Recently, I attended event titled the “Future of Engineering Technology”. This event was a round table breakfast for engineering firm leaders organized by Business Development Institute and “Newforma”, a well-known name in the data management firm in the construction industry. This was a panel discussion centering on the subject of project data and information management the construction industry. The panelists included Mr. Wayne Dolbec, Vice President of Construction, CDI Corp, Mr. Mike Harrison, Senior Vice President, Business Development, ENGlobal, Mr. Edmond Lunde, President, Projects & Modifications, Wood Group, Mr. Jim Zemski, Principal, Ziegler Cooper Architects, and moderated by Mr. Tyler Ferguson, Director of Industry Solutions, Engineering, Newforma.
These experts all had different views on the future technology that is rapidly emerging in the construction industry. However, they all agreed that there has been explosion of data generated and transferred between all entities that are involved in the construction industry. Successful management this mass of data is key to better quality end products, better results for client and profitability to firms.
Successful management of data requires having a process in place to handle the data, its storage, and its communication to the correct entity. It also involves archival of data for fast and accurate retrieval at later dates for various reasons. Redundancy is also a key to ensure quick business restart in case of emergency. It is also essential in case that the company data management system is different than that of projects it handles. Successful data management also means that ease of access to key data, closely monitor of them so that one can adjust outcome of projects. It is acknowledged by the panelist that it is difficult to ensure all project data are retained. Thus even with the processes are in place, monitoring of users to enforce the processes are also essential.
At the end of projects, successful handoff of data to clients is also important. However, the tools needed to do that are currently not available. There is often the need for education of clients on the values of the transferred data so that it can be used for running the constructed facility.
Thus, ready or not, the wave is massive data is coming, your business survival is certainly dependent on how well it can handle, process and retain that data volume.
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