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3 Questions Every Construction Firm Should Ask About Their Data

Stephanie Patterson, Rhumbix InsiderApril 16, 2020 • 3 min read

At Rhumbix, we are construction industry optimists. We believe the industry is at a tipping point in terms of productivity, and that the future is bright for firms committed to embracing new innovations that contribute to project success.

But just how many productivity improvements your firm realizes over the next few years is dependent on many factors. Budgeting and prioritizing for investments in innovation is key. But perhaps even more important is the approach your firm takes to aligning your investments to productivity metrics you can track and evaluate as you go. These metrics become your measuring stick for determining whether or not the investment you made is paying off and are therefore absolutely essential to long-term success.

So how to do you determine the metrics your firm should be tracking, especially if you’re starting from scratch without a lot of data to begin with?

We’ve identified three key questions as a great place to start in determining the types of data that have the potential to improve project outcomes.

1. What data will reduce project risk?

Every firm has their stories of projects that went terribly wrong. While we’d very much like to forget those moments, they can be a great starting point for identifying patterns of risk that are worth tracking across all projects.

Rhumbix hosted a panel discussion a few months ago unpacking the challenges and opportunities of creating a data-driven culture, and every panelist had their story about using risk to define success.

By digging deeper into what factors led to failure, your firm will likely uncover some key performance indicators (KPI’s) you should be tracking to reduce project risk moving forward.

2. Where do we need to unify quantitative and qualitative data?

Many firms have siloed systems for the types of data they collect. Everything lives in its own spreadsheet or notebook or system without much communication and sharing between them. The result is no ‘single source of truth’ for all stakeholders to clearly see how the project is progressing, and what factors may be contributing to delays.

As much as you possibly can, your firm should look for solutions that bring data together in a single location—especially quantitative and qualitative data.

Timekeeping data is so much more valuable when it can be referenced alongside daily notes from field workers reporting on site conditions and team performance.

3. How can we use data to start a conversation?

The real value of data is realized when you can use it to improve the daily workflow of your crew.

Dashboards, visualization tools, and reports are all helpful and essential tools in construction management. But where the rubber meets the road is when that data is shared with the people who can make a difference: the men and women who are on the jobsite, doing the work.

By asking your crew what kind of data would lead to better decision-making, you immediately prioritize what matters most.

By evaluating these questions, your firm will be well on its way to determining what data needs to be collected in order to create productivity metrics that improve project performance. The next big milestone is HOW these metrics change the way you manage your projects.

To hear more on this topic, sign up for the upcoming webinar: Increasing Labor Productivity With Data, with Zach Scheel, Guy Skillett and Michael Myers August 8th from 2-3 pm EST.

Hosted by the AGC of America and sponsored by Procore, the webinar will dig deeper into:

  • How better data can reduce project risk
  • What steps you can take today to begin transitioning to a data-driven business
  • How to create a “data quality culture”
  • …and much more.

The webinar is FREE and open to anyone interested in attending, so visit the AGC event page today to register and reserve your spot.


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