Data in Construction: Mitigating Risk and Optimizing Decision Making

We live in a data-centered world. With technology breaking new barriers and innovations in data management and analytics popping up every day, it’s easy to see how the future is fast approaching all industries. In construction, innovation has always been an important investment – our industry is creating and building infrastructure throughout the world while optimizing how we utilize resources like material, time, and capital. With the dawn of data-powered business practices, construction firms are beginning to see how data is transforming the way we’re building and creating new structures. 

Big data refers to large datasets where we can use analytical tools and models to find patterns for extracting insights and driving business decisions. Technology is constantly evolving to develop the architecture needed to collect, manage, and analyze the onslaught of information we receive every day. While sources like the New York Times began pointing to the arrival of big data as early as 2012, the new decade has experienced an exponential boost of the data economy. Companies across all industries are scrambling to find and invest in the right tools for deciphering the vast amounts of data that comes through their organizations, as well as figuring out how they can boost profits and optimize resources. 

Understanding and adopting new data technologies is particularly important in the construction industry, where new and continuing projects highly depend on data inputs like building design, environmental and climate factors, material and labor utilization, as well as energy usage, just to name a few. 

From planning stages to saving resources to compliance support, here are the key ways in which big data is transforming the construction industry:

Data-driven planning predicts and mitigates risk

Pre-build planning stages often involve high amounts of collaboration and decision-making between various teams. Contractors, architects, project managers, and other stakeholders can now use tools like building information modeling (BIM) and artificial intelligence (AI) for digital modeling, and aids in making more informed decisions. One of the first observable benefits to having a cloud-based, intelligent planning tool is having visibility and access for teams without the need for travel or coordination – teams can now render entire buildings and campuses while utilizing important data inputs that may affect project timelines and workflows. 

Historical data can be used to predict any potential issues like weather events, building material usage, and labor to predict the project’s outcome, as well as to address any needs before they present themselves. In 2020, Construction Management and Economics reported that weather delays could extend project timelines by 21%, while having access to current forecasts and historical weather data help mitigate risk and the overall impact of delays by more than 15%. 

Moreover, AI and machine learning are increasingly utilized in construction to make informed, data-based decisions. Artificial Neural Networks, for example, use historical data and factors like scope of work, contract type, and project manager input to help predict realistic timelines and potential budget overruns for large-scale projects. By utilizing project history to drive future decisions, firms can now mitigate overall risk and potential speed bumps in their projects. Still, they’re also optimizing the time and resources put into planning stages. This in turn expedites projects and can launch building stages without the risk of rushed and hasty decision-making. 

Data management and analysis connects all moving parts

Even before ‘remote work’ became a buzzword across all industries, construction had always been a practice of remote collaboration across multiple different teams. Jobsites are hubs of work and activity, with builders, managers, architects, and other team members constantly on and off the jobsite, making it quite the busy place. With many moving parts, pieces, and people coming on and off your jobsite, it can leave both your project and build materials open to much higher susceptible risk. This could be due to external factors like theft, vandalism, and weather, or internal factors such as compliance and productivity issues, affecting overall revenue and optimization. 

In our current environmental and economic climates, it’s more important than ever for owners and project managers to be proactive in documenting and managing site data and information. Jobsite monitoring with construction cameras allows 24/7 visibility over projects and allows workers to share and collaborate on critical data. But utilizing data-powered tools goes beyond covering your bases as an organization – it’s also the new frontier for protecting workers and improving overall safety. 

New tech and data tools are being developed every day to increase worker safety

Augmented reality (AR) is increasingly adopted by different industries to enhance user experience without the cost and logistics of travel, while also still including the benefits of seeing, hearing, and feeling projects in real-time. In construction, AR allows remote access and complete visibility over spaces – this is invaluable when it comes to project planning and design, as managers and architects now have the ability to simulate 3D models, take measurements, and visualize any potential design flaw or safety issues. 

Wearables and exoskeletons are also on the rise, with over 80% of contractors agreeing that construction wearables improve on-site safety. Equipped with different features like GPS, heart-rate monitoring, fall and gas protection, and (in the case of exoskeletons) even motorized joints to assist in repetitive motions and weight distribution; smart protective wear and watches can be powerful and effective tools for ensuring worker safety and promoting productivity on jobsites. 

TrueLook uses data-powered tools and tech to secure your jobsites

Advanced construction cameras provide full, remote monitoring for jobsites across different locations. This allows for workers, managers, and other stakeholders to document and collaborate on projects through the ease of a smartphone, computer, or tablet. 

TrueLook provides a range of construction cameras that address different project needs, all linked to our powerful, cloud-based platform to facilitate remote collaboration across your team. Our intelligent security features, such as motion alerts and infrared capability, mitigate risk and increase security, all while providing automated visual documentation for safekeeping and easy access. TrueLook’s construction cameras also use mesonet, a network of automated weather and environment-monitoring stations, to provide updated conditions and forecasts while creating a historical log throughout a project’s duration. 

At TrueLook, we understand the power of data and what it can do in protecting workers and securing jobsites. From forecasting to execution, all the way to closing projects, data and analytics tools are increasingly used by construction firms to predict and mitigate risk all while improving worker safety. As data-driven tech continues to evolve, stay informed and be proactive in protecting your jobsites and supporting business growth by equipping your firm with the right tools and partners. Schedule a free demo today to see our cameras in action, or check out our case studies to see how we could help your construction firm to protect and support your jobsites!

Adrianna Freeman headhsot

Adrianna Freeman

Adrianna is TrueLook’s Social Media and Content Manager. In her role, she is focused on creating and curating quality content, influencer marketing, as well as all long-form content such as e-books and blogs. She has experience delivering increased engagement, followers, and converting leads into ROI. Outside of business hours, she enjoys traveling, live music, and restoring classic cars.

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