The Rise of Business Intelligence in Construction

31 January 2022

The Rise of Business Intelligence in Construction

The world of Business Intelligence within the construction industry can no longer be ignored.  

From introducing real-time insights and data analysis for on-site operations, to enabling greater overall visibility on aspects such as material waste, labour costs, and inventory management, BI tools have rapidly grown in both capabilities and accessibility to bring a suite of benefits to businesses of any scale.  

This is more important than ever in an industry traditionally reliant on manual processes and separate, isolated datasheets. While these enabled professionals to reach the results needed, they were also inflexible, limiting, and prevented users from realising the full potential of their data.  

What’s more, these traditional processes opened the doors for harmful data silos to embed themselves in a business, and discouraged a unified and centralised culture that highlighted the importance of data-driven decision making. These aspects are more important than ever in an age of fierce competition.  

With the future more dependent on data than ever before, it’s vital that teams embrace the world of BI, or otherwise lose critical contracts to rivals.  

How has Business Intelligence evolved within the construction industry? 

Until recently, construction businesses were reliant on either paper filing, or the use of personal computers as they became more commonplace.  

While these traditional means were readily available, they were also inefficient, limited in how much data they could represent at once, prone to human error or loss, and demanding on space. With the introduction of Microsoft Excel, all this began to change. 

This digital shift brought with it the beginning of the tech revolution, introducing Excel’s ability to display large amounts of information, and run complex analytical formulas, both quickly and reliably. For construction professionals, this enabled streamlined inventory management, insights on financial trends, and the ability to observe patterns in land management to understand how best to optimise operations.  

The demand for greater capabilities 

These capabilities were only made more readily available to data-driven cultures as tools continued to be developed to cater to evolving user sophistication and demand for greater intelligence. This equipped professionals with the chance to access greater insights on land management, operations, inventory, finance, HR, and more. 

What began as simple charts and graphs grew alongside warehousing practices to become complex, centralised data visualisations able to rapidly depict trends from millions of rows of data in an easily interpretable visual format at the press of a button. 

As our understanding of data analytics developed, so too did these Business Intelligence tools, bringing advancements in interactivity, customisation, speed, and collaboration to reports of any size.  

Now, business users can access collaborative reports that take advantage of real-time streaming data, secure in the knowledge that results are free from human error or unexpected variations.  

Discover how BI can empower teams within the construction industry here.

The rise of AI in analytics  

Business Intelligence has evolved into a pivotal tool within construction, able to stabilise many industry-specific pain points and enable greater oversight of all areas of a business.  

However, with advanced BI solutions that take advantage of innovations in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, users can gain more actionable intelligence than ever before.  

Through incorporating AI and ML processes, construction organisations can deploy predictive analytics – a groundbreaking tool that takes advantage of modelled data to predict the outcomes of high-level strategic decisions such as shifting suppliers, increasing labour spend or attempting to secure a bid.  

Prescriptive analytics takes these capabilities to the next level, allowing enterprises to gain the maximum value from their raw data by not just modelling strategic decisions, but by providing needed insight into the best possible decisions going forward.  

Learn more about predictive and prescriptive analytics, as well as Machine Learning, in our article here. 

The future of BI within construction 

As more and more construction organisations are made aware of the advantages of Business Intelligence to stay ahead of the competition and increase growth, the future of BI has drawn more attention than ever.  

Looking to the future of BI within construction, we expect to encounter a wide range of innovations and developments, including:  

  • A focus on BI platforms streamlining their UI, becoming easy to use for any user 
  • Emphasis on data visualisations focusing on storytelling, introducing more context to insights than ever before  
  • Greater capabilities for collaboration within reports 
  • Faster ingestion of big data combined with greater tools for viewing real-time data in analytics 

Begin your BI journey today 

With a range of benefits available to construction enterprises of any size, BI allows teams to uncover previously unavailable information to aid in optimising all areas of business operations, as well as encouraging an approach that favours data-driven intelligence, rather than instinct.  

To learn more about how BI processes can help your organisation, whether it’s through the creation of a data warehouse or advanced ML tools, enquire now for a free consultation. 

Business Intelligence can empower teams within the construction industry to realise the full potential of their data. Learn more today by downloading our free eBook below.

Free eBook download: The Construction Professional’s Guide to Data-Driven Intelligence

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