For any organization, their corporate data is one of the most important assets they possess. The information they gather on a daily basis forms the core of who they are, where they’ve been and where they’re going. The monumental technology changes going on in the world today have made ‘Data’ the central element that determines success or failure for most any company.
Quite tragically, many construction contractors have been slow to adopt sufficient processes and tools to collect and store their corporate data in a way for them to leverage it as a critical asset. The “Just get it done” approach to executing on construction projects has made the less enlightened contractors almost dismissive about the importance of appropriate data gathering, monitoring and analysis. The unfortunate consequence of operating in a data deficit, is that without good information and the right tools to analyze that information, there’s no clear way to improve your business. In other words, companies are destined to repeat the same mistakes over and over and ultimately lose any competitive edge they may have had. Good data with good tools provides the mechanisms to identify what you’re good at, where you need to improve, how you can streamline, reduce costs and increase revenues. Equally key, is to determine who are the performers and who are not. This includes your staff, your vendors, and even your customers – because some customers may be more profitable than others. Without information to support business decisions, companies blindly follow an uninformed path that most often leads to marginal results.
My point is this: Your data really drives your business. Take it seriously.
Royal Bank CEO Dave McKay recently referred to corporate Data as the “New Oil”. It needs to be extracted, processed, mined, protected, valued and utilized intelligently.
“Let me start with some observations on the way the world is evolving,” says McKay, “especially in terms of technology. As many of our clients across many sectors tell us, data is the new oil. That’s a phrase I’ve heard so often it’s become a cliché. In some senses it’s true. Data is worthless unless it’s been refined. In order to create value, you have to turn data into knowledge and then into insights.” See more on this here.
Many organizations are still using spreadsheets – and even paper – to manage their costs, budgets, productivity, amongst other things, on their construction projects. This can provide a very basic means to get a project completed, however those spreadsheets are now sitting dormant on a corporate drive somewhere, and providing no meaningful value to the company for current or historical reporting & analysis. By doing that, these companies are missing out on the priceless treasure of information that can be mined from all that critical information.
When concepts such as “Big Data” are mentioned in the media, most people think of that as the domain of data-driven companies like Google, Amazon or the Government. Nothing could be further from the truth. Every company has its own Big Data. The only thing separating your company and Google, is your ability to:
- Fully collect and store your data in a solution with a relational database
- Aggregate your data
- Apply the intelligent tools to analyze that data.
These three steps are simpler than you think and, if ignored, could vastly influence the future of your organization.