Data technology is coming to the construction industry


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It’s no secret that data is changing the world as we know it. Just like any other industry, more data from more sources is coming to architecture, engineering and construction (AEC).

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toric uses data and analytics to transform the AEC industry. They provide real-time insights to help AEC businesses and owners, as well as operators, reduce waste and increase sustainability. This data platform empowers construction professionals to make better, data-driven decisions at a much faster pace than was previously possible.

Data under construction

I worked in the construction industry from 2007 to 2010. Back then, only some of the most progressive companies were using data and technology to improve business processes.

Over the past 10 years, AEC companies have hired more people who have grown up with technology and are comfortable using technology in their jobs.

COVID-19 has further awakened a sleeping giant. Leading AEC firms and their project managers have realized that capturing data from remote work sites is critical.

Every construction company is in a different place in the use of data and digitization. The use of ERP, planning, project management, BIM, drones, scans and photography for the open space differs per company. More data and technology solutions for industry are introduced every year. Procore led the way two decades ago. Today, Gymnast construction uses robots to perform hazardous tasks on job sites.

Data Challenges at AEC Companies

Most AEC companies that use data today do so with old data. When data is collected, it must be cleaned, structured and analyzed to improve safety, quality, productivity and profitability. Data value and accuracy diminish over time. For example, a photo of an active job site on Monday is no longer accurate on Tuesday.

Ad hoc processes present a number of challenges for AEC firms:

Data is buried in proprietary software and formats. Data is fragmented into space, silos and time. Project history is lost, so data cannot be compared from one project to another. Analysis requires significant software development skills. Money wasted, with over $2 trillion in construction waste due to bad data.

toric is at the forefront of this data-driven transformation. The company is working to address the aforementioned challenges by providing real-time data for real-time decision making to reduce errors, errors, costs and risks.

Data-driven transformation

The data landscape is chaotic. There is more data, more resources, tools and solutions, including artificial intelligence/machine learning, data mining, data science, predictive and prescriptive analytics, et al. Toric has created a no-code data platform to take advantage of all these tools.

The platform integrates, transforms, visualizes and automates data across projects. Data is then consolidated into a single workspace for analysis. They have more than 100 tools available to clean, transform, and augment data. In addition, the data is updated in real time so project managers can immediately make informed decisions to properly equip the project to move forward.

The construction analytics platform helps deliver more accurate bids, tracks progress, and improves digital delivery by referencing all past project data. It integrates Procore, Autodesk, ERP systems and spreadsheets. Estimates and project tracking are all analysis-driven. Historical data is used for data applications.

Architecture and engineering firms can build an analysis model for their BIM design process. They do this by leveraging BIM models and other data sources to support data-driven design, QA, quantification, and change management. Users can perform continuous data modeling, track design to project requirements, and create data apps to improve customer experience.

Owners and operators use Toric to track key build metrics during design, integrate and compare bids to design, and create a complete data lifecycle for digital twins.

Getting value from data

The average AEC company with 100 projects adds 1 PB of data each year. Much of this data is unstructured. It is expensive and difficult to find data analysts and scientists to extract value from the data, beyond capturing, cleaning and integrating it.

Suffolk construction is a 40-year-old company worth $3.9 billion, based in Boston. It is one of the most mature companies in its data strategy, employing 30 data scientists. Suffolk has integrated three of its 20 systems with Toric’s platform, replacing their own data ingestion and data capture systems.

Hensel Phelps, a 2000-person construction management firm founded in 1937, employs one data analyst. With Toric, their data analyst can automate thousands of projects with just one tool.

Data quality, data cataloging and real-time data analysis for the AEC industry did not exist three years ago. With advances in the industry, data leaders will have a significant impact on several fronts. Environmental issues are a major issue today and can only be addressed with data. More sophisticated and precise proposals will result in lower costs and a stronger competitive edge as data tools are used to evaluate and project costs.

Data will boost environmentally conscious building

Conscientious owner/operators who own a lot of real estate and care about the health and environmental friendliness of their properties. They require designers, engineers and contractors to know how much carbon is needed to build a new building.

Embedded carbon is a big deal for owners who want to be environmentally conscious. They want to see the carbon footprint analysis and know whether it is more efficient to build their new or repurposed building with steel or concrete. They want to know the environmental impact of a design change.

Previously, information about embodied carbon was subjective. Today it is objective and the duty of AEC companies to understand their data well in order to be competitive.

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