Many UK construction companies are overwhelmed by a sea of data that’s blocking decision-making…
That’s the view of Phil Kent, Managing Director of construction-software specialist RedSky, who believes that the answer lies in harnessing the power of digital.
Drone-based videos, mobile technologies and business information modelling have all contributed to the ever-increasing wealth of data that’s now available to help manage construction projects effectively.
Now, more than ever before, decision-makers simply don’t have time to spend wading through a sea of data. Many feel frustrated at having to gather key information in a range of formats and from different places within the organisation and its various systems.
Enhancing with additional information
So how can organisations get to a position where their finance and commercial system is enhanced by all that additional information associated with a project? If the information is currently located ‘outside’ the system, perhaps in in the form of paper documents, spreadsheets photographs and construction drawings, this will be an uphill struggle. And if it takes three days to collate the information, interpret it and produce meaningful business insights, those insights will already be old news.
The only real way for organisations to take control of the overwhelming mass of data accumulating within their business is to focus on capturing content-type documentation by digitising it and automatically storing it in a single, secure location. This would involve users routinely completing digital forms instead of ‘burying’ information a document in their laptop or a filing cabinet. It reduces the risk of duplicated efforts and decisions based on out-of-date information.
Making dormant information live
The site diary provides a great example of what digitisation can achieve. More often than not, it’s a traditional hard-copy book or a simple Word document. We know from discussions with our construction client organisations that the information contained in the diary is rarely accessed by anyone other than the author. It’s often viewed a site requirement and the information it contains lies dormant, buried in the page.
However, if you convert the site diary to a digital form on a mobile app, it can be accessed by project managers immediately. By displaying the information on user-friendly dashboards, you can make real-time information visible and easily accessible to people across the organisation. Users can also configure their own dashboards to display relevant key metrics instantly and to highlight automatically any potential issues that need to be addressed. This feature provides an extremely useful prompt for decision makers, who can then investigate the problem and nip it in the bud.
It’s classic information management practice: getting accurate, timely information to the right people at the right time. And it’s a sure-fire way to gain reliable business insights.