Right Data, Right Time, Right Way: Improving Construction Project Outcomes

March 15, 2021
Steve Handly

Having access to key data analytics can help keep construction projects on course, on time and on budget.

Construction projects can be a torrent of activity with supplies, equipment, contractors and laborers coming and going at all hours of the day, and even into the night. When coordinated effectively, the hustle and bustle can appear like a work of art with people and equipment moving in a planned and timely manner so that project progresses seamlessly.

For this coordinated effort to work, project managers need to know what is happening across all areas of their projects. They need to keep supplies moving, equipment running and contractors and labors paid. Even the slightest delay in shipments, prolonged machine downtime or late paycheck could impact if and when the project is completed. What can help is access to the right data at the right time to the right people.


Right Data

Information drives decision-making, and having the right information can make a big difference in how effective projects operate. Project managers are likely managing multiple jobs and need specific job-related info, as well as the ability to drill down to see associated costs about their jobs. Work-in-progress reports are critical in tracking the financial performance of projects and are heavily relied on to review the progress of construction contracts underway at any given time.

Like project managers, job supervisors need access to data about their specific projects with up-to-date information on labor-specific budget to hours and an understanding of crew-level productivity. Without access to this information, supervisors may not have a clear picture of their true labor or costs and not have the ability to adapt to keep projects on track and on budget.

Data analytics allows project managers and supervisors to make decisions based on statistical facts. These facts are used to guide choices about everything from suppliers to labor, allowing them to evaluate every aspect of the project. Data analytics can deliver actionable insights to help them making crucial operational decisions.


Right Time

The right data needs to be accessible at the right time. When access to information is easy, reliable and convenient, project managers and supervisors can make informed decisions when they need to, from wherever they are. Time is a critical component to the project site. The coordinated effort that keeps projects moving requires people, materials and supplies to be on time. Delays create ripples that impact the project timeline and potentially delay future phases and stages of the project. Rather than risk losing more time waiting on traditional reporting solutions and analysis, project managers and supervisors need access to real-time or close to real-time data on the job site so they can base their decisions on the most recent and accurate information.

The time frames that project managers have to respond are shrinking and because contractors, suppliers and laborers need information fast, there’s a pressure to react faster. Mobile, real-time data analytics can pave the way for decision makers to pivot when necessary and resolve issues more efficiently.


Right People

When it comes to data, it’s important that the right information is delivered at the right time to the right people. For many contractors, project-level data may not make it past the executive for finance department. Data truly needs to be in the hands of the people on-site so they can quickly and effectively resolve issues before they become challenges, and find opportunities to reduce costs, increase productivity and drive profitability. Not only can project managers and supervisors take greater ownership over their sites, they can also manage their own reporting needs and save time, while using the actionable insights to keep job sites moving forward.

Getting the right information to the right people at the right time requires the right solution. Whether you’re an executive, project manager or responsible for the finances, Aktion Analytics business intelligence for construction professionals gives the right people access to the information they need to manage the details that matter to their role. Aktion Analytics also integrates directly with Sage 300 and Sage 100, providing access to key project and financial information and helping you and your team to respond faster to keep projects on time, on budget.

To learn more about how business intelligence can improve your construction business, download your copy of the Value of Business Intelligence white paper.