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Big Data refers to the mass amounts of information — historical data and new data — that are collected by businesses across all types of industries. The construction industry uses big data, which is found in all building plans and records of things that have been built. Big data in construction also comes from external sources such as on-site workers, machines, material supply chains, and physical structures.

Data solutions have become vital tools for improving project ROIs, reducing risk, gaining insights that improve business intelligence and decision-making processes, and maintaining a competitive advantage. Take a look at how advanced analytics can be applied to the construction industry.

The Value of Data

Businesses leverage big data to gain deeper insights that improve business intelligence and decision-making.

Traditional information systems keep records of basic information such as project schedules, CAD designs, costs, invoices, and worker details. Traditional systems can only work with unstructured data organized into rows and columns. Businesses leverage big data to gain deeper insights that improve business intelligence and decision-making. Big data analytics tools are essential for accurate analyses of the outcomes of projects.

The Role of Advanced Analytics

What is advanced analytics and how does it help businesses leverage big data? Advanced analytics tools combine predictive modeling, prescriptive analytics, statistical methods, machine learning, and automation techniques to perform data analytics. It leverages data science to project future trends and forecasts future events. Predictive analytics help businesses gain more value from data sets by presenting a way to extract value from data stored in data warehouses or new data generated in real-time by business operations. Advanced data analytics provides deeper insight into historical data and new data to help business users predict future outcomes and better solve complex business problems.

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There are several advanced analytics techniques that business users can benefit from such as data mining, artificial intelligence, machine learning, data visualization, sentiment analysis, cluster analysis, forecasting, pattern matching, and complex event processing. The right analytics platform helps construction businesses optimize business operations, gain a competitive advantage, gain deep learning of past performance and business problems, and succeed in an ever-changing market.

Big Data in Construction

Big data plays an essential role in the design-build-operate lifecycle of a building project. Several factors influence the design of a building such as the design itself, environmental data, stakeholder input, and community discussions. All of these factors determine what type of building to construct and where. Big data, specifically historical data, can help businesses determine where to build with the least amount of risk.


Big data helps determine the optimal phasing of a building project based on weather, traffic, and local activity. Senors that communicate data from construction machines show active and idle time, which helps businesses decide on which equipment to lease and buy, as well as how to improve fuel efficiency, lower costs, and reduce environmental impact. Analytics from geolocation sensors show business owners where to improve logistics, when to get spare parts, and downtime to avoid.

Lastly, data analytics communicated by buildings, bridges, and other construction elements allows for constant monitoring of performance. Energy conservation can be tracked and compared to design goals, and traffic information and levels of flexing in bridges can detect future events. This data helps streamline business operations by identifying when it's time for scheduled maintenance.

The amount of time it takes to complete a construction project, the material cost, and the labor costs all affect ROI. Wood is an expensive material that takes longer to construct than a metal building, especially when building thousands of square feet for a garage or airplane hangar. Metal building kits are quick and easy to construct, can be permanent or single-use, able to be insulated against high winds and heavy snow, and don't require support pillars.

Peak Steel Buildings offers customers a durable 40x60 steel building kit that is economical, supports ROI, can be built quickly, and comes with a nationally-recognized name. Their steel building kits can meet the specific need of small business owners, farmers, hobbyists, and any other customer with storage needs who rely on durable products and an economical material cost.

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BI tools are becoming more advanced to give business users better leveraging power over big data. The use of advanced data analytics in the construction industry allows for deeper insights, improved business intelligence, the maintaining of competitive advantage, and optimization of the design-build-operate project lifecycle.