Data Sources in a Construction Project
I think you heard that data is the new oil. Companies like Google, Facebook, Amazon are good examples of data-centric companies. But you shouldn’t think that data is just important in online businesses. Data is disrupting all sectors.
Data vs Experience
I always think about modeling of experience. In the first years of my career, I was working in a construction company and senior engineers were making some estimations depends on their experience. Yes, these estimations were pretty good. When I analyzed it, it was basically about the data collected during years. For instance, in my master thesis, I tried to model cost duration relationship in different kind of construction projects. And as a result, I structured an empiric relation between project cost and duration using historical data.
On the other hand, an experience can be biased. A bad experience can create an important effect on the estimation. The people like to conclude with a small portion of data and feelings about past experiences. This approach can be practical but at the same time, it can create a misjudgment.
Data analysis can play a crucial role to reach better decisions. But of course, there are some other problems at that point. How you collect data, classification of data, which algorithm is better.
For a bad decision you can blame a person but how can you blame an algorithm? Who will be responsible?
Nowadays we can reach data more easily. We also have enough technology and algorithms to analyze this data. So the experience started to be a benchmark for the data analysis.
Data in Construction Sector
A construction project is generally chaotic and production is temporary. Hence it is not easy to prevent mistakes and increase productivity. Furthermore, experience plays a crucial role in the construction site. If the experience is critical, we have to find a way to model this experience.
Thanks to new software technologies, digitilizing of design, document, and planning logic has been achieved. Especially Building Information Modelling (BIM) carried data collections from design to a new point.
Main data sources of a project include Design, Machinery, Employee, Contracts, Planning Tools, ERP, Specifications, and Handbooks. Of course, the number of these sources may change depending on the project.
As I mentioned, design information has become accessible with the help of technologies such as BIM and document management software.
Machine information can be reached in real time with the help of IoT. In addition, high-level data flow can be achieved with robotic technologies.
Contracts, specifications, handbooks can be managed as searchable via document management software.
Planning and ERP are already built on structured data systems. The data in these systems can be easily analyzed.
In my opinion, the most critical point is to reach the data generated by the employees. Unfortunately, we have very limited access to this data.
Which Data do Employees Produce?
Basically, they produce data about the experience, know-how, performance, the issues they face, the solutions they find and coordination problems. There is a data stream in the sector that consists of only reports and notes. For this reason, the sector loses some of its experience and know-how in each project.
We as Botmore Technology are working on a solution to solve this problem. If you want to learn more just reach me.