HeadshotTara Callinan • 

2019 07 10T10 08 14

Contractors report increasing ability to gather and analyze data helps improve project outcomes like budget, productivity, and profitability.

A new report released this week by Dodge Data & Analytics, in collaboration with construction management software provider Viewpoint, a Trimble company, reveals a sea change in the way project data is gathered and analyzed across the construction industry — change that is poised to improve key project outcomes according to construction managers, specialty trade contractors, and design/build firms surveyed. Tied to increased technology use and advancements, 64 percent of those who participated in the report said their ability to gather and analyze data has improved or improved significantly.

“64% of participants said their ability to gather and analyze data has improved.”

The report, titled Improving Performance with Project Data SmartMarket Report: How Improved Collection and Analysis is Leading to the Digital Transformation of the Construction Industry, reveals that contractors believe improvements in field data collection will bring impactful change over the next three years, driving the industry’s digital transformation. If critical business data normalization can be accomplished, the results can increase key project outcomes such as budget, productivity, and profitability.

The findings also reveal some important calls to action for continuous improvement in the industry:

  • Contractors using commercial software to gather jobsite data report significantly higher satisfaction rates than those using paper forms or spreadsheets.
  • Many contractors still have concerns about storing their data in the cloud, and in particular around how secure their cloud-stored data will be. Both general contractors and specialty trades list security concerns as the top reason for not managing data in the cloud, and among those surveyed, 65 percent still use on-premise servers.
  • While 86 percent of respondents are relying on anti-malware software to address data security, only 45 percent of those surveyed have implemented employee compliance training.

“65% of participants said they still use on-premise servers.”

Viewpoints Chief Product & Strategy Officer Matt Harris said: “Gathering siloed data from across their organization to analyze and improve project outcomes is a key challenge we work with clients to overcome daily. Contractors are demanding easier, better, and more consistent collection of data — from the office, across their extended teams, and into the field — in order to enable better measurement of project performance and drive toward greater gains.”

The report also points to current and emerging means of gathering data via apps, cameras, sensors, and wearables. “We think this is a critical area to watch in the future,” said Steve Jones, Senior Director of Industry Insights Research at Dodge Data & Analytics. “The smarter jobsite will transform the industry, but companies need their data gathering and analytics fundamentals in place before they can fully profit from all of the exciting technology that is now emerging, funded by an influx of venture capital, and directly addressing industry needs to reduce risk, improve productivity, and improve safety.”

A complimentary version of the full SmartMarket Report is available here.

Methodology

An online survey of contractors was conducted by Dodge Data & Analytics. A total of 187 responses are included in the analysis, including 140 prime contractors (general contractors, construction managers, construction design/contracting firms, design-builders and others) and 47 specialty trade contractors.

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