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Real-Time Data Aiding Construction

As digitisation in the construction industry continues to ramp up, more construction companies are starting to see the value in real-time data. Real-time data can help construction companies and sites have a clear view of progress and processes. This will help in optimising inefficiencies between field and office.

Real-time data in construction gives project managers consistent, accurate data, and reduces the guesswork typically involved. That same guesswork leads to poor decision-making entirely based on outdated information, further setting back construction projects. When project managers don't have the most accurate information, they can make mistakes that dramatically reduce a project's profit. Adding real-time data to the management mix ensures the management team makes efficient and productive decisions that will benefit every project.

What is Real-Time Data?
Real-time data (RTD) is information that is delivered immediately after collection. There is no delay in the timeliness of the information provided. Real-time data is often used for navigation or tracking. Such data is usually processed using real-time computing although it can also be stored for later or off-line data analysis.

The number of uses for real-time data especially in construction is endless, but they are most commonly used for tracking man, material and fleet. Real-time data on fleet movements lets managers see exactly where the vehicles or equipment are, since it can be used to determine if something is in transit from one site to the next, or stolen. Materials tracking help project managers to determine when the materials will make it to the site.

A new area where real-time data is making an impact is with drawing tools and building information modelling. Managers can immediately access and mark on plans and drawings. So, subcontractors can easily communicate with structural engineers and key holders. This communication creates a more integrated project and an integrated labour delivery.

How Real-Time Data is useful to construction industry
Industry specific software with real-time functionality is now widely available for businesses both large and small. By taking advantage of technology focused on delivering timely, accurate and integrated data, construction businesses achieve greater visibility across the organisation and regain full control by reducing costs, eliminating risk and adding value.

Location data
Location data is one of the most common uses of real-time data. In construction, it is a way to ensure the safe return of any stolen equipment, but can be used for a variety of things. Real-time location data can be used to determine where equipment is, when combined with scheduling data it's easier for construction companies to ensure that the right equipment will be at the right site. Location tracking data can also be used to track workers. This can be especially important when performing work when it's dark. Since this can help ensure that all the workers that were on the site are reported for and prevent injured parties from being left.

Improves efficiency on the job site
Real-time data in construction is a clear way to improve efficiency on the job site. More software companies are developing ways to get real-time data from the field to the office quickly to improve efficiency. And more construction companies are seeing the value in real-time data and the way they run their companies. Real-time data in location, schedule, personnel, and field information can improve the way the job site functions.

Because construction companies need to track company vehicles, equipment, labour, time, level of completion, the rate of injury and more. Companies can reduce thefts, recover stolen equipment, reduce non-productive time, and more. And with the increase in integrated software options, construction companies can even reduce the amount of duplicate data entry thereby decreasing overall errors. Using this in the field is an excellent way for construction companies to improve efficiency and streamline their processes.

Increases accuracy
Inaccurate data can lead to bottlenecks in production and lurking mistakes that hurt the bottom line. Construction firms can avoid this inevitable human error by implementing a technology that allows information to be automatically created, or inputted and shared in real-time. Construction technology prevents inevitable human errors from manually entered information that is passed throughout the system.

Saves on project cost
Firms that use pen and paper must hire someone to specifically record and type up those answers. By switching to a real-time information technology solution, the firm will not only save on employee wages, but also on lowering travel needs and reducing the need for rework. Real-time information will also allow the project manager to more accurately track ROI by enabling the project manager to follow project costs and flow of resources. This transparency of information causes fewer miscommunications and oversights. Real-time information also means improved communication. This communication will create a better understanding of each project as a whole, which will lead to better decisions made by all stakeholders.

Saves time
Not only does construction technology provide everyone with real-time information, but it saves firms time by keeping the worker on the job site to record data. It also saves the subcontractor from having to redo tasks that were based on inaccurate historical data (or old plans). Subcontractors can access the newest models and drawings in order to ensure their work is accurate. Which in turn prevents rework and other expenses.

Problem resolution
Real-time information is of particular importance for the monitoring of construction projects. Control mechanisms occur at every step of the process and require having the most updated information to be useful. By having real-time information at your fingertips, the project manager will be able to notice mistakes and fix them before they cause catastrophic issues.

Real-time visual monitoring can also be used to deliver remote expertise and diagnostics to keep a project on-track and lower cost.  When project issues arise, the best expertise can be brought in remotely, like telemedicine, to diagnose and plan corrections in real-time, helping maintain schedule and project quality.