Best Practices: Optimizing Outcomes through Analytics


Optimizing outcomes through analytics

“If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.” 

– Peter Drucker

With the proliferation of technology in construction, data is becoming increasingly available and accessible for key stakeholders. However, capturing and capitalizing on that construction project data still remains elusive for many. According to a report from Dodge Data & Analytics, only slightly more than 50% of construction companies are applying analytics to more than half their projects. This means the rest are continuing to operate without the transparency and visibility needed to make better decisions and improve outcomes. So, how do you start bringing analytics into your construction and commissioning projects? 

Understanding the goals

As you start to think about how to leverage analytics on your project or across your portfolio, it’s important to start with your goals – what are you trying to achieve? Understanding the outcomes you’re seeking will drive the key performance indicators (KPIs) that you need to analyze to determine how well, or not, you are tracking towards your goals. 

Initially, it could be as simple as monitoring the status of activities against where you should be based on your goals. For example, in figure 1, you can see how the team is progressing with specific issues, as well as across disciplines and project phases. 

Figure 1.

Through targeted measurement against KPIs, the key stakeholders can see where the risks lie and have the information needed to make better decisions about how to address those risks.  

Beyond the project: Impacting the future

Analytics can have a substantial impact beyond a single project – they can influence the management of a portfolio of projects, a region, a group of systems, etc…  With analytics, stakeholders can identify systemic problems and opportunities. KPIs also provide the opportunity to incorporate lessons learned, create benchmarks and establish standards that can be used to improve outcomes across projects, regions and organizations. For example, understanding that it takes twice as long to make a particular project operationally ready may negate a cost advantage because, once labor is factored in, it’s actually more expensive. Or you may find that a particular brand of equipment consistently fails to meet established benchmarks and should no longer be used on your projects. 

Now is a good time to start incorporating analytics into your projects. Start early and tailor the analytics to your specific needs. Then be diligent about ensuring your systems can provide the data needed to monitor your progress and make more informed decisions. 

Additional Resources

To learn more, we invite you to join us on August 16 for a review and discussion of all the best practices in our webinar, Survival of the Fittest: Best Practices Webinar.