The Data Explosion

For years we have heard that data is exploding at a rate that is unprecedented.  The common information point is that more data has been created in the last two years than the previous history of the human race.  The other information point is that we create 1.7 MB of new data every second for every human on this planet.

The AEC industry has, in the past, leveraged mostly graphic data and guarded against the distribution of data and metadata about building projects.  The ‘guard the data at all costs’ philosophy is changing in the AEC industry.

Where does the AEC industry stand today regarding data?

  • The data explosion continues without end in sight.
  • Firms are struggling with the amount and velocity of data.  Some firms have hired people specifically for data analysis, other firms are promoting from within, and some firms are ignoring the issue.
  • We have lots of data, but the issue remains “What business questions will data answer”, or are we gathering data ‘because we can’.

The first step to this is to first identify, what are you trying to achieve?

Many companies, not only in the AEC industry, gather and input a lot of data into their systems. However, for many companies, they don’t further consider why they are gathering this information in the first place? Is it for the client? Is it for future analysis? or is it simply because everyone else is doing it?

Given the current trend of data on the rise, the importance of companies having a full understanding of what exactly the data is used for is now more important than ever. It is only with this understanding that companies can plan and strategize what format data is needed in, where to store it, who should manage it and how to use it effectively to produce a significant benefit to the company. Without this understanding, our visibility of the data becomes skewed and for some companies, this means investing both time and resources in data collection can become pointless or obsolete.

BILT North America (BILT NA) implemented four years ago, a separate learning and exploration track, which is called Data Day. Here is what you can expect from Data Day:

  • Presentations that get into the “how” and “why” so our attendees can see behind the curtain and walk away with tangible, evidence-based information and processes and decide what they can do with the data they have to help drive business decisions.
  • Hands-on Labs, both intermediate and advanced, that focus on using data to gain efficiencies and provide better quality output/information both internally and to external clients
  • Spark conversations and discussions to inspire attendees and look into the future of data capabilities.

This year Data Day will be a two-day event (July 17 and 18, 2019) in Seattle Washington.  Registration, with early bird pricing, opens in March 2019.  If you have interest in where data in the AEC industry is going, who is leading the charge, and the challenges/opportunities that the AEC is facing; please come join us July 17 + 18, 2019 in Seattle, Washington.

By David Haynes

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