By {{Article.AuthorName}} | {{Article.PublicationDate.slice(6, -2) | date:'EEEE, MMMM d, y'}}
{{TotalFavorites}} Favorite{{TotalFavorites>1? 's' : ''}}

Data collection has the power to uncover critical trends for a business and help leaders lay the groundwork for their company’s future. For the construction industry, new technology and data collection methods now enable companies to uncover their own patterns and create opportunities they may have otherwise missed. 

And while this sounds promising, according to the Zweig Group, just 0.5% of data collected by construction and engineering companies is effectively utilized. It isn’t that data doesn’t exist, the issue is that it lacks meaning. By simply changing how a company’s data is collected so that it has context will change a firm forever––that’s where an integrated resource management platform comes in.

Read on to learn how traditional methods of data collection are lacking, how new technology helps data transform a business and discover how new data insights can inform the way a business is run: 

Mistakes accepted as normal business are affecting the bottom line

Construction companies are sitting on a goldmine of information, according to a Dodge Analytics SuperMarket Report. The most important datasets in the construction industry include project performance data, payroll and labor hours, productivity data, safety data and equipment tracking. Here’s how data is traditionally collected and how it affects a firm’s outcome:

  • Risking accuracy with traditional collection methods. An analysis is only as good as the data used to compile it. Data in the construction industry is typically collected using traditional methods, such as paper and spreadsheets, even though studies show a whopping 88% of this data has inaccuracies caused by human error. Often with manual processes, project data is missing because a timesheet, daily progress report or safety form wasn’t emailed or the piece of paper was misplaced or even lost. This has a significant impact on accuracy.  
  • Wasting time to get from field to office. Time is everything, and companies shouldn't have to wait for precious hours, days or even weeks to access meaningful insights about their daily production of their business. But that's exactly what happens when data is collected by traditional methods, where it is acceptable for information to flow into the office when it is convenient. Labor hours are also unnecessarily increased when employees must physically deliver safety forms, daily progress reports or timesheets to the office. Also, if the supervisor doesn’t know, in real time, if the crew has adequately completed the work, how can additional workers be added to keep the project on schedule? If safety forms or timesheets are missing or not submitted to OSHA in a timely manner, it can lead to fines and labor law violations for missing timesheets and incomplete reporting.
  • Entering data into each stand-alone system. Even after the data has been delivered to the office it still requires a person to enter or import the data from one format into the other and match the format of each other individual system. The issue with this is that paper forms and timesheets often have illegible handwriting. Additionally, human error frequently occurs when data is manually entered for safety, progress reporting, timesheet, production and asset tracking data into any software program. If bad data is entered or imported into any software, the resulting analysis would be wrong. 
Real-time collection methods will change the speed of business

Analysis built from compromised data can mislead decision-makers, causing strategic errors that will hurt the bottom line. On the flip side, real-time data collection solutions eliminate human error and deliver highly accurate data. The benefits of a data collection solution include:

  • Receiving data onsite and in real time. Collecting field data with software is a seamless process, especially when compared to traditional methods that rely on employee accuracy and precious administrative time. Gaining data insights begins by identifying what data is needed and using software to target those key areas. 

    Take resource management, for example. Not only is it now cloud-based, but it collects the data in real-time, so companies can get safety reports, injury reports, job progress, daily logs, maintenance reports and equipment usage on the fly. 

    A cloud-based resource management platform is highly customizable to a company’s needs and can be configured to add questions or prompt employees with mobile forms right after clock in or during clock out to obtain critical safety, maintenance, progress or other important live data. These forms can be automatically distributed upon submission to all your internal and external stakeholders. This saves internal and external stakeholders time because they can have photos and videos on the forms along with written descriptions. The mobile forms have proven to be more accurate and allow contractors to meet project milestones faster compared to traditional status update conference calls days or weeks after the fact. This process takes between three and five minutes for an employee to clock in or out, complete a mobile form, add a photo or video and enter notes on an integrated resource management app compared to the 30 minutes to an hour for project status update conference calls. Collected onsite and in real-time, the data is accurate, timely and actionable.
  • Seamless integration with systems already in place. Labor tracking and real-time field data collection risks being bottlenecked by the time it is added into the ERP back at the office. Ensuring the software integrates into the ERP will eliminate slow transitions of data from the field to the office or to employees working remotely. Integration capabilities ensure the resource management solution and ERP speak the same language––the formats will be accepted, allowing data to update at lightning speed. And, most importantly, an integrated resource management solution communicates in real-time, giving the ERP the ability to process new information and make relevant predictions and reports so companies can take action when and where needed. 
  • Firm wide integration for real world application. Connecting all the systems with the ERP allows easy access to reports that compare the actual budget against the projected budget in real time. Real-time data removes the necessity of having to make decisions from old information. Real-time integrations with real-time data work in the background with redundancies for lost connections and unforeseen interruptions so that the normal flow of business is unaffected.
High-quality data leads to surprising team effectiveness

High-quality data leads to analysis that decision-makers can trust, giving them clarity across all facets of the business and enabling them to make accurate projections that will increase profits.  By taking advantage of real-time data collection, a contractor can expect to:

  • Complete projects on budget
  • Be more productive with labor and materials while being able to remain on schedule
  • Increase safety by collecting forms and rapidly deploying safety training videos in real time
  • Make confident decisions in the moment
  • Eliminate time theft and errors with easy clock in and clock out
  • Take on the right new contracts to ensure the scope of work fits the firm’s capacity 

Data collection might seem overwhelming at first, but construction firms have plenty to gain by investing in real-time data and integrations with a cloud-based resource management platform. With the help of the right resource management platform to collect data in real-time, companies can get a leg up on competition and a bird’s eye view of their business like never before, so they can make more informed decisions that will improve their bottom line. Once the window into better data has been opened, it’s sure to positively change the way business is conducted moving forward, even in other areas. Improving one seemingly small thing like field data collection can drastically improve your entire project’s financial performance and pave the path to better predict your project’s profitability.  


 Comments ({{Comments.length}})

  • {{comment.Name}}


    {{comment.DateCreated.slice(6, -2) | date: 'MMM d, y h:mm:ss a'}}

Leave a comment

Required! Not valid email!