Business Intelligence for Construction Firms: It's Field Intelligence

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Over the past two months we've gone in-depth into what business intelligence for construction firms should look like. In case you missed any of it, here's the entire series so far.

Introduction: what is business intelligence and why do construction firms care?

Where the best data comes from: The field, that's where.

Starting from the bottom: What data to collect.

Field Data Collecting: How to gather accurate data from the field.

Best Construction BI Tools: Which tools will gather that data for you and analyze it.

And now we come to the end of it- what has the whole point been?

Put quite simply, if you want your construction firm to grow then you need to start collecting accurate data from the field and analyzing it.

When you put both of those aspects of business intelligence for construction firms together you get something new and extremely valuable: field intelligence.

What is Field Intelligence?

Quite simply, it's business intelligence that focuses on making the construction field just as efficient and cost-effective as you would want the office to be. Historically, as we've already mentioned, this has been a bit difficult because the field is, well, outside.

Outside where bad weather, traffic, and accidents can put your entire project behind schedule.

Field Intelligence helps you get all the information you need from the site. Once you've got it, you can then go about analyzing it.

What Should I be Tracking for Field Intelligence?

Work Logs: Make sure you get a name, a description, how many workers, and what their hours were.

Time Cards: related to work logs, make sure that you are making it as easy as possible for your team to punch in and out, but also make sure you are making provisions for splitting cost codes between users: it's common on construction sites for workers to split time between different work functions.

Notes: Basic notes on progress, with pictures and video of work completed that day.

Safety: Do your Superintendents see a potential safety issue with an aspect of the site or a particular worker? Make sure they are noting it down first.

Quality Control: This will be important down the line to protect you against future litigation. Make sure, as the project is being completed, that you are noting down every step you take to ensure quality.

Accidents: Were there any specific accidents that day? Note the number, the individuals involved, severity, and add some pictures of what happened and where it happened for documentation.

Schedule delays: Who was late? Did it hold up work? By how long?

Weather delays: What were the delays caused by the weather, and how long did the weather hold things up for?

Visitors: Who were the visitors, what did they want, and what did they do?

Blocked: Are there any parts of the site that can't be worked on? What is keeping the workers from working on it?

Rentals: What was the rented equipment, how long was it on site, and how much did it cost?

Tasks: Who it's assigned to, when it's due, and how many have been done on the project so far.

Verified and signed submission: Make sure that the person (or people) providing the data signs their work, that way you know who to talk to if you have questions.

If you are tracking these items in your daily reports then you are gathering all the data you need for accurate field intelligence

Collecting Field Intelligence Fast

Raken's app was designed to make collecting this data as fast as possible. We make it fast by taking field personnel, step by step, through the daily report. Superintendents can input these fields in just a few taps as they walk the site, then sign and submit in seconds.

Of course, all this means your collection needs to be mobile. But don't worry, research shows that 75% of Americans have a smartphone.

All of the field intelligence material we've talked about so far won't mean anything unless you've got a reliable, fast, pleasing way to fill out the daily reports you need to get the job done.

Now that you've got the data, we'll make sure you have the tools necessary to analyze it effectively next week!

Find the rest of our Business Intelligence for Construction Firms Series here: