Focus on Engineering & Construction

The importance of data and business intelligence to the Engineering & Construction Sector

How can the Engineering & Construction sector generate operational driven data & business intelligence? - Brad Flook, Sales Director, Intoware Ltd

Almost 96% of all data goes unused in the Engineering & Construction Industry and that's just the data that is collected. With 13% of working hours spent looking for data and 30% of Engineering & Construction companies using systems that don't integrate with each other. 

I have witnessed this first hand and seen companies realise the situation and understand they have a challenge. Then go on to invest in new applications that only cover 50% of their true needs, or a platform that doesn't fully integrate with their existing systems.  Plus, while visiting companies operating across the UK I’ve witnessed that processes and applications used in one part of the country may be completely different to in another.

There are various reasons for these issues and challenges. However, using and generating the correct data needed to make effective business decisions requires the right talent and tools from a supplier who can engage, design and deploy.  

Another reason companies overlook this essential business requirement is that they don't understand how to use data to improve performance and operations. These companies may have tools or platforms to complete a task but the data ends up stored in silos.Although good data is gold, if it's not managed, organised and accessible or presented in an easy to understand manner, any benefits can be lost very quickly. Or, even worse it can end up costing more time to search and find the required information across different applications and systems.

How data is collected is also a big question. Many construction companies make use of mobile technology like phones and tablets, but don’t integrate data and reporting. Which means many frontline workers having to find the extra time to manually transfer data between applications. 

As previously highlighted, 30% of Engineering & Construction companies use stand alone applications that don't integrate. We find that mobile technology is the best way to solve this as the majority of staff are already familiar with using it in everyday life. However it loses all its relevance and benefits if integration and instant reporting are not available. Why collect data to regurgitate data? This not only drains time but can also create huge compliance issues with many companies missing deadlines and incurring fines.

A major challenge across organisations in all sectors is in the adoption of new technology and change management. Most operational advancements hit a wall if frontline workers and operational teams don’t understand the benefits they’ll see and refuse to accept the change in their working day. It’s important to show the end user how simple to use the new technology is and how it will make their jobs easier to ensure success.

When Engineering & Construction companies look to improve their operations and invest in data driven change, they should be looking outside the standard suppliers and asking what do we need short term as well as what are the benefits to the company over the long term?

  • Improving process and automation (time saving)
  • User experience (Adoption)
  • Integration (ERP, CRM, CMMS, BIM, Cloud)
  • Mobile Technology 
  • Wearables
  • Skills gap & training
  • GEO tracking
  • Business Intelligence
  • Data Analytics
  • Compliance
  • Integration

They should also ask, what can this platform do as far as the thread of data? The essentials are:

A platform that can accept data from existing IT infrastructure, complete tasks and workflows then return data directly to the source. A platform with multiple integration possibilities to allow data and assets to be instantly saved in any desired storage, Sharepoint for an example.  A platform that can create real time business intelligence, allowing companies to make informed decisions quicker and generate long term commercial gains.*

WorkfloPlus, is a user friendly connected worker, mobile first platform that can drive a strategic business advantage.  Engineering & Construction companies tend to operate over a variety of locations and teams based around the country, which can make it very easy to unintentionally create localised siloed data. 

WorkfloPlus creates consistency in how processes and procedures are completed through templated working with the flexibility of localised needs, data governance, real time reporting and compliance, as well as central repository storage.  Workfloplus also integrates with asset management platforms to support a single source of information from on-site maintenance and servicing.

Companies in the Oil & Gas, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Utilities sectors have already deployed WorkfloPlus across multiple assets and teams. Contact the Intoware team at or call 0115 977 8969 to discuss a more consultative approach to your use case and requirements.

*Sources - Big data = Big Questions for the Engineering & Construction Industry, by Jay Snyder, Alyssa Menard and Natalie Spare

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