The Rise of Business Intelligence in Construction


Contractors like W. Soule are using BI technology to dramatically improve productivity and profitability.

The larger the job, greater the amount of data and potential for unplanned costs and risks. But with the risk also comes the increased potential for improved efficiency and savings, leading to a greater profit margin for contractors that are used to typically razor thin margins on projects. Better tracking and analysis of things like material and equipment, labor deployment and costs for projects, productivity rates for various subcontractors and much more after the project can lead to intriguing post-mortem discussions. But software that analyzes that same data in real-time creates opportunities to make a difference in the here and now.

Cloud-based, integrated construction software and mobile applications that allows data to be accessed and updated in real time are the technology tools helping construction business intelligence succeed in an industry where change is a constant. The aforementioned technologies allow visibility into all aspects of a project from any device, creating collaborative working environments for all construction professionals, whether they work in the field or the back office. Working with current data in real time lets contractors meet modern business needs. But the ability to analyze that data and quickly make smart decisions as part of the process is what is giving modern contractors a significant competitive edge.

In an industry where 35 percent of costs come from material waste and remedial work, cost management proves vital. Business intelligence software allows a firm to control costs by better managing and anticipating labor, inventory, project costs and more in every process from bidding to building. Bringing in historical data from other projects will help more accurately identify efficiencies that can be gained in current projects — pointing managers to the suppliers who have provided the highest-quality materials in the past or letting firms map out more effective and efficient building phase schedules in the field

When it comes to planning, the right business intelligence software can analyze and predict what is needed to be successful future and potential projects. This lets contractors smartly chase and bid for the right projects that provide the best potential for successful bottom lines.

By better understanding construction data and making actionable decisions to improve their operations for today and the future, they’re setting themselves up to better manage their organizational risk in an ever-changing environment. The more serious a construction firm is about lean construction processes and innovative building strategies, the more business intelligence software moves from a nice-to-have to a must-have. It’s simply an intelligent business decision.

What is your company’s approach to business intelligence? Let us know in the comments below. Or, contact us today to learn more about how the right business intelligence solution could benefit your organization.

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