Construction is a costly and time-consuming process. There are several layers to every project, and average profit margins are relatively narrow. That’s why any and every money-saving measure counts. It’s nearly impossible to flawlessly budget, manage, and organize a construction project. From employees to suppliers and logistics, there’s one tool that can help the multifaceted building process: big data.
Data has always been vital to construction, but now tools exist that enable managers to really gather and make use of it in a more streamlined and efficient manner. The concept of Building Information Modeling or BIM involves using 3D virtual models to help a team better plan, design, construct, and manage building structures. BIM has been around for decades, and now many are calling for the integration of big data into the process. By adding data, these programs could also allow designers to more easily spot trends or make predictions on a project.
There are plenty of assets a construction company must look after. Moving tools to and from, or around construction sites is no simple business. Tools and goods can come from several different sources including far-off factories or other construction sites. Data isn’t particularly helpful in keeping track of every little nail, but it can help managers see which tools are where. If a manager can see the location and details of these assets, they can more effectively make decisions about how to utilize them. Data can reveal how quickly each asset can be moved to a new location. It can also reveal which tools are being used, when, and how. Perhaps a vehicle sits unused for only a single day or a wrong decision wastes a few hours moving one tool to another location. These sound like rather small details, but each small decision can play a big role in the overall health of a project Cutting down on waste at every step is key to making profit. Small changes can and do make a difference to the bottom line.
Data also allows for better onsite organization. Behemoth-sized, slow-moving vehicles are hard to maneuver around a tight construction site. Sensor-equipped assets can be tracked and optimized, minimizing wasted time, money, and resources. Sensors can also gather valuable data for analysis. To this end, data proponents are praising analytics’ ability to give consistent and easy-to-understand status updates to teams. Regular updates allows for decisions and steps to be evaluated more regularly. Temperature, humidity, and stress can also be analyzed to determine how it a particular building performing and to alert the team to any sudden changes.
Before reaching the building site, data can tell managers what to expect. Collecting and sharing accurate, useful information between the several parties involved in a project is no easy task. From the very beginning, data can help suppliers, builders, and managers all have a better idea what a project will require. This means they can make better predictions and more accurately evaluate a budget or timeline.