dashboard

This knowledge could lead to improved output, increased productivity, and reduced costs on future projects.  Access to real-time and historical data helps engineers optimise operations, predict challenges, identify risks, and improve health and safety.

From timelines to asset management, every stage of the construction process could be optimised, clarified, and considered.  Project managers are able to make better, smarter, and more informed decisions that keep a project running on time and to budget.

Could you imagine the level of certainty gained in bidding for projects when you have the most granular level of detail of the resources of every project you’ve ever worked on?

Imagine the insights:

  • Capture the initial forecasts of all manpower on a project
  • Categorise the resources by trade, site, or any other attribute
  • As the project unfolds, compare these plans with the actual resources on site

Any other ideas spring to mind?

Project data analytics

Project managers are more often utilising big data to predict and mitigate potential issues.  It reduces the risk of costly mistakes being made during construction.  it also has a direct and profound impact on your budget and timeline.

But setting up a data analytics platform can be costly and can take a lot of time….if done poorly.

So how do you get it right?

The technical implementation of a Data Analytics platform should be treated no differently to any other software system implementation.  Integration and interoperability are also key considerations.  And the maintenance and implementation of security is paramount.

Below are key areas of consideration for any data analytics project in the construction industry:

  • implementing row or role based security
  • data integration or complex data transformation processes
  • statistical rigour applied to the presented values
  • Include data outside of the project specific data (ie weather, traffic, etc)
  • provide access to users who are not on your security domain

Showcase live project performance

What if you had a live project dashboard that everyone can see?

This dashboard would showcase analytics across the project and present an array of analytical perspectives. It would allow everyone involved in the project to explore and examine the project from any angle.  Key metrics could include:

  • Project progress
  • WHS metrics
  • Site deliveries
  • Subcontractors on site
  • Critical warning and messages
  • Weather forecasts

This sounds great in principle, right?

Very possible to build.  Here’s how:

Phase 1 – Build a static prototype

Building a prototype of a dashboard solution is a fast and economical way to prove the value of a Data Analytics concept.

Use a known set of data that has a rigid and highly templatised structure is the perfect basis for a prototype.   A static prototype allows for the rapid development of a dashboard solution as it avoids the complexity of automation.

Some of the key project attributes could include:

  • Project costs (Actual v Forecast)
  • Project program and major milestones
  • Key risks and issues
  • Quality performance metrics
  • Project Compliance
  • Key project metrics such as HR and WHS statistics

Phase 2 – Productionised live concept

Advancing from prototype to production will see the automation of the prototype and the extension of the data to include a much wider range of projects.

The key steps in this phase focus on the technical aspects of a data analytics platform as well as addressing security policies.

Once live, this solution will require maintenance and management by your team.  Expect this effort to be minimal, compared to the value you’ve created.

Read more about how to build a business dashboard that really works:  https://syntagium.com.au/how-to-build-a-business-dashboard-that-really-works/

The construction industry can innovate with analytics

At Syntagium, we want you to be in control of your construction projects, to confidently make better, faster, and more informed decisions, and turn data into a competitive advantage.  We believe the construction industry can innovate with analytics, relatively easily.

It’s time to take a look at your data and leverage its value:

  • Optimise performance to reduce costs and improve productivity
  • Identify and solve bottlenecks to refine systems and efficiencies
  • Analyse project trends to improve profitability

We hope these approaches will help you do more with what you already have and empower your business to bring meaning to your data.

Is 2022 the year for you?