Data is gold: three stages to improve programme efficiency

Jon Poore

Director, Consulting and Advisory Services

Australia and New Zealand

Asset owners should use their real estate portfolio, programme and project data to inform strategy and decision-making and reach maximum efficiency in capital investment delivery. It is data that provides the golden insights into where and how to improve.

Data is the new gold; it needs to be discovered, mined and shaped to provide incredible value to an organisation including:

  • Instantaneous view on progress against capital plan
  • Validation of strategy and return on investment
  • Identification of key decisions to be made
  • Mitigation of risk
  • Assurance that what you want to deliver; will be delivered

Aligning strategies for success   

The following three stage process will align your capital and business strategies to ensure that annual expenditure targets and investment returns are achieved. We have found this process provides our clients with significant and rapid benefits to their construction projects and programmes, including investment efficiency improvements of up to 20 percent per annum: 

1.   Discover stakeholder requirements

Most organisations recognise how important data is but in the construction space; there can often be a lack of maturity and outsourcing of data ownership to your supply chain. 

Similar to the early days of gold-digging in Australia, it is important to be focused on specific areas and to be targeted in where you start. There are some key questions to ask:

  • What data do we have now?
  • What data do we want?
  • Where is it?
  • How do we get it efficiently?

In the construction sector, key data will include time, cost, risk, quality, safety, stakeholder satisfaction and benefits. Often this data is dispersed across the delivery organisation and in different systems.

The discovery stage is about engaging with stakeholders to understand their requirements and develop a focused plan for the next phase. The outcome of the discovery stage is very similar to the prospecting for gold. It is a survey of the environment to identify rich sources of information and map how to get it. 

2.   Build and source information

Digging for gold has evolved, from the original simple panning to sophisticated mining techniques and equipment.

Mining for data is the same. We need to build a platform that enables data to be identified, retrieved and captured within a consistent format. To do this, we need to implement the tools that make this automated and efficient.

Ultimately, we want to extract the data without undue impact on the environment; in this case, the impact on project delivery resources.

Some of your best data will be in the systems of your supply chain – detailed project schedules, forecasts and second/third tier contractor information. The amalgamation of multiple internal and external sources is integral to your data mining strategy.

The set-up of a data warehouse to bring together this information is the vital platform required to successfully mine your construction data. This can be a significant exercise that requires standardisation of data definition and architecture. But…the work undertaken in the discovery phase to map out your data environment and requirements will focus attention. This is not about a random dig but a targeted journey towards developing a value-adding data management solution.

3.   Shape and evolve data

Gold is one of the most pliable materials on earth, it can be shaped and moulded to meet multiple needs. Data is the same; once it has been mined it can be used for multiple purposes. 

Construction data can be used to highlight detailed progress at ground level with the same data rolled up to provide a portfolio view across a complex investment plan. 

Data needs to be shaped and presented to stakeholders in the most aesthetically pleasing way. This “lands” the data in the eye of the stakeholder, makes it accessible and therefore value-adding.

Dashboards need to be developed that answer the requirements identified during the discovery phase. The most effective dashboards present data, analyse trends and develop recommendations based on fact for improved decision-making. 

The dashboards act as the single source for the capital investment plan and show performance across portfolio, programme and project. That allows a deep dive down into the detail of a specific task on a specific project to identify risks and issues that protect the investment.

The most effective organisations will reuse their data to learn lessons and capture cost, time and risk benchmarking information to inform future investments.

Just as gold can be melted down and repurposed, so can data. Over time, an organisation can build a repository of data that is constantly evolving and enable historical comparisons to continually improve.

Reaching maximum efficiency

Most organisations throw away construction programme and project data. The insights this data could provide is lost but by implementing a structured data strategy; this gold could become readily available:

  • Discover where your data is, how to extract and your requirements.
  • Build the data capture platform and source the information.
  • Shape and evolve your data use through dashboards and reports that drive improved performance.

Our construction data and analytics team is ready to help you with your data journey. We will deliver rapid improvements in how you use and manage your data to drive benefits in capital program delivery.

For further information contact:

Jon Poore
Director, Consulting and Advisory Services

t: +61 3 9529 8000
e: