Implementing Data-Driven Pipelines: The Future of the Construction Industry5 August 2023
The Era of Data Analytics in Construction5 August 2023
On the question of whether the ancient Egyptians or Greeks worked differently with their data thousands of years ago? worked differently.
We have tabular data from CAD programs
We have tables that describe today's construction processes. Did the ancient Egyptians or Greeks work differently with their data thousands of years ago?
In the Last Few Decades
In the last few decades, new technologies like CAD (computer-aided design) and BIM-BOM (Building Information Modelling - Bill of Materials) have emerged in the construction industry. But despite these new tools, productivity in construction has barely changed in recent decades, and in some areas, the human factor and associated errors have even increased. So what went wrong?
Understanding Ancient and Modern Methods
To understand how our working methods differ from those of the ancient Egyptian builders, we must look at the tools and planning data we work with today. For thousands of years, data has been collected for planning in the design phase and all necessary parameters are summarized in construction project models.
Data from other professionals, departments, or companies are incorporated into this model to reflect the volumetric properties of parts of the project. The project model is drawn on a cave wall, created on A4 papyrus, or with CAD software. The project model serves various purposes (marketing or collision detection), but the main goal remains, as it was thousands of years ago, the creation of a volumetric feature table.
The Key to Modern Construction
The volumetrics is the key information that connects the planning phase with all other business processes of construction companies. Almost all data processing and business processes in construction are carried out via spreadsheet calculations or, more precisely, via the processing of columns or rows in tables (Excel, MySQL, CSV, DataFrame).
Drastic Changes in Recent Years
While the methods of determining values and plotting have not changed over the millennia, the approach to processing and obtaining volumetric data has changed drastically in recent years. Project data, especially their volumetric features, are an important source for various business processes such as 4D - 7D, procurement, logistics, and others.
Project data is not a static entity that flows unchanged into the 6D and 7D system. CAD model data (with BIM-BOM information) are more like a dissected fish body at the bottom of a river that serves as a lifeline for the many small river animals - the business processes in the ecosystem of a construction company. The difference between today's data and the data used to build the pyramids is that today's information model is bound by networks of CAD solution providers. Once these information shackles are broken, data collection and processing can be automated and accelerated, making processes much more efficient and finally making the construction industry productive.
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