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By: Holly Welles on August 21st, 2019

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How Do Data-Driven Decisions Benefit Construction Businesses?

Operating Insights

Data makes the world go round. With access to high-speed, readily available information, companies across a range of industries can ensure smart decision making and better investments. Even the construction industry isn't immune to data and digital transformation.

As context, a lot of money exchanges hands over the course of a project. Using data is just smart business. There are so many ways data can shape construction into something more—both financially and otherwise—that every construction professional should be paying attention.

Here's a taste of what data can do for your business, looking at predictive analytics, equipment investments, and other areas where data is applicable.

Predictive Analytics

Predicting every aspect of a project before it begins can save your company a significant amount of time and money. Just understanding weather patterns or traffic can help a company preempt problems. Fortunately, there's data and information stored in almost everything, so you can know exactly what's going on around you before anything gets started.

For predictive analytics to be effective, you have to implement it at the earliest possible time to ensure everything runs smoothly. You can work through your plans efficiently and store info for easy retrieval later as long as you have an idea of what the future might hold. This allows project owners to get ahead of their work and make informed decisions.

Managing Disputes

When a lot of people are working together, an argument is pretty much inevitable. The more complicated your project is, the more misunderstandings and mistakes you'll need to handle. Mitigating these problems will ultimately come down to having easily accessible facts from a trusted data source. Attempting to solve an issue without access to information will prove far more difficult.

By constantly monitoring and collecting data on a project, you'll have plenty of information to share among your team. This information can help clear up any misunderstandings in the field and get everything back on track quickly. Even in the boardroom, data can help settle disputes among investors and shareholders about financial management. As long as there's information to look back on, you can settle arguments and more effectively reduce downtime.

Equipment Investments

Almost everything in the construction industry is expensive. The heavy equipment at just one project site could cost millions of dollars. Owning that equipment might sound great, but that's a lot of money for machinery that may not create long-term benefit for your firm. When deciding if you want to invest capital, you should make sure you're going to utilize everything to its full potential.

Fortunately, data-based decision making can help you allocate funds effectively. To make sure you'll take full advantage of the equipment, you should calculate the utilization rate. For example, if you're going to use a piece of equipment for 22 days, or 176 hours, then you would have made 100% utilization and the investment is worth it. If you don't hit that mark, you might want to consider renting your equipment to save money.

Connecting Every Sector

Architects and engineers may share the same vision, but they both take a very different approach to reaching a goal. Getting a building from a 2D drawing to a 3D project is complicated, after all. While data can certainly facilitate conflict resolution, you can also employ the information across platforms to keep every professional working on the project on the same page.

When you link all of the available information together, engineers can make an architect's vision come to life and architects can make sure the engineers are happy with a workable design. Data has a lot of overlap between different fields, making it far easier to finish a project within budget and before your deadline. No matter how complex the process, software allows teams to communicate progress more effectively.

Data-Driven Decisions in Construction

Data may seem like something that's only useful to people in the technology industry, or with professionals who handle money on a daily basis. This is far from the truth, as data can help everyone get ahead. It's one of your most valuable assets, keeping track of the weather, aiding with collaboration, managing disputes, and assisting with other responsibilities. Data ensures that every stage of a project goes as it should, from design to the final touches.

Naturally, running an organization is going to come with a lot of tough decisions to make at a moment's notice. That's a whole lot of stress in an industry that deals with so much money. With the proper implementation of data, however, you'll make informed decisions and get an idea of the best way to propel your project forward.


hollywelles-3Holly Welles is a freelance writer who covers construction and real estate innovations for publishers across the web, including NCCER and Constructible. She also runs her own residential real estate blog, The Estate Update.