Data to review, share, store, transfer, visualize, query and utilize to update our projects
There is little doubt that a great deal of software and hardware is being created to help the construction industry become more efficient. More than $500 million was invested during 2015 in private technology firms who are working to build these solutions. This is an increase of more than 10X of the investment capital that was deployed during 2014! There is definitely something going on here.
There are two critical challenges that we face as we seek to improve our productivity and output while increasing quality, timeliness, and safety. The first is how to review, pilot, and then effectively implement solutions that can help your people and your projects. The second and perhaps more daunting task is how to integrate all of these solutions. A solution will typically improve a workflow by one of two methods. One, it can streamline and reduce the amount of time required to perform that associated tasks such as moving from manual layout to a robotic total station. Or two, it can remove entire steps from the workflow and create newer, better workflow. Both are good and bring value to the company who use the solution.
Once a solution has been vetted, implemented, and then rolled out the second and bigger challenge is how to utilize the data that is now being created. Big Data is the general name being given to all of the information we can now collect from many of the software and devices used. This data can be analyzed and the patterns revealed are very useful in objectively judging performance as well as discovering trends in projects and workflows. In construction this data needs to become accessible to other applications and it needs to be easy to “assemble.” A great example that is past the early adopter stage in our industry is using BIM to develop a takeoff of materials that can be used for costing, scheduling, and other purposes. Today, Excel is the ultimate “connector” of data streams and a powerful tool to help format, condition, and transfer data from one system to the next. This is a great first step but as an industry we have to get better.
Don Henrich is an accomplished technology veteran in both the MCAD and the AEC industries. As Chief Operating Officer of Assemble he is responsible for strategic vision, sales, marketing, customer support, partners, and field operations. Don and his wife Noel have three children, reside in Marblehead, MA and spend as much time as possible sailing on Massachusetts Bay.
If you enjoyed this post, please help it spread by emailing it to a friend, or sharing it on Twitter or LinkedIn.