Engineering and construction (E&C) projects require a lot of resources and generate massive amounts of data, but historically the E&C industry has lagged behind in comparison to other industries when it comes to embracing technology. Companies going against the grain to take advantage of big data and analytics are seeing significant results and gaining competitive advantage over their adversaries. Here are five reasons the engineering & construction industry should embrace an analytics platform:
- Reduced rework, waste and project delivery times. According to an article by Forbes, material waste and remedial work make up 35% of costs for construction companies. Without modern software technology to augment and streamline designs, revisions, and reporting, minor changes could take weeks or even months of back and forth communication with engineers, architects, and others involved. Technology can decrease design and revision times tremendously and ensure that your builders always have the latest version of the plans to work from, which can also mean less re-work and material waste. JE Dunn’s data driven system helped them save $11 million on a $60 million civic center construction project and shortened completion time by 12 weeks1.
- Information at your fingertips. It’s common for data to get stuck in a bottleneck at a specific person, department, or tucked away on someone’s computer hard drive, or lost in a sea of emails. Accessing that data means waiting on other people to provide it, and often the data is already outdated by the time a report is put together. Tools such as Sharepoint can minimize this problem, and deploying your documents to an accessible host via a Sharepoint migration can help increase transparency. With systems now moving to the cloud, that data can be accessed by anyone who needs it whenever they need.
- Visualization. Many companies still use spreadsheets to share company information, but how much information do you really get from looking at a row of numbers that are a mile long? As more and more people experience data through visualization tools such as Spotfire and Tableau, spreadsheets seem increasingly slow and cumbersome in comparison. Data visualization tools allow you blend multiple data sources in real time and identify visual trends and patterns immediately. Many of these tools also allow you to “drill around” information, so you can view data by project, region, manager, or any combination of specific fields you might need to identify the cause of a problem and get real-time answers to any questions that arise.
- Mitigate Risk. Being able to quickly gather and view past data allows companies to evaluate and prevent risk in the future as well as identify opportunities for improvement.
- Competitive Advantage. Analytics can be used in a variety of ways to improve efficiency, reduce costs, create better estimations and provide project transparency. Research by both Forbes and Ernst & Young revealed that “top performing organizations saw tangible business benefits from data and analytics, giving them a competitive advantage over rivals.”
These are just a few of the ways big data and analytics can benefit your organization. If you are interested in learning more about how big data and analytics make it easier (and cheaper) to identify and manage project costs before they become a major problem, check out our Cost Control Analytics eBook!
If you have any questions or would like to discuss some different ways technology can help give your company a competitive advantage, schedule a quick call: Click here to book a brief call on my calendar!