Software Advice found in a research that 52% of construction companies rely on conventional means and legacy systems to manage projects. Also, as many as 40% of firms are dissatisfied with their current IT solutions! This often leads to untraceability and lack of transparency in processes making organisations prone to critical problems like data silos!
In this age of information and data, data silos can be compared to slow poison that affects project delivery hazardously. Data silos plague almost all organizations, and the construction industry is no exception.
Silos devoid a project team from using it’s biggest asset, their data, effectively. But the good news is that connected construction marks the new way of project management, busts data silos, and makes way for more efficient and speedy project delivery.
But to understand the implications of data silos on project delivery, let’s first learn about data silos.
What Is Meant By Data Silos?
In simple words, data siloes occur when data from one process, department, system or team is not connected to the rest of the data. This leads to a disconnected and disjointed system, where, insights, analytics and predictions are either absent or not being used to their full potential.
Lack of accessibility to the required information inhibits a company’s growth at various levels and needs to be tackled at the earliest. Let’s get to know how data silos affect project management and delivery.
How do Data Silos Affect Project Management?
1: Data Silos Affect Accuracy And Promote Inconsistencies
With information silos, information is likely stored in different places. But the issue arises when updates to this information are sporadic and unsynchronised.
An easy real-world application can be project’s budget management. The project estimation team might be using the updated database, while the accounting department would need some time to move from the historic data.
This loss of tandem often results in inconsistencies and loss of accuracy.
Connected construction helps debug these inconsistencies as it maintains a single database for every penny spent and estimated. Thus, no more sporadic updates. Both the teams and other stakeholders needing the data can access it from a single trustworthy source of information.
2: Lack of Transparency
Accurate and abundant data is the foundation of good decisions for any business. But data silos bust the availability and access of data across departments.
Connected construction with construction management tools helps see the required data on dashboards. The various stakeholders can selectively view every process and data across projects according to their defined roles. The advanced AI also helps them know the projected cost of the project based on current proceedings.
3: Data Silos Drain Time, Storage Space, And Money!
Data Silos mean that data is unavailable in one place, leading to frequent export and import within the team, draining time and efficiency. And storage space as well because the same file is stored at multiple places.
Decentralised data storage often also leads to longer lead time, outdated information, lack of transparency and accountability with respect to RFIs, submittals etc, repetition of data requests among several other challenges. All of these end up consuming a lot of time and effort, and, in turn, money.
But project management through connected construction helps store all the project data in one central database where everybody can access it and discuss the changes.
4: Data Silos Impend Collaborations
Teams working in tandem support better decision-making and efficiency, avoid duplicacy in effort, and speed up the project’s pace.
On the contrary, when the information is in silos, individuals and teams make decisions in isolation. This can lead to complications.
For example, construction management tools facilitate project management by enabling the entire project team from the contractor and consultant, to the owner to work on the same platform and share information in real-time.
Data silos are undoubtedly a big hurdle for the E&C industry. They slow down decisions or lead managers to manual data calculation. Teams suffer due to a lack of collaboration. Project timelines lag. Data accuracy dips.
And the reason for these data silos is both cultural and technical.
Regarding technical reasons, multiple technologies like construction management tools, etc., are available at E&C firms’ disposal. While for the cultural part, one must encourage a single team mentality across the entire project team. This will help employees break data silos and be more open to discussions and knowledge sharing.