Construction Best Practices

Why Connected Data is the Key to a Successful Construction Business


The better the access to timely, accurate data—the more successful and profitable construction projects will be.

In the world of construction, Trimble Viewpoint understands better than most that access to the right construction data is just as important as access to the right tools and materials. As experts in this industry for more than 40 years, we’ve seen time and time again that accurate data is the real key to construction company success.

But, with so much data out there, and so many different ways to capture and share it with partners and staff, it can be easy to get a little bamboozled. Which data do you track? How do you avoid information becoming siloed? How do you measure impact and efficiency? These are just some of the questions we’ve helped companies answer over the years.

Join us as we take you on a tour of the importance of connected data in the construction industry, as well as the key data points your company should be collecting.

Right Construction Data, Right Time, Right Decisions

Being able to pull up data when you need it, where you need it can keep workflows moving and avoid costly mistakes.

As we’ve already mentioned, accessing your construction data can be the difference between the success or failure of a construction company. That’s because, in order for your project to be completed on time and on budget, the data for everything from the amount of materials to manpower and new plans needs to be quickly and easily shared and understood.

Making the right data available at the right time to the right people can have a massive impact on the efficiency and productivity of your workforce. It can also help you uncover and solve issues such as cost leaks, as greater accuracy means less overspending. Simply put, Breaking down data silos and embracing a connected platform that allows easy sharing and collaboration really is a no-brainer.

Breaking down data silos and embracing a connected platform that allows easy sharing and collaboration really is a no-brainer.

A recent report we compiled with The Australian National Construction Review (ANCR) highlighted that nearly half of the people surveyed (48%) stated that their project management software had basic or no integration with other systems in the business. If one department is unable to easily engage with another to get up-to-date data, this could result in huge problems for a project and, in the long term, for a company too.

Even smaller construction projects can still generate vast amounts of data over the lifecycle of a project. Blueprints, building models, cost estimates, payroll, emails, documents—the list is endless. And, as we continue to become more digitised in our practices, it is the companies who can easily and effectively manage this data that will remain competitive and ultimately survive.

What Construction Data Should You be Collecting?

Below are five key areas that you should immediately start collecting data on, if you aren't already. Of course, this is by no means an exhaustive list, but it is definitely a good starting point for you and your business to help you stay one step ahead of the game.

1. Operational Costs and Billing

We know how fine the margins can be in the construction industry, and the challenge of getting a project completed on time and on schedule isn’t always easy. However, by keeping track of your operational costs and all the other incomings and outgoings, you will be much better placed to understand where leaks may be occurring and how to stop them.

2. Subcontractor Performance

Subcontractors are a vital element of the construction industry and there is no getting away from them. However, just because you have to use them doesn’t mean you have to put up with sub-par ones. Keeping track of contractor performance can help you make the right decisions on future projects to ensure you have the best team possible.

3. Scheduling and Safety

Did you know that construction workers are more likely to get injured on the job than any other industry? Ensuring you’re on top of scheduling—making sure only the necessary people are onsite at the right time—can help you reduce the risk of nasty accidents and also mean you’re not overpaying for unnecessary hours. Additionally, modern, connected solutions and workflows can help provide and track safety training, log incidents, identify safety gaps and more.

4. Materials Usage and Inventory Management

It might sound hard to believe, but a massive 35% of construction costs are made up of material wastage and remedial work. By keeping all design and construction data, and crucially ensuring it is on a platform where everyone can access it in real time, you can potentially make huge savings on your project.

5. Equipment Usage and Asset Management

On a construction project, efficiency is just as important as managing the budget so it is important to always have a good understanding of where your assets are at any given time. Knowing where certain machinery is at any time and where it needs to be at any point in the future can allow you to maximise your efficiency by not over committing on assets that you have a finite supply of. Additionally, connected data can help inform how equipment is being used (or not used), when regular maintenance is needed, spot trends and more to increase the lifecycle of equipment, which are among contractors’ most expensive capital investments.

Connected Construction Data = Working in the Cloud

Contractors that have moved to the cloud have realized the power that real-time data and workflows can generate for their projects.

Forbes magazine stated that the big data market was worth up to $99.31 billion by the end of 2021. Coupled with this is research by BARC that suggested that companies that effectively managed their big data reported an 8% increase in revenue. Put it all together and it seems like big data is here to stay—so in order for contractors to stay competitive, they’ll need to start capturing more of it.

That’s why more and more contractors are moving their operations, data and workflows to connected cloud construction solutions. Only cloud technologies can power the real-time data and processes needed to collect, parse, analyse and share data in accurate, timely ways. And connected, construction-specific cloud platforms and solution suites are making it easy for contractors to get all of their big data and workflow automation needs delivered from a single vendor.

Curious how much smarter and faster your construction company could work? Connect with Trimble Viewpoint and find out!

Posted By

Nat is the marketing manager for Viewpoint’s Australian office. With fifteen years of experience in the software industry and a passion for construction, she delivers the best solutions to the industry and helps builders get the tools to get the job done.