While many people think of construction as a field that's been slow to adopt new technologies and methodologies, the reality is that the industry is full of forward-thinking builders who are already embracing data analytics. In fact, there’s no reason why construction firms shouldn't be taking advantage of every tool available to make their projects more efficient and profitable.
If you're new to data analytics, then this article will provide a great overview on the many reasons why you need to start paying more attention to your team's data. When you're ready to take the next step of either introducing or improving your analytics, we previously shared a great 3-step process you can follow to roll out analytics within your construction business today.
Without further ado, here are 5 powerful ways you can use data in your construction business:
1. Data helps increase top-line revenue
The first way that data can help construction companies is by increasing top-line revenue. By identifying your best customers, determining what they want and are willing to pay for and then finding new ways to get more customers, you can increase the amount of money your company makes.
A powerful analytics tool can help you sift through all your past customer data to extract these insights. By focusing your sales efforts on the most effective channels you've tried to-date, you can increase your chances to growing your top-line and further building your brand reputation as a specialist within your various customer segments.
In addition to customer insights, analytics can also vastly improve your team's estimating ability. Your estimates can be designed using past data on similar projects to ensure that your cost estimates are as accurate as can be and you won't run into any cost overruns or major setbacks that you haven't already seen before.
2. Data helps decrease bottom-line costs
Data can help identify inefficiencies, waste and opportunities to reduce costs.
Data helps you run your business more effectively, whether it's identifying ways to increase productivity by streamlining processes or ways to increase profit margins by adopting new technology, the information available through data analytics is invaluable in helping you maximize your bottom line.
From field jobsite operations to procurement to administration, having a streamlined window into your entire operation will allow you to 'cut the fat' across every aspect of your business.
3. Data helps improve productivity
The best ways to use data in construction is to improve your productivity. You can do this by identifying the best times, places and people to do tasks. Using data in these areas will help you optimize your resources so that you get more done in less time.
For example, say you're working on renovating a house and have been tasked with replacing the roof tiles on a section of the home that was damaged during a storm last summer. You've been told that it's going to take about two weeks for this project because of how much work needs to be done - removing old tiles and installing new ones - but if you had access to historical weather trends from previous years and knew exactly when similar storms hit in recent history then you could plan your work around the predicted storm season to maximize productivity.
Weather trending is just one of many countless examples of how data can help with construction work. Another powerful example is safety management. If you can dig through all your safety data, you can ensure that your team is always following a project's best practices and avoiding particular aspects that have caused safety incidents in the past.
4. Data helps mitigate risk
By monitoring and analyzing the data you collect throughout your projects, you can reduce any risks that could hurt productivity. This includes but is not limited to:
Understanding the risk associated with a project—how much time or money it might take, as well as which tasks are most likely to cause problems. Then creating a plan for mitigating those risks (e.g. hiring an additional resource).
Understanding the risk associated with a particular phase of a project—for example, if there’s too much work going on at once and deadlines will be missed due to delays caused by other teams or resources working on pieces that aren’t finished yet, then you can adjust timelines accordingly so expectations are met without sacrificing quality or wasting time/money/effort on unnecessary work.
5. Data helps improve communication
One of the most important roles data can play in the construction industry is improving communication. Data can be used to help project managers and field staff collaborate more effectively, as well as establish a two-way flow of information between all parties.
Project Managers: There are many benefits to having access to project data, but one of the most valuable is that it allows you to make better decisions about how you manage your projects. You'll be able better predict timelines, budgets and resources or even see where things might fall apart before they happen.
Field Staff: When field staff have access to real-time data from their jobsites, it makes their job easier because they'll have instant access to information about materials needed for each task at hand—which means no more drives across town for last minute supplies! And if something does go wrong (as it often does), then having timely access will mean faster response times from both your team members and clients alike.
Clients: By using cloud-based software like OnTraccr on projects throughout your organization's lifecycle (from design through deployment), you can create an integrated workflow system between all stakeholders within your business
Data is an essential tool for construction companies. It helps you manage your time, track costs, and forecast demand for materials. With the right tools and a little bit of work, you can turn your data into valuable insights that help you make smart decisions about your business.