A new survey shows that most architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) firms are looking to predictive analytics to improve project outcomes and mitigate risks. According a new IDC InfoBrief, sponsored by Oracle Construction and Engineering, 29% of respondents are currently utilizing a predictive analytics tool, while another 60% plan to invest in a solution within the next 24 months. AEC companies see having a predictive view across projects as key to anticipating and lessening delays, reducing change orders, creating more accurate budget forecasts, and better managing health and safety risks.
More than three-quarters (77%) of respondents have had a formal data strategy in place for three or more years, with 63% noting that their data strategy is primarily driven by the C-suite. Most organizations (85%) say they are using at least one-quarter of their project data to inform current-decision making or future initiatives—showing there is lots of room for improvement in fully utilizing the data available.
The top three areas of focus for AEC organizations when it comes to their data strategy are quality (45%), productivity (41%), and budget/financial improvements (38%) as they look to sharpen decision-making and enhance their operations and project outcomes. The use of predictive analytics tools is seen as key to these efforts.
The Oracle Construction and Engineering sponsored IDC InfoBrief, “The State of Data Strategies in Construction,*” surveyed 405 business, project, and IT executives at AEC companies in March 2021. Respondents included general contractors, subcontractors, and engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) service companies in the United States, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Australia, and New Zealand. Read the full analysis to learn why the construction industry is looking to implement predictive analytics to improve project outcomes.
Bringing data together
Organizations face challenges in their efforts to use data to improve current and future projects. In particular, the large amount of data created across the project lifecycle is often trapped within different systems and is not effectively used to manage or plan projects today. To help address this, 81% of respondents say their data strategy includes bringing together data silos for reporting and analytics in one project and portfolio management system. Another 60% are seeking to integrate multiple disconnected systems for seamless workflows.
Using data to improve construction risk management is increasing in importance among AEC organizations. Respondents identified health and safety (29%), supply chain health (28%), material availability (27%), worker availability (27%), and cost overruns (25%) as the top five areas where a better data strategy could help mitigate risk.
In terms of leading indicators of project performance―those used to predict outcomes, rather than measure what happened on past projects―organizations said they see reducing changes and variations (41%) and forecasting budget blowouts (37%) as the most valuable.
“Engineering and construction firms increasingly recognize that making better use of all of their data is the key to taking the next big step forward in performance,” said Mark Webster, senior vice president and general manager, Oracle Construction and Engineering. “We’re encouraged that so many organizations are focused on data as a critical strategic priority and are working to empower smarter and more proactive decision-making across their operations.”