A recent study found that 96% of all data generated in the engineering and construction industry goes unused. Additionally, 30% of E&C companies rely on applications that don’t integrate with one another. Unfortunately, that means they’re missing out on exciting new opportunities that come with better data management and predictive analytics powered by machine learning.
If you’re in the construction business, you’re probably already aware of Autodesk® BIM 360, a project management app that connects and organizes projects to improve decision-making in the field. However, you may not know about Construction IQ, a brand-new machine learning tool currently being tested by some BIM 360 users. In short, it uses data you already collect with BIM 360 Field and, utilizing the processing power of the cloud, generates insights via deep learning to provide things like daily risk assessments via an easily navigable dashboard. One facility reported a 20% drop in safety and quality issues after using the system.1
What are the benefits, exactly? I see three broad categories. The first is the option to create generative designs. Let’s say you’re designing a building. All you have to do is set up some parameters, input relevant employee data (work habits, preferences, etc.), and the program will automatically generate a series of floorplans designed to maximize company-wide productivity that you can then tweak however you like, which translates to time and money saved.
Secondly, reducing risk is vital on any project, and these new AI-driven tools can sort the normally chaotic flow of information in any given day and automatically prioritize critical issues to minimize safety hazards. The system scans things like checklists, assignments, and metadata to generate “insights” and identify daily risk factors. This allows subcontractors to act quickly and efficiently to make their site as safe and efficient as possible, and affords them time to focus on other aspects of the construction process.
Finally, the last major problem Construction IQ can help with is project management. On most construction sites, there are huge data silos that create unnecessary boundaries between datasets that limit your ability to gain meaningful insights. With this new program, those boundaries melt away, allowing you to more intelligently allocate resources to help finish your projects on time and under budget.
For current users of BIM 360 Field, these benefits arrive very quickly, as Construction IQ simply collects existing data and makes it more useful. It may take some getting used to, but it’s already starting to look like businesses are going to need to embrace more data-driven operations like this in order to compete. The benefits of using machine learning in construction, or any field, is slowly but surely becoming too enticing to ignore.
Where should you be storing all that data, by the way? If you’re looking for a secure and scalable solution, PAC Data has you covered. They offer a variety of servers to meet your data storage needs, including one fault-tolerant design built with fully redundant modular hardware that provides 99.999% system uptime. Or if you prefer a storage-as-a-service solution, Cirrascale offers long-term, low cost cloud storage for backups, system images, and other cold storage applications at reasonable rates.
As for the on-site hardware needed to run these programs, you can’t do better than a GoBOXX SLM. These ultra-light, portable, and powerful mobile workstations are perfect for running project management software like BIM 360 Field, as well as other BIM apps like Revit and Civil 3D. If you need something even more powerful, our GoBOXX MXL mobiles are true desktop replacements, powered by an Intel® Core i7™ processor and coupled with NVIDIA Quadro® graphics for intensive BIM applications. Or if you don’t require a mobile solution, the APEXX S3, our flagship desktop workstation, was specifically engineered to run single-threaded applications common the in construction field better than the competition.
Affordable machine learning technology is on site. The raw material (i.e., data) is already here. It’s up to you to build something out of it.