5 ways business analytics helps deliver successful construction project outcomes

· Neil Patel & Shivendra Kumar · 7 min read
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Construction projects of all sizes have many moving parts. Traditionally, data in construction has been used as more of a reporting tool by business analysts; however, data can serve as a crucial informer of strategic decision making. Due to the inherently complex nature of construction projects, managing and processing vast amounts of data from multiple sources is a weighty task and one which results in the underutilisation of much of the available data.

Back in 2006 the Concerto Analytics Co-_founders realised themselves the growing need for optimisation analytics to be utilised by businesses in key industries in Australia to gain a competitive advantage. For some time, the construction industry has been struggling with profits and increased competition. A business intelligence tool that is adaptive to the changeable and dynamic nature of construction projects, is vital to drive necessary industry change.

Make Smarter Construction Project Decisions with Advanced Analytics

The application of advanced analytics in construction projects is becoming increasingly important. Annual growth for the construction sector has been slow, compared to other industries. The PCI (Performance of Construction Index) as of mid-2019 reporting, indicated that the downturn was at its worse, since June 2013. Construction is Australia’s third-largest employer, according to the AI Group. With financial burdens mounting, due to increased costs across the industry and declining demand, jobs are being cut at a rapid rate.

Data can be used up-front, intelligently and strategically to reduce the risk and uncertainty that is associated with construction projects. Scenario modelling can provide a 360° overview of potential outcomes, based on facts, rather than assumptions. There has never been a more urgent time to utilise analytics to help minimise risk and maximise return. Many of the challenges associated with construction projects are related to material waste costs and corrective work. Leveraging analytics tools can effectively combat some of these prominent struggles.

The multiple stages throughout the life cycle of a construction project are often managed independently, which means the interconnectivity of each moving part, can be lost or overlooked. Before a construction project is complete, it can also shift hands many times.

Employing advanced data analytics is a sophisticated solution to managing all integral elements. Referring to the BIM (Business Information Model) below, we can assess the impact of data inputs and outputs along the entire E&C (Engineering & Construction) Value Chain.

Below infographic: Applications of BIM along the E&C Value Chain.

Stakeholders are able to see progress, through virtual modelling and simulation. Valuable data can be isolated at each stage of the value chain. As the project unfolds, this information serves as a powerful visualisation tool for all investors and executives. Utilising the BIM can increase productivity, reduce delays and cost stretching, and optimise the quality of results and workplace safety. (Source bcg.com).

Construction Management Simplified with Concerto Analytics

Imagine being able to know the outcome of a construction project with precision. Construction executives are faced with the ongoing challenge of deciding where to focus their attention, and where not to. Concerto Analytics business intelligence tool empowers you to replace ‘flawed assumptions’ with fact-based insights and identify where the valuable opportunities lie. This is exactly why Concerto Analytics has partnered with experts in the Construction sector such as Projectus Infrastructure, Real Serious Games and Stact.

5 Ways Analytics adds value to delivering successful projects:

  • MEANING is given to data and insights.

Concerto Analytics helps tell a story and paints the end to end landscape. You are enabled to see and act in a timely and effective way. Concerto software will identify the areas where there is insufficient data and the reasons why. The application of advanced analytics and visual modelling means you can understand the journey and transitions of the project, highlighting potential problems, constraints and opportunities before the project is even in the implementation stage.

  • OPPORTUNITIES are lit up in lights.

Opportunities you may not have considered, present themselves. Concerto Analytics helps you simply visualise which areas are profitable and productive and those which are not. Identifying the top items that are generating the highest ROI and enabling action to be taken on areas that need improvement. This is key and often difficult to grasp in complex multifaceted projects.

  • DECISIONS and priorities made easy.

Gaining intelligent insight and making wiser investment choices is easier said than done without the aid of Analytics. Often in busy project environments making what seems to be straight forward decisions aligned to the priorities of the project can have a massive knock-on and costly consequences further down the road. Hence, the need for strong governance and expertise, but even then it takes time to run all the scenarios of what may seem like the right decision. Concerto Analytics enables fast and simple data-driven simulation and multi-layered scenario testing to help mitigate risks that may be associated with any project. Be confident and prepared with all future decision making.

  • PLAN the future with confidence.

Every major project needs a plan and a plan for the plan. Planning for the future accurately is the mystical art form that all experienced project managers learn over time through trial and error to deliver and execute repeatably successful and cost effective projects. With the growing use of technology and data from past projects every lesson learnt can be captured and leveraged to inform the next project plan.

  • CHECK & ACT based on how the project is currently performing.

Time is money, and if complex construction projects are not being tracked as they progress, then huge variances in initial cost projects can result. Advanced analytics can give assurance that projects are running to schedule and within the pre-determined cost parameters, and they can highlight areas that may be cause for concern. Capturing and acting on this insight is a must to catch-back project activities or return productivity and profitability back to plan.

Getting Started

The adoption of new technologies can at first seem overwhelming and costly. But the benefits to be gained, certainly outweigh any initial resistance. Due to the large number of stakeholders involved with any construction project, making changes to old systems and getting all parties on board, can be challenging.

The constant moving parts of construction projects have made it difficult to apply standardised data systems, that all department heads can make sense of, not just BA’s. Unlike financial and consumer-driven markets – the construction business has more complete control over outcomes, which makes utilising advanced analytics the wise choice.

Concerto Analytics have a professional team who can ensure integration is seamless and that there is full comprehension of how the software works. Gain clarity and insight across all of the interconnected components of any construction project. Avoid the common pitfalls that can arise with complex projects. Bid and win on profitable projects, invest in the right technology that can accelerate significant returns. Change the dial and lock in guaranteed successful investments, with smarter business intelligence.

Authors:

Neil Patel is a General Manager of Concerto with a strong focus in LEAN & business improvement consulting, he assists organisations to crystalize strategy, take action and ignite the catalyst for operational, digital and people transformation.

Shivendra Kumar is the founder and director of Shivendra & Co, a business improvement consultancy that helps businesses resolve problems, remove inefficiencies, reduce complexity and digitalise – quickly. His blogs cover topics related to business improvement, strategy implementation and innovation. Visit www.shivendra.com for more content and information.

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