By Brian Moore

For enterprises across industries, datasets are providing insight that assists companies with improving their project lifecycle and creating more efficient experiences for clients. This is especially true in the data-heavy construction industry. A McKinsey report revealed that industry-wide technology investments of more than $10 billion has been made in less than a decade. While investments into systems that allow much-needed insight into field, team, office costs, and productivity have drastically increased, so has the potential of being overwhelmed by data.

As construction owners are beginning to recognize the potential impact that big data and analytics can have on the value of their portfolios, knowing what data to collect and how to analyze for maximum return on investment is essential. The decentralized process of asset and data collection leads to incomplete, and potentially inaccurate, data. 

Timely collection and intelligent management of construction data can help owners deliver the highest performance capital assets at the lowest possible lifecycle cost.

With commercial construction beginning to embrace data and deploy solutions to scale various projects, understanding the basics of data within projects will reduce overload. Construction project data falls into three main categories:

Asset Data: Information required by owners to maintain and operate the building.

Cost Data: Assists with answering how much specific products and services cost.

Performance Data: Provides productivity insight by revealing how well contractors and vendors perform their specific roles.

The ability for an owner to receive timely and accurate asset data upon the opening of a new facility can dramatically lower the total lifecycle cost for that facility. An owner can plan accordingly for the performance of their assets through every stage of a construction project with the right data collection in place. 

For example, it is typically several months after a facility opens before the facilities management systems have all of the necessary warranty information for major systems like HVAC. What if owners had the ability to ensure major systems could be under full warranty from day one? 


With cost and performance data, there is a big opportunity to leverage historical data and analytics to make more intelligent predictions and decisions on future projects. The more data a team has on a project, the better decisions they can make regarding potential next steps on ongoing projects and all future planning. 

By leveraging historical cost data across a global portfolio, an owner can predict more accurately what specific materials and services should cost in different regions. They can also make more effective decisions during the bidding phase of projects due to visibility into historical cost and quality data on specific contractors.


One of the biggest challenges to successfully leveraging big construction data has been the distributed nature of the problem. Every project has hundreds—even thousands—of participants, including architects, engineers, contractors, and vendors. Traditional construction project management technology has been project-centric and does not allow for the ability to effectively manage data across a hierarchical portfolio. Even at the individual project level, traditional technology has not delivered an efficient mechanism for collaboration among the many project participants.

Given the potential value of big construction data for owners, insightful contractors and program managers are investing in the same technologies with the goal of offering up cost, performance, and asset data to their owner clients in a Data as a Service model.


Today, owners are beginning to deploy new technologies built on a new form of collaboration that are unlocking the value of their construction data. By leveraging a network paradigm for collaboration and enabling the management of data across global portfolios, owners can utilize historical data to make sure that their next project is always their best project.

About the author

Brian Moore, co-founder and president at Kahua, is a transformational entrepreneur with a passion for innovation and customer value. He helps the world’s leading owners, contractors, architects, and engineers profitably deliver and manage the highest performance capital projects at the lowest possible lifecycle cost.