- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 14 May 2019
Five steps to a healthy data culture in construction
The data revolution is upon us but the construction industry is a long way from where it needs to be. Digitisation is a demanding process that is inextricably linked to the behaviour and mindset of the sector. Many people wrongly perceive the shift to digital as a continuous and linear process which will keep developing no matter what.
In September 2018, McKinsey and Company published detailed and informative research about the steps that every sector needs to take to introduce a healthy data culture. Ref https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/mckinsey-analytics/our-insights/why-data-culture-matters
Cameron Davies (NBC Universal) suggested that the enforcement of a data culture as ‘CEO-mandated’ is unlikely to succeed. The uninterrupted connection between all decision-makers and stakeholders in charge of data systems and processes is of paramount importance as they work closely towards a common goal.
2. Data as the basis of the decision-making process
There is a common misconception not only in construction but in every other industry that sees data as simply a challenging experiment. In fact, it is a sincere, scientific endeavour to improve the decision-making process. Every data-related effort should result in the resolution of a specific problem.
One of the least appropriate phrases in relation to data is 'the more, the merrier'.
The amount of data that can be produced in the construction industry is enormous, but this brings the danger that stakeholders get lost in a sea of data that they do not know how to use. There should always be a specific reason for the collection of data and a carefully elaborated framework for its analysis.
4. The democratisation of data
It is difficult to impose change if people do not understand the concept; they have to see how it will improve the way they work. Decision-makers need to understand that taking the time to show their teams the benefits of data can actually accelerate the change.
Boeing CIO Ted Colbert said: “When people begin to believe in the data, it’s a game changer: They begin to change their behaviours, based on a new understanding of all the richness trapped beneath the surface of our systems and processes”.
5. Finding data-driven talent and workforce
In the end, everything comes down to finding the right people to implement change.
The construction industry has a unique opportunity to attract young, ambitious talent with a data background. This talent boost could help accelerate change and facilitate the introduction, development and implementation of a healthy data culture.
The power of habit and problematic contractual relations are two of the main obstacles the industry needs to overcome if it is to create a healthy data culture. The connection of analytics with existing systems and processes is a complex process which demands continuous commitment and the inclusion of all industry stakeholders.
About this article
--GenieBelt 11:11, 20 Nov 2018 (BST)
Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Artificial intelligence and civil engineering.
- Big data.
- Building Automation and Control System BACS.
- Building information modelling.
- Building management systems.
- Building Services Analytics - BG 75 2018.
- Cyber threats to building automation and control systems.
- Engineering Smart Cities.
- Global building energy management systems market.
- Internet of things.
- Making the most of big data.
- Open data.
- Open data - how can it aid the development of the construction industry?
- Smart building.
- Smart city.
- Smart technology.
- The readiness of UK companies to adopt new digital technologies.
Featured articles and news
BSRIA examines factors driving the industry.
Ensuring designs are developed, validated and can be effectively implemented.
The Homebuyer Survey most suitable for newer homes or simple properties.
Health and safety practices for body and mind.
28 leading bodies set out their vision for the future.
Chancellor announces latest Winter Support packages.
Tapping technology to boost infrastructure and create jobs.
4 ways to ensure certificates are valid.
White elephant construction projects.
How Paul Williams bent over backwards to overcome racial barriers.
Organisation revises actions around dealing with COVID-19.
CIOB, NFCC, RIBA, RICS call for changes ahead of Building Safety Bill.
Developments in the Future Homes Standard.
An American chimney feature with a colourful past.