A survey of contractors reveals a sea change in the way project data is gathered and analyzed across the construction industry. Construction managers, specialty trade contractors and design/build firms responding to the research by Dodge Data & Analytics and Trimble's construction software provider Viewpoint, indicate they're preparing to improve key project outcomes such as budget, productivity and profitability with increased technology use; 64% said that 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, shows that contractors believe improvements in field data collection will bring impactful change over the next three years, driving the industry’s digital transformation.
The findings also reveal some important calls to action for continuous improvement in the industry:
- Contractors using software to gather job data report significantly higher satisfaction rates than those using paper forms or spreadsheets
- Contractors' security concerns are their top reason for not managing data in the cloud (65% still use on-premise servers)
- 86% rely on anti-malware software for data security, but only 45% are training employees in data security
“Gathering siloed data from across their organization to analyze and improve project outcomes is a key challenge we work with clients to overcome daily,” said Viewpoint Chief Product & Strategy Officer Matt Harris. “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,” says Steve Jones, senior director of industry insights research at Dodge Data & Analytics. “The smarter job site 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.”
Dodge Data & Analytics surveyed contractors online. A total of 187 responses were analyzed, including 140 prime contractors (general contractors, construction managers, construction design/contracting firms, design-builders and others) and 47 specialty trade contractors.