Have you ever noticed the many changes now that the world is going digital? The business industry has already entered a data-driven and digital age, and the construction sector is no exception. While it is true that many construction professionals have been so slow compared to other industry experts in embracing the latest techs like crew scheduling software and other digital solutions, the digital uptake here is picking up speed and transitioning.
But the main highlight is that the benefits of leveraging construction analytics can no longer be ignored. From monitoring the location of your tools and equipment to making critical purchasing decisions, the potential of using construction analytics in your company’s forecasting, decision-making, and project planning is limitless.
In this blog, let us take a closer look at what analytics in construction entails and why it is very useful and beneficial. Let us also discover how your construction company can use data analytics in its day-to-day operations.
Construction Analytics Defined
Construction Analytics typically involves tracking, monitoring, and reporting on a range of performance indicators directly associated with several projects and business processes. It allows your construction company to discover and use insights to enhance operational efficiency, profitability, and safety.
Apparently, there is no limit to this type of data, especially if your construction company, for instance, may prefer to collect and analyze them. Here are some of the most common types of data being gathered and tracked in construction:
- Material and labor costs
- Progress reports
- Noise levels
- GPS coordinates of tools, equipment, and trucks
- Equipment utilization
- Dust particulates
Construction Analytics, sometimes known as construction business intelligence, can be as complicated as a custom-built database or as simple as spreadsheet tracking numbers. But another important thing you may not know is that most construction scheduling software nowadays is designed with analytics dashboards and other features to make it easier for construction companies to use and analyze data without consulting data experts or using another system.
But Why Your Construction Company Should Use Data and Analytics?
Analytics and data enable your company to gain better insights into your business and specific project performance. Therefore, by making data-driven decisions, you can significantly improve the quality of your projects, efficiency, and bottom line.
Be also reminded that without construction data analytics, many parts of your business are left identified, and most problems are materialized when they can just be avoided so easily. Even extra money and time are spent already on unnecessary situations. All these issues can cost your company money, and no one ever wants additional expenses, right?
That is why there is vital importance of using data analytics for your business. Data is very helpful in making well-informed decisions, targeting risk management processes, and achieving safety and cost savings.
How Can Your Company Use Construction Analytics?
Now that you already understand the why of data analytics in construction let’s go next into the how. Below are common ways your company can leverage analytics in its daily operations.
1. Budget Management and Forecasting
The dynamic nature of any construction project requires closer attention to budget forecasting and financial management. With data analytics, it is easier to track and monitor budgets in real-time, easily determine cost overruns, and anticipate cash flow issues before they occur. This enables more accurate forecasting and monitoring, supporting much quicker and better decision-making.
A very common application of analytics in your budget and purchasing process is utilizing the data from equipment usage monitoring. The analysis of actual usage and interruption in your previous projects can reveal which equipment can justify the capital costs of a purchase. As a result, you can better choose what option you will take.
2. Breaking down silos between your teams
Data has the biggest potential to not only provide better decision-making on its own but also across teams as well. Knowing the construction sector has always been paper-driven regarding its management, documenting, and reporting. However, the increased adoption of the latest industry technologies like subcontractor scheduling software means any information traditionally kept in filing cabinets and binders is now stored via the cloud.
You, the company stakeholders, and all the contractors and third parties involved can now have the easiest access to critical information that may be out of reach if not because of the latest software solutions.
And when every one of you has access to a range of information, this opens up new opportunities for collaboration and communication. It also supports decision-making and better planning by being capable of drawing on more updated and diverse construction data.
3. More Efficient Documenting and Reporting
It is no secret that paper-based progress and safety reporting in the construction industry has its bulk of problems. Reports get lost, the paper goes missing, and the subcontractors are behind on filing the paperwork are some common scenarios that tend to happen. Whatever the reason may be, paper-based reporting is often filled with inefficiencies and challenges. And you need to be alert to that because in one way or another:
- It slows down the reporting process.
- It limits the effectiveness of your documentation flow
- It makes it harder to visualize the data and compile info across different sources
Only with the deployment of crew scheduling software you and your team can save time inputting and saving information. Human errors are minimized, too, because everything is seamless and stored via the cloud in this integrated, all-in-one platform.
4. Increased worker safety and productivity
Maximizing labor productivity is essential to keep your projects on time and within budget. When your workers are not actively engaged in some tasks, that costs you money that can be spent better elsewhere. In other words, overworking people may lead to overtime and additional costs, and increased turnover. As a result, safety risks are increased.
But, data analytics can discover these scheduling issues and overreaching trends in accident reports, helping you to see and address the root causes of these problems even before more serious situations occur.
5. Dispute resolution
Dispute resolution is a very common and costly problem you may face when running your construction business.
But do not worry, data collection can uncover the truth about these common disputes such as:
- Project status and its progress
- Actual time and costs spent
- Material usage and quality
The more comprehensive and accurate the data you have collected, the better it can be used as the source of truth for all parties involved in this dispute resolution, eliminating the need for it in the very first place.
6. Predictive Analytics
A strong data solution enables your company to go beyond simply gathering and collecting data for prescriptive purposes. This ultimately helps you leverage the power of predictive analytics. Predictive analytics utilizes historical data to forecast the likelihood of future outcomes and events to inform you well about your decision-making process.
As a result, you can prevent problems before they materialize and determine opportunities for efficiencies in the process, operations, and safety.
7. Process optimization
For all your construction teams, it is crucial to maintain profit margins, especially during project phases. Tracking money, time, and labor are critical aspects and resources you need to optimize. We suggest you follow the SMART approach to gather and require data analytics.
A specific, Measurable, Attainable, Reasonable, Time-based approach combined with a systematic process can help you with construction analytics, improving your business outcomes simultaneously in every build stage.
8. Tracking assets and equipment
Management and tracking of your construction assets are other important aspects you need to consider for your business. Equipment failures and delays can significantly impact project schedules, resulting in additional costs.
So, there is a need to gather advanced data from your assets and equipment and integrate the process using advanced asset tracking solutions like construction inventory software. This technology helps you manage your company resources and the crew assigned to projects and other reassignments.
Upscale your Operations with Pro Crew Schedule
There is no size-fits-all approach to using analytics in construction – it depends on your budget, size, existing systems, target goals, internal capabilities, and desired results. And you always have room to level it all up. You should know that analytics and the latest software solutions should join together to offer you new opportunities to deal with and mitigate risks, improve construction crew management, minimize costs and time spent working on your projects, and so many benefits.
Start transitioning using Pro Crew Schedule – a construction management software solution with everything you need for project planning, overall performance, and final results. This amazing software has the power to reconcile data stored in different systems and create a form that is not only readable but very effective and digitally accessible to your whole team.
The point here is to use sophisticated software tools to help you gather and analyze data analytics, helping you save more time and expenses in your projects. If you want to see firsthand the benefits this software offers, you can check out a free trial.