Why You Need to Increase Visibility Into Your Construction Business

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This blog is a collaboration with our friends at Ryvit.

Construction businesses are notoriously siloed. Between contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, site workers, and office staff, business leaders must gather information from a wide variety of disparate sources to achieve a true overview of what is happening across their operations. This tedious process can lead to collected data being outdated, incorrect, or incomplete.

Poor data can cause construction leaders to misinterpret the on-ground reality of their project and make erroneous strategic decisions, leading to more rework and increased costs. Here are some of the most common challenges construction businesses face and ways integrated technology like Raken’s digital construction management software can help overcome them.

Common challenges business leaders face in ensuring data completeness and accuracy

A lack of standardized data collection processes creates gaps in visibility for business leaders

Capturing and retaining data is critical for the success of any construction project. A majority of construction project owners (71%) indicate that collecting and keeping more data during design and construction would help reduce operational costs. However, the mechanisms businesses use to collect and retain this data are often not given enough attention on a project-wide level.

Processes for data collection exist within operational silos, with each stakeholder employing a process that suits their purposes best. This means that this information does not always make it up the chain of command to project leaders and owners. Information that does reach the top is usually outdated and incomplete due to the administrative hoops that stakeholders have to jump through to share information.

71% of construction project owners indicate that collecting and keeping more data would help reduce operational costs.

Source: Harnessing the Data Advantage in Construction

Outdated data reporting processes reduce efficiency and create inconsistencies in data quality

Even when operational data is collected and stored, data quality is not always assured. While modern methods of reporting have made it easy for construction teams to organize and share important operational data with business leaders, adoption has been inconsistent.

This forces construction teams to rely on universal, albeit outdated, methods of data management such as spreadsheets and word processing documents that are shared via email or chat applications. These manual methods of reporting create significant room for error, with repeated data strings and incomplete data being major culprits for poor data quality. This can significantly harm project productivity and efficiency. Over a third of construction professionals report incorrect project data to be the top reason for poor data quality.

34% of construction profesisonals report incorrect project data to be the top reason for poor data quality.

Source: Harnessing the Data Advantage in Construction

Inconsistent quality checks on project data lead to incorrect information derailing project progress

Construction business leaders recognize the importance of collecting, storing, and analyzing project data regularly. However, maintaining the quality of this data is often not top of mind for these leaders. Recent research has revealed that only 36% of construction firms have processes in place to identify and rectify data quality issues.

This means that issues caused by poor project data quality go unidentified and unresolved for long periods of time, leading to poor decision making, inconsistent operational processes, and poor compliance across the project. To solve this problem, business leaders must have consistent quality checks and complete visibility over their data at all times. Here is how integrated technology can help deliver that.

How construction businesses can use integrated technology to increase visibility across operational silos

Improve reporting with industry-specific tools and processes

Spreadsheets and word processing documents are still widely used in the construction industry to organize and share important information. These tools are made as mass-market products with features that appeal to the widest possible audience.

Construction companies, however, have extremely specific data management requirements. Information has to be collected from multiple stakeholders with different information management preferences. This can be resolved by using tools that were designed and built with construction companies in mind.

Modern tools created for construction companies have features that map perfectly to the needs of construction stakeholders. Safety reporting, operational data collection, and equipment maintenance all exist within a unified software that allows business leaders to have a holistic view of their entire operation.

Minimize the impact of bad data with a single, well-maintained source of truth

Information silos and poor data management practices can lead to significant problems for data quality. The impact of bad data can be managed if construction companies develop solutions that allow inconsistencies to be resolved quickly. This can only be accomplished if every piece of data is stored in a single location that encourages collaboration between operational departments.

A single source of truth allows business leaders to quickly identify duplicate or incorrect pieces of data and resolve them promptly. This consolidation of data also allows every stakeholder to easily contribute and manage project data regardless of their role within the project.

Maintain constant access to project data with cloud-based, mobile-first project management software

Construction businesses collect and analyze data regularly. However, the success with which construction teams can share and use operational data is dependent on the ease of implemented processes and systems.

Traditional information sharing tools such as spreadsheets and chat applications can be tedious for ground staff and supervisors to maintain and can provide minimal insight to business leaders due to how operational data is displayed. Business leaders must find a way to resolve these issues to make the most of their business data. This can be accomplished with integrated project management software.

Modern integrated systems allow internal and external stakeholders to easily share operational data regardless of their location or preferred work device. Cloud-based, mobile-first solutions also allow project data to be displayed in an intuitive dashboard that can highlight metrics that matter to project leaders the most.

Ultimately, it is clear that complete visibility into construction operations can deliver greater efficiency and save costs for business leaders, but construction teams must overcome information silos and outdated technology use. Modern integrated technology solutions allow construction companies to modernize their data collection and management processes and extract the maximum value from the operational data that is generated on the ground.

About the author

Tom Stemm is the CEO/Founder of Ryvit. He was inspired to build Ryvit when several of his clients in the construction industry had asked for some custom integration development work. At the time, Tom was part of the founding team at GadellNet (a fast-growing IT consulting firm in St. Louis, MO), and they realized that there was a significant gap in the construction tech industry – namely that, while tech purchases were high, the adoption rate of those solutions throughout all stakeholders was still lagging. After a very diligent launch process, Ryvit was born to address the rampant problem of a disintegrated tech stack in the construction technology space. Tom continues to lead a team of integration developers, application enthusiasts, customer heroes, and sales superstars on a mission to eliminate duplicate data entry and rampant data errors from the construction technology world.