Product Manager
Anthony Iandiorio

Elevating Data Analytics in Construction

We have more data than we know what to do with, and our data analytics tools and techniques are not keeping up even on the most basic level.  Some industries are shockingly underusing data due to these basic hurdles - some of the largest standouts are AEC- Architecture, Engineering, Construction. So much so that multi-million dollar decisions are made without consulting data and WAGs or wild guesses are common.

This mistrust of data is probably why according to Autodesk's Harnessing The Data Advantage in Construction Report with a third of respondents felt that a third of all poor decisions made were due to bad data and 41% of respondents indicated that they saw limited, or no benefit to implementing data strategy.

Thankfully tools like Toric are changing the game. Toric makes it easier for anyone to work with and use data- by making it accessible, easy to explore, and interact with- finally bringing data analysis into the 21st century the way you would expect it to look and enabling organizations to use their data more effectively.

What Are Data Analytics? 

When you think data analysis, you may picture the end result you are used to - details on a spreadsheet or data visualizations on a beautiful dashboard. However, data analytics encompasses all activities used to gain insights from data.

What data analytics look like today

We rely on data professionals to spend time mining data and processing it so it's available for analysis more than spending time on actual analysis. The approach to data strategy is to build conventional ad hoc data pipelines that require manual work and coding. It's also common for data analysis to happen in highly customized spreadsheets- with the end result made available in presentations or data visualization tools.

We are collecting more data than ever before.

As we started to collect more data than we know what to do with, it is not scalable to use specialized talent for all data analysis and related activities. Over 60% of enterprises are managing more than 1PB of data and nearly 40% are managing more than 5PB of data and in construction, the volume of available project data has doubled in the last 3 years.

To meet this scale of data more organizations are using data citizens to elevate their data use, but without the right tools, these data citizens are still limited in their capacity to analyze their data and use it in their daily lives.

Elevating data analytics to meet the goal.

The goal of data analytics is finding useful information, making conclusions, and supporting people with informed decision making.

The process of data analysis is not limited to a spreadsheet view, and the end result of analysis is not limited to numbers or visualizations. Let's explore further.

What is Changing in Data Analytics?

Rather than having someone else spend time doing the data processing and analysis, you can distill the information you need using a data pipeline and trust that the end visualization is always up to date. Data can be explored by individuals in the organization when they need it and reports are able to sync across the entire organization.

4 Ways Toric Brings Data Analytics to the Built World

With no code tools and single data pipelines, data analysis is more accessible and easier than ever.  Toric uses an interactive dataflow graphinterface, making the process for building and maintaining data pipelines much more simple than building custom code or connecting and maintaining several programs.

With a visual representation of a data flow anyone can jump in, make connections between different data sources, transform their data, build smart data app reports, and make the process reusable. In other words, anyone can focus on analytics rather than be bogged down by technical efforts.

Single data pipelines do more than replace intricate conventional pipelines. This interface enables data exploration and collaboration so data is actually used at every level. Here is how Toric can help: 

1. Data from Design Files and BIM Software are Interactive

Toric offers several ways to connect with data and unlock data. One example is the Toric Revit integration, which allows users to extract object data and 3D geometry for seamless analysis and visual reporting.

Toric can process and transform millions of records and interact with 3D models during analysis. Which is helpful to ensure you are inspecting the right data from the model.

Example of a Toric Integration - Connect directly to Revit and interact with models in analysis.

There are more ways to take advantage of interactive data from these programs, like seeing the progress of Reinforced Concrete (RC) Installation Report in real time on a 3D model or interacting with bids from subcontractors in a Bid Analysis Report.

View all available integrations.

Cloud Storage for Local Files and Revisions.

Your data is hosted in the cloud. There is no need for an additional data warehouse when all your data can be stored and within the platform. Analysts do not need to clean or process your data before uploading it to Toric. Toric is flexible to act as your data lake even if you chose to use a different program for other essential data pipeline functions.

2. Data transformation is simplified.

Clean, transformation, and blending data in one place.

The dataflow interface was built to provide a straightforward way to connect and process different data sets.

A dataflow diagram is traditionally a representation of how your data connects, but you can instantly connect different data for a deeper view in this interface. An added benefit is that this tool can give non-technical users easier access and understanding connections between different data sources. The data is trusted and more easily accessible so it is far more available to different types of analysis.

Example of a Toric dataflow - data is connecting using interactive nodes

The order in which you clean and transform your data can vary. In fact, you can clean up your data while you build your dataflow.

3. Data is fully transparent and collaborative.

Analysis and reports and done simultaneously.

As data is explored and analyzed the data app panel enables you to build elements of your report in the same view you are using to explore your data. Instead of switching between applications, you can provide context to your data exploration as you build your dataflow. 

Create visualizations and interactive data app elements directly in your dataflow.

Taking your data analysis further, the data app panel enables you to create interactive data visualizations.

Not only can you create graphs, bars, charts, and more, but you can also do it while you explore your data and make it available for reports as you explore your data.  See the example below of a rough order of magnitude report as an example of an interactive data app. The data used is pulled from two sources, BIM software, and a 3D model from Revit. Within the data app you can explore different scenarios using the interactive elements and add it from your dataflow.

4. Dataflows and data apps are repeatable.

Take advantage of a unique feature of no-code dataflows. With Toric, you can build a library of re-usable data apps in which teams can apply the same dataflow to a new project effectively eliminating the busy work of building pipelines from scratch and all the troubleshoot of maintaining the pipeline.

Try it for yourself using our pre-build data apps.

Key Takeaways

Innovations and improvements in how we handle data have started to emerge-tech stack improvements enable anyone to jump into data in the required context and wake up the data for insights. Instead of waiting for end result of data analysis by data professionals, anyone can leverage data apps and involve themselves in data exploration and data analysis.

Download our e-book: Data Strategy for Leadership

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