It may be time for your construction firm to think big. Big data that is.
"Big data" is a term often used to describe the vast repository of information collected from various technology sources, including smart phones, social media, GPS devices, sensors, cameras, bots, computer algorithms and satellites.
The concept of big data analytics is being embraced by companies across the country and it's proving beneficial in many ways, ranging from marketing to construction-site analysis to scheduling.
Among the ways your business can leverage big data analytics are:
Handling Data. Your construction firm likely juggles many projects simultaneously. Those projects generate huge amounts of data that must be collected, organized and analyzed. Big data analytics allows you to quickly process that information, freeing up time to focus on job-site issues.
Predicting Risks. Your business needs to predict risks accurately to plan and complete projects efficiently. Using big data analytics can help you gain insight that will help improve cost certainty and identify potential problems.
Organizing Sites. Using sensors in cars, machines and trucks, combined with the schedule of the project and traffic information, algorithms can sort out the best routes at job sites, decreasing fuel costs and waiting times. The locations of equipment can quickly be identified and you can tell how tools are being used and when they need to be replaced. Sensors on machines can flag abnormal events quickly and maintenance teams will know exactly what's wrong and the parts they'll need for repairs. This can reduce a machine's downtime.
Building Better Budgets. Construction firms sometimes miss the mark when estimating costs. Big data analytics provides a better chance at formulating a precise budget based on information about job sites and personnel availability as well as the prices of materials, suppliers, human resources systems and communication. What's more, the data can help you bring in jobs on time, reducing costs still further.
Despite the advantages, however, big data can create problems, particularly when you first begin implementing it. Here are five steps to take that can help minimize the problems and maximize the benefits of big data.
The possibilities of big data seem endless. If your company hasn't entered into this arena, it should consider doing so soon or risk being left in the dust. On the other hand, you're defeating the main benefits of the new technology if you allow it to overwhelm your operation. Work with the latest tools at your disposal while relying on common sense and business acumen to provide better results.
How can construction firms measure the impact of big data? There's no universally accepted formula, but specialists in the field often refer to an analysis of the four Vs:
Get in touch today and find out how we can help you meet your objectives.