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News and Events
Construction Risk Advisor - July 2018 - July 2018
DATA SCIENCE TO BOOST EFFICIENCY AND SAFETY
In order to improve worker
safety and boost efficiency, about 20 construction companies have launched data
science initiatives over the past few years.
One of those pioneers is a Boston-based
company whose data scientists have developed an algorithm that analyzes photos
from its job sites and then scans them for safety hazards. The algorithm then
correlates those images with its accident records.
Although the technology still
needs some fine-tuning, the company hopes to use the algorithm to rate project
risks. As a result, the technology could prove extremely helpful in detecting elevated
threats and then intervening with safety briefings.
Combining the data collected from these efforts could also be used to
forecast project delays. Although data science is somewhat new to construction,
a recent McKinsey report said that firms could boost productivity by as much as
50 percent through real-time analysis of data.
AVOIDABLE ESTIMATION MISTAKES IN CONSTRUCTION
In the past three years, only 31
percent of construction projects came within 10 percent of their budgets, according
to RSMeans, a provider of construction cost information. Completing projects
within budget is a constant challenge for many contractors. Here are five
estimating mistakes to be aware of, along with best practices to combat them.
- Unrealistic expectations—Don’t rely on ideal or worst-case
scenarios, which can lead to impractical estimates. Find the middle ground to
avoid setting expectations too high and blowing timelines.
- Flying solo—Don’t be afraid to use
outside data sources from a credible third party. Create a realistic estimate
by including a combination of your own historical data and their custom data.
- Lack of or wrong permits—If you lack permits or have
the wrong type, work can come to a standstill. Factor proper permits into your
estimate, as well as their corresponding costs.
- Unclear parameters—Parameters must be
established clearly at the onset of each project. Make sure you clearly
understand your clients’ limitations and restrictions before creating an
estimate to avoid unnecessary change orders.
- Missing details—A lack of knowledge, missing items or
generalized task descriptions can lead to estimates that are too low. Take the
time to account for all necessary materials, labor and equipment by referencing
similar work done in the past or detailed cost data from a third party.