Construction is a highly complex industry, with many different players. Construction data accounts for all data generated at every stage of a project, from pre-sale to model-creation to real-time logistics.
This data comes from both internal and external sources. Internal sources include worker contracts, budget information, equipment sensors, and 2-D or 3-D project model renders disseminated to the whole company and its contractors.
External data comes from bid sites, both government and private, as well as local and national regulations and zoning laws, economic factors like labor shortages, the weather and the environment, and even demographics.
Additionally, third parties like suppliers, contractors, and architects generate important data but may not fit neatly into the category of internal data.
Construction companies divide this data into four parts. First, Estimating Data covering the pre-sale stage. This category encompasses the search for trends and likely prospects as well as the project bidding stage.
Second, Building Information Modeling (BIM) Data, limited to the 2-D or 3-D renders of a project. Some renders can be updated or even changed by contractors at any stage.
Third, Operational Data, taking place during the active construction phase. This data includes all resources and logistics aspects of a project. In other words, all materials, labor, equipment, requests for information (RoI), submittals, and deliveries.
Fourth and finally, Financial Data. Good datasets or software services can break down the financials into dollar amounts for each aspect and material.
Companies and contractors use this data to find and optimize management of a construction project (or many at once).
The best test for a quality construction dataset is its ability to update in real time and its integration across all aspects of the construction lifecycle. In essence, no part of this data can be taken in isolation; practical integration for the ease of everyone working on any part of the project must be the focus and the ultimate test of a quality product.
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