Data is the backbone of businesses operating in a world driven by overwhelming digitization. Data has become such a crucial component of an operating business that even minor errors in data entry have resulted in major financial disasters. So it is no wonder that companies both old and new alike are scrambling frantically to ensure they have strong and secure databases in place for their businesses.
This is the case with the construction and architectural industry as well. However, the transition within this industry hasn’t been quite smooth, to say the least. In a recent study, it was found that the construction industry is severely lagging behind when it comes to digitization as compared to other industries.
Given the pace at which we are witnessing advancements in technology, it is imperative for a construction business to also adapt to this digital model and learn how to capture data efficiently. Thankfully, there are certain measures that can put a construction business at the forefront of this movement.
8 Tips to Build a Data-Driven Construction Business
1. Data Collection
The first and the most fundamental measure a construction business can adopt are using technology to collect robust data that is relevant to the nature of the business. The data collected should be:
Relevant and up-to-date
Viable for decision making
It is important for data collectors in the construction business to accumulate data in both its numerical and visual forms. Most construction data can be found in visual forms such as the BMI model and photos and videos pertaining to the project’s progression. If a business is to thrive, then it is crucial to not ignore visual data in favor of numerical facts and figures.
2. Accessible Information
The collected data, no matter how viable, is useless if the staff members within the firm cannot access it. Therefore, the proper protocol must be implemented to ensure construction data is accessible to all who need it, anytime and anywhere.
Accessibility apart, data also needs to be comprehensive enough for all the workers to understand. Confusion of any sort will only result in chaos during the execution of a project. So train your employees in tactics by which they can both access and understand the accumulated data easily. To makes things simpler, you can have the data centrally organized through a universal dashboard.
3. Data Entry Automation
Manual data entry is prone to human errors that have to be avoided at all costs. However, the idea of managing and rectifying the data entered manually can be extremely tedious and time-consuming. An easy way out here is to completely refrain from manual data entry in favor of automating the process of data entry and workflows. Automation takes care of erroneous data, while also saving plenty of time and money for the business.
4. Data Standardization
Imagine the chaos that can ensue if there are two different plans being executed by the contractor and the sub-contractor on a single assigned construction project. The consequences can be dire. So it is crucial to have one plan and a standardized approach for everyone in the business to abide by when undertaking a construction project.
When everyone is relying on the same data, metrics, tools, technology, and execution plan, there are monumental chances of success while mitigating risks of confusion entirely.
5. One Source
Similar to standardization, it is imperative for the data that is collected, captured, and processed to be integrated into a single comprehensive source, instead of being stored in disconnected fragments. This helps you build a strong data-driven culture for the construction business.
What this basically means is that all of your project information, such as 2D or 3D models, schedules, and financial plans are stored in an organized source. This makes the data easily accessible, secure and impervious to losses due to incompetent organization.
6. Data Analysis
Data which is procured is more often than not in its raw form, and as such is useless for insightful decision making. Therefore it is important to push the raw collected data through an advanced procedure of analysis. This can help draw valuable information out from the collected data, thus weaving out strategies that can help a business establish competitive advantage in the market.
7. Risk Management
One of the key aspects of a data-driven business culture is the ability to harness the might of data in order to make a decision that can help manage risks associated with an undertaking. This is as true for the construction business as it is for any other business in the world. Data can be carefully studied and analyzed to draw strategies that can help a construction firm mitigate their risks in hopes of a thriving business in the market.
8. Consistent Improvement
A data-driven business culture hinges on the principle of continuous improvement. No manager or entrepreneur should ever abandon this ideology, even when the business is perceived to have accomplished leadership and optimal competitive advantage in the market. By collecting relevant up-to-date data a business can remain one step ahead of its competition and maintain its position at the top of the pecking order.
The Bottom Line
Although seemingly challenging, any construction business can adopt a data-driven culture at any stage of their business life, and expect maximum advantage in the market. Many construction businesses find themselves demotivated by the tedious nature of data entry or capture, and thus have refrained from making this crucial transition into the digital world.
Thankfully, there are third-party service providers who render data entry services at an affordable rate. An alliance with such entities can help even the most cynical of construction businesses to adapt to the much more lucrative and efficient data-driven model.