It’s one of the biggest buzzwords in preconstruction. It’s a word you probably hear daily, if not perhaps hourly. And it’s something the world of preconstruction is swimming in. It should come as no surprise that we’re talking about data.
Estimators are known for churning out data – pages and pages of it, endless rows of numbers, percentages, and calculations. The problem is that this data isn’t always leveraged to its fullest extent. Don’t get it twisted; estimators aren’t at fault here. So who is? Traditionally, clunky and outdated preconstruction tools that don’t provide teams with the capabilities that they need to truly take control of the data they’re producing.
This is exactly what Stewart Carroll, Beck Technology’s president, discusses with Todd Weyandt, host of the podcast Bridging the Gap. Stewart notes that, around the early 2000s, a shift started emerging within the construction industry. “Instead of ‘we need data,’” says Stewart, “we started to hear, ‘we need reassurance that the data is correct.’” Being able to not only capture data but to verify it and track it across its lifecycle throughout a project started to become essential. Additionally, as contractors tried to remain competitive in an already highly competitive market, data analysis was a way they could help themselves stand out from the crowd.
Weyandt points out that now, in today’s environment, the name of the game is to disrupt yourself before someone disrupts you – and part of that disruption includes actively seeking out preconstruction tools that allows you to truly make your data work for you instead of just letting it pile up and remain stagnant. A lot of that includes baby steps: if you don’t have a way of centrally storing and accessing your data, as well as a consistent way of tracking it, it’s going to be incredibly difficult to analyze it. It’s important to make sure that you have a platform that has both data collection and data analysis features so you can constantly improve on your estimates and predictions, which allows you to start producing faster and more accurate results.
Ultimately, in a world that’s still being impacted by a pandemic, it’s more critical than ever to make sure that you are taking advantage of the data you have available to put yourself head and shoulders above your competitors. Make sure that your estimating tools enable you to accomplish that.