In construction, data flow across project teams and phases is essential to meeting key milestones and tracking performance metrics. But connecting data can be a hurdle on jobsites, particularly when coordinating construction resource management and Advanced Work Packaging (AWP), which require ample planning and collaboration.
In our recent webinar, we discussed the common challenges around work packaging, construction resource management, and data with our partners, Intelliwave Technologies and O3 Solutions. On this LinkedIn Live, we explored the value of connected data and open ecosystems, and how construction professionals can better facilitate the flow of information within their teams and projects.
- Josh Girvin, CEO, O3 Solutions
- Barry Peyton, Business Development & Strategic Partnerships Manager, Intelliwave Technologies
- Chuck Mies, LEED AP, Assoc. AIA, Global Business Development, Autodesk
Barry, Josh, and Chuck had a lively conversation and uncovered useful insights and takeaways, including:
- How connected data makes processes like AWP possible and how it can improve resource management, project visibility, and team performance.
- What it means to have an open ecosystem, and why interoperability is important in today’s modern construction landscape.
- How solutions like Autodesk, O3, and SiteSense are achieving interoperability to make life easier for construction professionals.
The value of connected data
Connected data allows teams to manage information across teams and tools. Josh pointed out that AWP isn’t possible without it. “Advanced work packaging is not a construction execution methodology. AWP is a project execution methodology. That means that true AWP requires this interconnected data throughout the entire project lifecycle, from concept to commissioning,” he said.
That’s why O3 has invested in robust data management capabilities that enable users to not only consume data from other systems (e.g., materials management, document management, etc.) but also share information back into other platforms to achieve interoperability.
Barry agreed and added that having a connected ecosystem of solutions helps solve the challenge of disconnected data, and can save project teams time find the data they need to make more informed decisions.” An average of 96% of data in the Engineering and Construction industry goes unused, while projects team spend 13% of work hours looking for critical reporting data,” he said. Based on industry experience when solutions such as Autodesk, SiteSense, and O3 are tightly integrated, teams can find data faster and put it to good use. “Having all these systems in an interconnected ecosystem essentially allows you to really leverage that information. It’s a lot easier than paper-based methods or Excel. With the availability of APIs and data in today’s day and age, you’re kidding yourself if you don’t take advantage of the ability to leverage that data to enhance your project execution strategies,” Barry added.
Building an ecosystem
Having a tech stack powered by apps that seamlessly interface with each other is the bedrock of connected data.
Barry shared that it’s important to factor in people first when building an ecosystem. “When we talk about the ecosystem of tools, there are various different user groups [e.g. owners, subcontractors, general contractors] that are playing together here, and the data being shared between those solutions means there’s more benefit of that availability of information.”
Then comes the tools themselves. As Josh put it, “When we talk about the ecosystem of the project, we’re talking about all the tools inside that landscape, which is often the majority of the project execution tools with which we’re integrated.”
But data interoperability isn’t just about connecting tools. It’s about making valuable project information accessible and useable across applications. “That’s one of the things we’re working on with Autodesk. Being able to leverage the Forge Viewer has been valuable to O3 because we can consume models engineered in any offering tool and leverage them for the virtual construction model. We’re not limited just to one small subset of models that are engineered inside a tool made by the same provider.”
Integration with Autodesk Construction Cloud
When Chuck asked the speakers how Autodesk Construction Cloud is facilitating the transfer of data, Josh said that O3 leverages two key components: Autodesk Docs and the Forge Viewer.
“We use Autodesk Docs for organizing and managing documents and their associated data. That’s really important to O3,” he explained. “We leverage Autodesk Docs for storing the model files, and then we display those in O3 and the Forge Viewer so it’s an integrated experience within the O3 tool.”
Construction teams using Autodesk and O3 can integrate model data with graphical work packaging tools. This allows them to easily visualize work packages in O3 using Autodesk technology and ultimately confirm that everyone is operating off a central source of truth.
Over at Intelliwave, Barry said that Autodesk Construction Cloud serves as the central hub for mutual customers to drive more efficient processes around engineering, procurement, construction, and even commissioning and operations.
“SiteSense really fits in on the field capture of materials, tools, and equipment management data and we touch on the document module, the cost module, and the assets module.”
Barry continued, “We use documents for pulling in information for engineering and forecasts to be able to look at material and equipment constraints for the upcoming construction schedule, even in the pre-procurement stage of a project. Being able to identify these constraints early in a proactive fashion versus finding out the week before you need something on your schedule to avoid costly budget and schedule issues for project teams.. Then there’s the ability to close the loop on the vendor payment side from the procure to pay side by processing Purchase Order delivery verification from a mobile device.”
Ultimately, Barry said that the Autodesk Construction Cloud integration paves the way for more streamlined reporting and communication between the field teams and the corporate office. The SiteSense integration helps connect inventory to engineering requirements, verify Purchase Order deliveries, and track delivery and installation statuses of assets and equipment.
“We’re basically connecting the two systems together, to have a more streamlined process overall.”
You can’t plan and execute well without connected data
We have more data at our fingertips and projects are becoming increasingly complex. The best way to keep up is to connect project data through every phase of the project, from planning to execution.
Accomplishing that requires forward-thinking solution providers that can easily connect with other applications to provide data interoperability. As Chuck put it, “It’s really about thinking of your projects as an ecosystem. No one lives on an island.”
He added, “Through this idea of an ecosystem approach and collaborating together, you can unlock the data that used to be trapped inside of these systems by leveraging the Autodesk Construction Cloud. In the end, it’s really all about this idea of best in breed solutions.”
Watch the recap of the webinar below to gain a deeper understanding of connected data, particularly as it relates to AWP and construction resource management.
Looking to connect your data across the lifecycle? Learn more about Autodesk Construction Cloud or schedule a demo.