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How analytics can help in construction

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Technology is something that the construction industry was reluctant to embrace but has quickly become invaluable to every stage from sales and research to cost savings and safety. With iPads, tablets and cameras becoming standard on construction projects, here’s a closer look at how analytics is helping companies build better and smarter.

Saving money

BIM software is well-known for its ability to cut costs on materials by highlighting flaws in the design of a building before construction. However, if you’re a national or even international construction company there is the option to segment your own data from different regions to create a more cost-effective offering.

Profit margins on construction projects can be as little as 5% and closely tracking incoming and outgoing transactions helps to keep on top of this. Construction giant Dayton Superior found that with their global operations, their set pricing for projects was compromising them in different markets and competitors could easily undersell. To overcome this, they analysed the costs of their resources in every market and created a base price for individual areas that would allow them to compete.

Analysing your own data gives you more flexibility because you can work out how viable a project is going to be and ensure profitability on a build before committing to it.

Becoming more efficient

While it seems like sci-fi style technology, drones have started to be used in the construction industry to scan and survey larger building sites. Having such an aerial, wide shot of the site enables structural problems to be noted and every metre of the project to be documented and inspected to reveal any flaws.

Drones are able to survey a large area in a much shorter amount of time than any worker could, which saves time and money. Similarly, the small size of the drone means that it can inspect areas that couldn’t typically be reached or seen by a human. Using technology instead of your workforce also helps to ensure that everyone is kept safe and not put at risk investigating a potentially unstable site.

Streamlining

Video cameras have been installed on projects that offer a live stream which clients and key stakeholders can log in to and see progress as it happens. What’s great about this is that people can feel involved on a project even when they’re not there to oversee the construction. Similarly, if an error is emerging or the plan isn’t being followed, a supervisor can step in at the early stage and amend the problem before it’s too late.

This is one step beyond BIM and modelling software that enables clients to see what the construction is going to look like when complete, even situating the finished building in the right location using Google Earth. By allowing clients to have so much visibility on the finished build, the project becomes much more accurate and collaborative.

When it comes to analytics in construction, it’s not just about making sure materials are cut to the exact millimetre. Using a variety of data processing software, video technology and even drones, construction managers are able to collaborate closely with their clients to produce the best build. 
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