How a common data environment helps unlock the value of project data

January 19, 2021 | 4 minute read
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Data is becoming an increasingly valuable commodity that has enabled workers to solve many challenges, including working in disconnected systems or applications amid the transition to remote work.

A recent webcast, How a true common data environment (CDE) enables collaboration, now available on-demand, highlights how extracting improved insights from this data is the next big challenge for the engineering and construction industry.

We will continue seeing budget and time overruns—and the industry may become increasingly overwhelmed by the growing quantity of project information—without leveraging better data insights.

The shift to virtual work

2020 was an incredibly challenging year across the globe. COVID-19 has shaken all industries and launched a paradigm shift in work models across global businesses. This change—including the large-scale shift from office-based to remote work—has sparked the demand for software and tools that aid this work.

In the past, digitisation was not considered a necessity in the E&C industry. Since the start of the health crisis, there has been a noticeable shift in terms of the focus.

We can see a palpable urgency for digitisation to adapt to global challenges. Cloud-based work—an inherently more mobile approach—is now at the heart of digital functionalities that make productive work more possible.

Data is growing

As digitisation grows across the industry, so does data. Data also is now considered an even more valuable commodity.

The digital capture and sharing of project data or information provides consistency regardless of one’s geographic location. Today, we’re seeing more data generated across projects than ever before.

And this is only the beginning.

Rapid technology innovation changes almost all aspects of industry, from the use of drones, to enhanced site surveillance and progress monitoring, to advances in virtual and augmented reality. Technological developments enable new ways of thinking and a multitude of new opportunities.

Digitalisation will undoubtedly spark several new questions:

-    How can cities contribute to the net zero objective to address the climate change challenge?
-    How can building infrastructure be optimised for the challenging environmental conditions of the future?
-    How can we learn based on data?
-    How can we make the invisible visible?
-    How can we capitalise on the insights that our project data offers?

Data has the potential to answer many of these questions, but data also does not come without its own challenges.

Incompatible data

In projects today, we see multiple third-party applications and tools being used by different teams, each with their own data formats. This creates a large amount of incompatible data which could become a hindrance in successful project execution.

Hundreds of organisations and thousands of people exchange information on large projects. This generated data must be captured and stored in a single, reliable, data-neutral system of record.

A true common data environment (CDE) serves precisely this purpose. A CDE offers a central repository—a space where data converges from different sources and is equalised, helping users to consistently consume information.

The system ultimately becomes a trustworthy source of truth for all project participants.

How data can breed trust

Trust in technology plays a crucial role in providing traceability and a reliable audit trail as evidence for completed work or submitted deliverables. Technology helps users feel like they haven’t lost control of their data and encourages them to utilise technology for all data exchanges.

A platform supported by two core principles, equal footing and neutrality, will help users collaborate more effectively. Users can rely on a CDE to host their information as long as there is no risk of their data being unwillingly exposed.

A CDE can create the aforementioned audit trail as indisputable proof that contractual obligations have been met… or not. Managing large projects with a varying number of key players bears many challenges without the added difficulty of unifying data from each project team’s digital tools.

Working with a true CDE addresses these challenges by forming a neutral, secure, and easy to use platform that helps your data work for you while removing the need for surplus tools and third-party applications.

In this on-demand webcast you’ll learn:

•    What changes the industry will need to deal with due to technological advances and demographic shifts as well as unexpected challenges caused by COVID-19
•    How Oracle Aconex responds to the ever-growing requirements of information handling and the generation of more project data. How can a single CDE help consolidate this data onto one platform?
•    What constitutes a good CDE - and how your business will benefit from this information

Watch the on-demand webcast: How a true common data environment (CDE) enables collaboration.

Find out how Oracle Construction and Engineering enables your organisation to forge a CDE that fits you and your partners’ project realities.

Oracle Construction and Engineering, the global leader in construction management software and project portfolio management solutions, helps you connect your teams, processes, and data across the project and asset lifecycle. Drive efficiency and control in project delivery with proven solutions for project controls, construction scheduling, portfolio management, BIM/CDE, construction payment management, and more.

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