Leveraging the power of data for better specifications
Data can be very powerful when used effectively. Architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) firms are realizing they are sitting on a rich lode of data that simply needs to be mined for insights. Nowhere is this more prevalent than with construction specifications. If you are a specifier, your role is to guide the design team, using your knowledge and experience to identify the best products and materials to achieve design intent. Specifiers don’t just take product information at face value – they take into account past projects and the success or failure of various products, along with the latest industry information. Specifiers use data insights to identify the best products for the project.
Mining project history data to make better decisions
Let’s look at a simple scenario. If I am specifying Product X on 85% of my projects, yet on 75% of them, the contractor is substituting Product Z, why am I still specifying this product, and why is the contractor substituting it? Is it because Product X costs more or is harder to install? Is Project Z a regional item preferred by contractors in a particular area? Is my firm specifying outdated products? As you can see, many questions arise.
If I am specifying a product and it’s being substituted at a high rate, that costs the team time and money every single time. Analyzing data is not the answer for all substitutions or requests for information (RFIs), but it could eliminate a large majority of these issues if specifiers took the time to mine product and project data to guide their decisions.
Historical project data is key to guiding decisions for current projects. However, accessing and mining the data can be problematic. Office masters are terrific tools for specifiers, but keeping them up-to-date is difficult. Time-consuming database extractions, macro set-ups, and extensive pivot tables end up being cumbersome and may require additional technical experts to retrieve data and get meaningful results. There has to be a better way to mine and apply the gems of past project data to current projects. The answer is the use of better tools that enable specifiers to analyze a firm’s inherent data for better projects. To learn how to better manage project complexity, improve quality, and produce complete and accurate construction documents, listen to this webinar.
Using technology to mine your project data
Tools such as building information modeling (BIM) and specification management software provide unparalleled amounts of data and information. The Technology Paradigm Shift: 5 Essential Steps to Transform Specifications guide provides best practices for digitally transforming specifications that can save time and improve accuracy and project quality. When technology is used to manage the construction specification process, streamlined access to the data ”vault” increases efficiency and improves the accuracy of the end product. The result is reduced rework costs and more predictable outcomes, leading to better built projects. With database-driven specification software, AEC firms can take raw data and turn it into something actionable that will drive powerful results for internal teams and clients. Specification software solutions are moving away from disconnected Microsoft Word® documents and toward intelligent database-driven systems that aggregate your firm’s data points and best practices to streamline and improve the process of developing construction specifications.
The power of data
The future of specifications revolves around data, so better technology solutions must be implemented to help harness the valuable data points firms have compiled on hundreds of projects. Discover how to transform your specifications, how to advance your digital journey, and more in The Ultimate Construction Specification Guide. It’s time to mine your data “vault” and harness the power of data and analytics to drive new value so internal teams and clients can make informed, actionable decisions based on proven information, which will dramatically improve the built environment.
The AEC industry is reshaping the way it builds and manages projects, which means implementing new technology. Deltek and AIA have teamed up to deliver Deltek Specpoint, home of AIA MasterSpec®, which consists of comprehensive online building product research and selection content combined with a streamlined specification design and publishing tool that pulls from decades of experience serving the industry’s specialized needs. Learn more here.
Better software means better projects. Deltek is the leading global provider of enterprise software and information solutions for project-based businesses. More than 30,000 organizations and millions of users in over 80 countries around the world rely on Deltek for superior levels of project intelligence, management, and collaboration. This includes more than 11,000 architecture and engineering firms, representing 80% of the Engineering News-Record (ENR) Top 500.