Construction companies use a myriad of construction management software, hardware, cloud, on-premises, and proprietary systems to manage everyday activities. And these encompass all the departments of a construction firm- engineering and design, materials management, field management, document control, estimating, Cost Control, finance, payroll, invoicing, to administration.
And with so many solutions such as drones, wearables, sensors, IoT, robots and so on, the total number of tech solutions used by a construction firm can vary widely.
Undoubtedly, tech is making life easier, but not only companies risk technical debt, but disparate tech solutions also increase entropy and bust the very foundations of agile and lean development. Also, disparate tech solutions give rise to data silos.
Let’s learn more about the various challenges and how to ride the wave and unlock the power of data!
Challenges And Solutions: The Power Of Data In Construction
1: The Challenge Of Entropy And Digital Platforms As The Solution
Flooding of markets and eventually the construction sites with a massive number of tech has busted the very essence of lean and agile development.
The challenge with software entropy is that tech, both software and hardware, is being used for every small to a big task. In such a scenario, isolated point-to-point solutions are of relatively more minor value. It is hard to communicate data between them. And while operators are using ten machines over the site, accessing different solutions for every other task is highly inefficient.
However, real-time access to data from various channels in one place can turn around the situation leading to a lot more efficiency and productivity.
Integrated data environments like construction project management. Software that forms a cluster of various applications and project management to their functionalities is an excellent way of dealing with software entropy.
More sophisticated tools like construction management software integrate various functionalities like document management, design software, project management, costing, scheduling, etc., all under one roof.
They integrate data, multiple data sets, applications, and data formats into one solution.
A firm considering technological advancement can resort to simple and dedicated applications in its infancy. In comparison, a relatively mature firms can advance towards a platform approach.
But irrespective of how advanced you are, reducing the number of tech solutions deployed must be kept to a minimum.
2: The Challenge Of Silo Trap And Cloud Systems, APIs, And Plugins As The Solution
Traditionally, construction companies have used closed systems, desktop apps, and on-premise solutions for construction project management. But the biggest flaw of these systems is the challenge of data silos.
The data in silos lacks mobility and access. It isn’t easy to export and import data manually from one solution to another. And data transfer across multiple software is a challenge, and cross-department access is but a far-flung concept.
- Cloud Platforms And APIs
- Plugin Marketplaces
Cloud Platforms And APIs
Cloud platforms empowered with APIs (Application Programming Interface) are not only a craze but a necessity these days.
APIs empower you to transfer data from one technology to another automatically. Many firms use cloud platforms and APIs to improve efficiency and reduce costs.
APIs still require coding skills, maintenance by the operator or IT Team, and a desirable level of software understanding. But what if some magic could automate the integration?
Plugins enable you to connect various systems automatically without hassles and transfer data endlessly.
An easy real-life example is when a person connects DropBox with their email client like Outlook or Gmail. The plugin playing in between connects these two powerful platforms without any interference from you.
Some examples relating to construction project management are the various construction management software.
3: The Challenge Of Being Unable To Leverage The Power Of Existing Insightful Data
Isn’t this a big enough efficiency and productivity drain?
Connected Construction through Construction Management Software.
These collaboration tools bring various processes, data, and stakeholders to a single platform. And since data is integrated from multiple perspectives and available in real-time to every project team member selectively, it serves a significant advantage.
Connected construction has a very intuitive UI; thus, you do not need a team of experts to mine data to use it.
This democratisation of data involves capturing and integrating data between disparate technology systems to bust silos and complexity to facilitate improved decision-making. Moreover, it optimises workflows, enhances client relationships, and transforms site performance.
What To Look For In An Ideal Solution That Unlocks The Power Of Data For Your Firm?
Construction management software is undoubtedly the ideal solution for the disparate technology solutions the construction industry is currently using. These tools bring together various points solutions and make it easier to consume data- unlocking its true potential.
In a nutshell, while selecting your ideal technology partner, keep the following points in mind:
- Keep the number of tech solutions to a minimum to lower the entropy.
- Select platforms that form clusters of the current tech you are using.
- Ensure these platforms are cloud-based and optimised with APIs or plugins.
- The platforms must offer easy access to analytical insights in real-time.
Rest assured, with these points in mind; you are sure to unlock the power of data for your organisation successfully!