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Role of Data

Increasing productivity through data

One of the most significant improvements companies see when they gather and analyse data is a welcome boost to productivity. With construction being such a competitive space, where margins are notoriously tight, this is a big deal. 

For decades now, one familiar on-site productivity challenge has been ensuring tools and equipment are in the right place at the right moment, so valuable time and resources aren’t wasted. Thanks to data-collecting technology, such as sensors, smartphones and wearables, today’s sites can finally solve that challenge. 

They can track the location of man and machine, analyse the data, and use insights they draw to restructure operations, ensure tools and kit are available exactly when and where they’re needed, and make sure the optimum number of workers are where they need to be at every stage of the job.

Data drives productivity for site equipment, too. While construction machines are already efficient and productive, technology such as telematics devices – which collect data about machine performance and location – drives more efficiencies. These devices extract an abundance of useful information about machines’ health, operating hours and idle time, while pinning down potential faults and issues long before they put a machine out of action. 

As a result, site managers can identify issues earlier, optimise machine use, and even drive behaviour change in operators so they protect machines, avoid overuse, and improve fuel efficiency. In one study, a construction services company using telematics data cut its idling time by 37 percent2, which resulted in $18,000 of fuel savings in three months. In another study, 42 percent of companies reported fewer safety incidents3 after using telematics to monitor driver behaviour.

Productivity gains from data extend into the office with software packages available to keep key personnel on the same page, enable teams to closely track projects, and spot and fix problems before they affect deadlines or costs. 

Moreover, many firms who have transitioned key business software to the cloud can integrate all elements of the construction lifecycle – project management, accounting, and more – to create a single view of their data and operations; and develop cross-platform insights that bring more precision, accuracy and efficiency to their workflow.