Data, fragmented data, data integration, slow digitalisation. The construction industry is being introduced to new issues and solutions every day. If inefficient documentation, project management flaws, data management lacunae and slow adoption of technology paint one side of the tapestry, the other side speaks about data integration, big data and how it will change the way the industry has worked for ages.
There is no doubt that the lack of data integration has led to inefficiencies and errors in construction projects, costing both time and money. However, there is hope on the horizon. New technologies are emerging that allow for better data integration in construction. In this blog, we’ll explore why data integration is important and how it becomes the answer to managing data effectively.
What is data integration?
Ever since the construction industry has adopted digitisation, project managers are bombarded with an endless stream of data. Some are put to use, while a major chunk of it is not utilised properly. Simply put, these collected data sit in different silos. They are disconnected and not easily accessible to the various stakeholders, thereby making them ineffective. To turn dispersed information into something useful and actionable, we need to bring together all this data. As businesses and customers seek speed, efficiency, and reliability, data sharing and integration are becoming the focus.
And this brings us to the existing system. The construction industry, to date, swears by Excel. Spreadsheets are excellent; they are extremely flexible, can accommodate almost any kind of work, and help you stay in control of the project data you feed. Be it quality checklists, cost estimates, daily work permits, daily or weekly work schedules, to tracking the work progress, the list goes on. Not a single day goes by on-site without a project tracking spreadsheet being updated.
So, is that efficient, and effective? If you look at what the industry stats are saying, the answer is clear and simple, no. We are still draining time and money on construction projects across the globe on account of our poor and dated construction management tools and processes. Even with a live working document, nothing is enabling a real-time approach to information being shared. This is because at the end of the day there’s a time when this sheet needs to be made “ready” and that’s when filtered information starts to pour in and populate the sheet.
This brings us to question 2. Is it reliable data? The simple answer is NO. Since it needs manual data entry for every single process, human errors can creep in. What’s worse is that the entire workflow is plagued with latency in the updates; this leaves you with unreliable data being communicated at the wrong time. To read more about how spreadsheets need to be phased out when you are moving digital, click here.
Do you see the issues? This is where a construction management solution like VisiLean becomes the need of the hour. Imagine how disruptive this could be. A scenario where all stakeholders have access to reliable, real-time data. How effective will that be? However, before we get there, let us talk a little more about data integration.
At its core, the goal of data integration is to provide users with a consolidated location for easy access to data so that they can analyse it to meet the information needs of the project. This is where having an integrated software solution like VisiLean helps. VisiLean allows the stakeholders to collaborate better by breaking down these data silos and making your processes more efficient.
Why does construction need data integration?
Allow us to throw some statistics in here.
- In the last 3 years, the volume of available project data doubled. [Autodesk + FMI]
- 41% of contractors agreed that non-standardized data input leads to inconsistent, inaccurate, incomplete, and unusable data. [Autodesk + Dodge Report]
This brings the focus on data integration. To deliver the expected ROI, the data must be accurate and accessible to those who make the decision. Multi-solution integration increases collaboration and productivity, as well as overcomes flaws in the system. Through construction data integration, managers can supervise their workflows from beginning to end seamlessly.
It is important, therefore, to make the integration work for you. This can be done when you do a proper study to understand and work with your Teams effectively, Focus on Information in hand and Adopt the right Processes. To know more about why integration is important, click here.
With data integration, a construction project manager can:
- Reduce wasted hours from manual entry by syncing multiple data sources
- Reduce data loss
- Increase inter-department collaboration
- Gain instant access to key project information
However, a study by JB Knowledge says that 21.4% of construction firms use three or more mobile apps for their projects. And this is where the issues begin. Construction software is great for digitalising processes, but the ground reality is that just over half the firms are still manually transferring data between apps that do not speak to each other.
How will integration boost construction in the digital age?
- Only 16% of executives surveyed say their organizations have fully integrated systems and tools. [KPMG]
- 33% of contractors expect to use wearable technology in the next three years. [USG + U.S. Chamber of Commerce]
- 90.9% of firms report using smartphones daily for work purposes. [JB Knowledge]
There is no doubt that prices are skyrocketing. Be it the production costs or the spending on errors, the industry must cut costs. This is where automated workflows can help increase productivity and efficiency. Saving money, reducing human error, and maintaining schedules can be achieved by integrating applications. And this is the way forward.
The key benefits of using VisiLean to manage data
The construction project management ecosystem these days cannot thrive without a robust construction software solution. The huge amount of data that gets generated has to be analysed and churned into insights that will help stakeholders to make decisions faster.
- VisiLean helps the stakeholders to collect, collate and collaborate their workflows based on this data.
- VisiLean is a Lean-BIM integrated solution that allows teams to work more collaboratively.
- VisiLean uses a simple, easy-to-understand and user-friendly interface to decode the data sets you have.
- It is visually powerful and allows you to work more efficiently.
The real magic, as we believe is done by real people. At VisiLean, we strive towards simplifying construction management process and workflows – removing complications and hurdles that disrupt the flow of information and improve the communication between all stakeholders of the projects. With this, it is essential to have all the stakeholders on a common platform, rather than being updated through multiple channels. With VisiLean, you can create multiple organisations, or simply, Teams, as per your choice and project workflow. This gives you the power to categorise and filter planning, monitoring, as well as performance review accordingly. You could have your Designers and Consultants added to the platform, along with your execution teams, for seamless communication. Click here to read more how VisiLean enables true collaboration.
Don’t get left behind. Discover how VisiLean can enable your teams to be more efficient. Want to know more? Head to video , or visit our website, VisiLean.com to learn about all our features and book a demo with our team!