Managing a successful construction project is more than building
a beautiful structure. Behind the scenes of PCL’s most iconic projects are
documents and data aimed at accurately assessing costs, ensuring the highest
standards of quality and sustainability, holding an impeccable safety record,
delivering work to meet deadlines, and maintaining a top-performing team of
contractors, trades, and staff. As it turns out, tracking this progress,
accessing real time information, and openly communicating with the project team
is an important part of a build. That’s where PCL’s Business Technology team
steps in—to solve these real-world challenges in an innovative way.
Project Analytics solves technical challenges
around data access, allowing for transparent
discussions on how a project is progressing.
In 2017, Business Technology’s analytics team launched
Project Analytics. Designed to be an innovative data-analysis solution, Project
Analytics provides key leading indicators for a project’s cost, quality,
scheduling, safety, and team (e.g. RFI management) performance. The intuitive
dashboard enables transparent discussions between the project team and project
owners, providing leading indicators of any difficulties, insight into how a
project is progressing, and a review of successes.
“Instead of querying different applications, Project
Analytics gives a high-level view of the project while enabling project
stakeholders to drill into the data for additional details,” said Nathan Wong,
business intelligence developer, Business Technology, PCL Construction.
When a PCL employee inputs project information into their
iPads, cellphones, or laptops, the data is aggregated to a real-time dashboard
that indicates the overall health of a project. When something is going wrong, the
dashboard notifies the project team so corrective action can be implemented.
When something is going right, the dashboard tracks that success so those
results can be replicated. Project Analytics ensures that decisions are based
on facts and that everything is running smoothly, on time, and on budget.
“By making information immediately available and accessible,
PCL employees in the field can determine whose court the ball is in and what
tasks need to be completed. It also gives insight into how subcontractors are
performing, enabling them to address issues and deficiencies earlier,” said
LAX TO THE FINISH LINE
PCL’s Project Analytics was recently implemented for PCL’s LAX Midfield Satellite Concourse construction project, a joint
venture between PCL and Turner Construction. Business Technology’s analytics
team was challenged to deliver a leading-indicator dashboard(s) and reports in three
months, and delivered it in just 40 days.
Adding to the challenge was the requirement to integrate data from PCL’s
and Los Angeles World Airports’ (LAWA) systems in a manner that secured and
protected each organization’s databases.
“The power of the Project Analytics dashboard is that it
generates meaningful, collaborative, and proactive discussions around adopting
leaner construction practices,” said Mark Bryant, chief information officer,
PCL Construction. “Most importantly, it’s another innovative way in which we
successfully realize the vision of our clients while maintaining full transparency
and data security.”
PCL’s Project Analytics shows promise to revolutionize the
construction industry, and the technology world has noticed. The innovation was
recently recognized by the Information and Technology
Association of Canada (ITAC) with a 2017 Ingenious Award in the Large
Private Sector category.