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Why Connected Analytics Helps You Achieve Project Certainty

It's not the amount of data you capture that's important - but how actionable it is during the pre-construction and execution phases of the project

InEight
|Apr 8|magazine10 min read

When you look at the numbers, they can be alarming. Studies have shown that upwards of 60% of capital projects experience some sort of cost or schedule overrun. One might wonder how this could happen when more and more engineering and construction firms are capturing copious amounts of digitized data. It would seem the more data we have, the greater the likelihood that we could considerably lessen the cost and schedule overrun issue. 

However, it’s not the amount of data we are capturing, it’s how actionable that data is during the pre-construction and execution phases of the project. In other words, it’s not about having the data, it’s how you manage it and share it with key stakeholders. You want to connect the data and make it accessible so that decision makers can connect all the dots. 

Fortunately, there’s been a tremendous amount of progress made recently in construction technology software that can help project owners an d teams identify trends through advanced project platforms that unlock the power of connected analytics. Through connected data, we can ensure that projects say on schedule and under budget. 

Maximizing Visibility Is Critical

When we examine the concept of connected data, what we are really talking about is a holistic view of every ongoing project. This allows project data to be connected from the start through execution, turnover and startup. Connecting construction data through a project controls platform helps decrease risk by tackling duplicate entry, process inefficiencies and other issues that arise when teams choose to store and manage information in siloed and disconnected solutions. 

When organizations implement a connected data solution, they can identify projects that are in urgent need of attention and course correction. Why? Because they have access to real-time information and insights, which drives continuity in operations and prevents workers from spending valuable time researching and figuring out how to get a project back on track. 

One of the greatest benefits of a construction analytics solution is the broad project visibility it offers. With only a few mouse clicks you can make better informed decisions in real time because you have sharper insights into metrics, KPIs and trends. And advanced dashboard views, much like the ones contained in InEight’s connected analytics solution, provides a detailed project snapshot. In seconds, you’re able to see pieces of information about projects, so you know where you should focus your attention. 

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Slice and Dice With Dashboards

Looking for some high-level metrics? Dashboard views tell you quickly how many projects you have, the total number of employees and your total equipment, as well as financial metrics. You can see your total costs to date across your portfolio of projects versus what you’re forecasting. If the data shows you’re going to be losing money, you can drill down deeper into the information to determine the reason behind this less-than-rosy forecast. With the proper connected data analytics tool, you can also deploy filters to allow for multiple project views, such as active versus completed projects, percent complete projects, geographically located, and more. 

Connected analytics dashboards can often be customized to get the project view that’s most useful to you or your department. Let’s say you are a leader of one of the business units; you can rearrange the column views based on the criteria that’s most useful to you. 

Demographic information can tell you how certain markets are doing, for instance, with earned versus actual costs. The data analytics will tell you when you’re having success in one market but losing money in another. You can also use the knowledge you’ve collected to determine your success rates based on certain clients. 

Connecting Data Will Transform the Industry

The influence technology is having today on the construction and capital projects industry is downright astounding. Considering where we were just five years ago versus what we can do today with integrated construction software platforms shows the tremendous promise of technology, even as we face a growing number of uncertainties. Companies that are using integrated solutions are improving their data flow across the entire project life cycle. They are seeing greater owner/contractor collaboration because of the more transparent workflows and real-time notifications. 

So, consider again that it’s not just about gathering the data, it’s how you pull the right information from that data and use it to see the risks before they happen. You’ll find by implementing a cloud-based, connected analytics solution, you are avoiding those dreaded cost overruns and schedule delays, and improving overall productivity.

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