Our world is powered by data. Companies worldwide use data to make better decisions, predict future outcomes, and improve their efficiency—and the construction industry is no exception.
While construction professionals have adopted digitalisation and data-driven practices slower than others, they’ve now discovered the unique benefits that data analytics can bring to their projects.
Construction companies that don’t leverage the power of data risk falling behind.
Why you can’t ignore data analytics in construction
Construction companies are using data analytics more than ever to gain insights into their project performance and overall business. Collecting and managing the right data allows them to make better decisions, improve efficiency, and productivity, and build quality.
Without this data, it’s challenging to identify the trends that help you identify and solve potential problems, resulting in more time and money spent.
In an industry where large chunks of our budgets are spent on labour and materials, we benefit from every opportunity to decrease our costs, improve our efficiency, and minimise our material waste.
Including data analytics in our decision-making processes leads to cost savings, time savings, and increased productivity.
3 ways to take advantage of data in construction
Now that we’ve discussed the ‘why’ of data analytics in construction, let’s explore the ‘how’.
1. Break down silos and make your reporting more efficient
Construction data helps project managers make better decisions and breaks down silos between teams. For decades, the construction industry has relied on paper-driven processes for communication, reporting, and management.
However, the shift to digitalisation and the increased adoption of construction management software means that the data traditionally kept in disorderly filing cabinets and desk drawers now sit in the cloud.
As a result, stakeholders across a construction company, including contractors, subs, and third-party suppliers, can access information from anywhere—information that would have been out of reach in the past.
One of the biggest problems for construction companies pre-digitalisation is that paper-based reporting is unreliable: Papers get lost, emails don’t make it where they need to go, and it’s easy for subs to get behind on their paperwork.
When you use construction data stored in your management software, you can weed out the inefficiencies and challenges of paper reporting. You can speed up the process while making it easier to visualise data and collect data from different sources.
Digital solutions make your reports easily accessible in the cloud, saving you time, helping you navigate human errors in data entry, and avoiding the issues discussed above.
2. Maximise worker productivity and increase worker safety
The ultimate goal—and challenge—for project managers is completing projects on time and staying on budget, something in which labour productivity plays a significant role.
When workers aren’t engaged in their on-site and off-site activities, it costs you money and resources that you could spend elsewhere. But if you overwork them, you risk paying overtime costs and increased rates of burnout. These sources of added costs and time—all of which lead to increased safety risks—are avoidable.
Data analytics in construction helps project managers uncover the scheduling problems and overarching trends that lead to these incidents.
With the right construction data, you can identify what problems affect your labour productivity and determine what areas need improvement. For example, are your workers wasting time on site waiting for deliveries? Then your scheduling needs some tweaking, whether it’s with your workers or with your suppliers.
Ideally, you’ll find a balance between labour productivity, worker safety, and job satisfaction for every key stakeholder; the way to find this equilibrium is with data analytics in construction.
3. Resolve current disputes and minimise future problems
People might lie, but data doesn’t. Unfortunately, disputes are common in the construction industry—a problem that’s often costly for construction companies.
By emphasising data collection, it’s easier to uncover truths and resolve disputes quickly and accurately. These disputes are often about things like project progress, time and costs spent, and material usage.
But if you have access to comprehensive data about your construction site, you can use that data as a source of truth for everyone involved in your dispute resolution process—or you may be able to eliminate the dispute from popping up altogether.
With the effective use of data analytics in construction, you can use the data you collect to leverage predictive analytics. This way, you’re able to leverage historical data to predict the most likely outcomes, improve your decision-making processes, find opportunities to increase efficiency, and prevent problems before they happen.
Further reading: Construction quality management: Everything you need to know
Increase efficiency and productivity with data analytics
Data analytics in construction brings endless possibilities for improvements—from on-site efficiency and safety to better scheduling and reporting processes.
The time for the construction industry to further embrace digitalisation and bring data-driven decision-making into their work was yesterday. The second best time is now.
Bring digitalisation to your construction company and start leveraging the power of data with LetsBuild—schedule a personalised demo to learn how cloud-based construction software can help improve your on-site and off-site efficiency with data analytics.