Value of Data

Forward-thinking from C&E’s thought leader Burcin Kaplanoglu

Burcin Kaplanoglu, C&E’s industry technologist and thought leader, shares three insights that can help contractors understand the value of data in 2019. 


Contractors should focus on adopting modern data collection strategies and technologies to better realize true, real-time collaboration across all project stakeholders and help transform project data into project intelligence as an engine to drive continuous improvement. Construction companies are already capturing massive amounts of data through enterprise resource planning (ERP), project controls and other applications, but without the tools and processes to extract insights from this information, data is being collected and shared too late and presents little opportunity for learning. Adoption of Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, connected devices, and mobile applications will play a critical role in evolving the value of data by enabling real-time data collection and proactive data management through the cloud. This will be particularly relevant to improve safety as well as to track assets on site. Advancements with drones, sensors, and autonomous construction equipment will also change how data is captured and used to further improve automation, productivity, and other project delivery success metrics. 

In addition, the concept of the “cloud-based data lake” is rapidly emerging as a valuable approach to collecting, storing, and sharing data across an organization or organizations. Data lakes are a single store of all enterprise data in its natural format. They provide a home for both structured and unstructured data and enable organizations to organize large volumes of highly diverse data from a variety of sources. Data lakes also ingest and provide access to data very quickly, which will be increasingly important as organizations strive to perform broader real-time data exploration and discovery.


Adopting technology that promotes automated processes across all project supply chain elements should be a top priority for construction professionals. While manual processes are still being used, successful construction firms are embracing modern project management technologies that enable project teams and stakeholders to use common tools for streamlined, enhanced project collaboration and process optimization. The construction industry needs end-to-end process automation that works for everyone, from architects and manufacturers to contractors and owners. When deployed across the project lifecycle, these technologies can drive true digital and business transformation, which have the potential to make significant improvements from profit margins to project delivery a reality.


The combination of augmented reality (AR) adoption on the jobsite combined with IoT solutions will enable organizations to correlate environmental and contextual data in real time and overlay that data onto the physical world to improve visualization. This has significant benefits for both workers in the field and also those offsite, particularly when building in difficult or remote sites where access is a challenge. Visualization tools will improve jobsite efficiency by providing real-time visibility into worker health and safety, regulatory compliance and management. AR devices such as smart glasses will also benefit workers in the field who cannot rely on their hands to access information. The greatest challenge to adopting AR solutions will be providing the situational awareness to the AR solution, which means showing the right information with the right details at the right time. Currently, AR is constrained on sites due to the speed of site connectivity. 5G will release the potential for AR through dramatically reduced latency and high bandwidth.

About the author:

Burcin Kaplanoglu is an executive director and innovation officer with Oracle Construction and Engineering. Based in Chicago, Kaplanoglu is a recognized industry technologist, thought leader, and keynote speaker. He is leading Industry Strategy and Innovation at Oracle’s Global Construction and Engineering business unit and is co-founder of Oracle’s Construction and Engineering Innovation Lab. He frequently speaks and publishes articles related to Internet of Things (IoT), disruption of CE, investments, and construction technology in industry publications. 

Modern Contractor Solutions, February 2019
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