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Name: Kim Kennedy
Title: Manager of Forecasting
Office Location: Bedford, MA
Next June will be 20 years!
As the Manager of Forecasting, I’m responsible – with our Chief Economist Bob Murray – for the quarterly forecast as well as our flagship publication, the Construction Market Forecasting Service, or CMFS. I manage three economists who run the national, regional, state and metro forecasts, I write about the forecast and what’s driving construction activity, and I regularly speak with clients who want to know more about the construction outlook, as well as how we forecast construction (our methodology) and how well we do in forecasting (our track record).
It may sound trite, but I really do like the people that I work with! The Dodge data is also an economist’s dream – most economists work with data from some government source and aren’t able to dig deep into the data to truly understand what’s driving trends. Since the Dodge data is our proprietary data, we own all the good and the bad of it! The good part is that we can drill right down to the individual projects that are creating trends in the market. Of course, ownership means that we are also responsible for maintaining the quality of the data – a task that’s never ending!
The forecasting team is dedicated to continuous improvement of our forecast and products. We’re not perfect, but we are very serious about meeting customer needs. Over the past year, this has meant getting our construction analysis out to clients earlier than ever before so it can be an integral part of understanding the “why” behind the forecast. We now deliver a Sneak Peek of the forecast, and provide analysis of the commercial, institutional, manufacturing, residential, and nonbuilding markets in the month to five weeks after the most recent historical data (end of quarter) is released. We had to do a lot of juggling to make this happen, but our clients asked, and we did it!
Most of what the forecast group has planned over the coming year won’t be particularly visible to our clients, but we’re hoping it will nevertheless have a large impact on the forecasts we deliver to them. We’ll be undertaking a major overhaul of our forecast models and systems. In recent years, some major structural changes have occurred across the economy with serious impacts on construction trends. The consumer’s increasing interest in online shopping, for example, is changing the retail landscape – it has suppressed demand for retail space, while creating huge demand for warehouse space – and we’d like to better address issues like that in our models.
The main service of Dodge Data & Analytics may be to generate project leads and provide technology that better enables our clients to manage their daily business, but I’d like to address the role that we in the Analytics Group play – particularly since Analytics is a customer of the core Dodge Network information, much like our clients in the industry. Analytics is focused on helping those in the construction industry plan for the future through both their annual planning and longer-term strategic planning processes. I deeply believe that there’s no one else in this industry that can do what we do for clients. Our data and forecasts provide the most comprehensive and the most detailed view of construction activity available. And most importantly, we can deliver customized information tailored to the individual needs of our clients. If we keep our focus on that core capability, providing the highest quality information, we can’t lose.
Next June, I will have been a Dodge employee for 20 years! How is that possible? I distinctly remember being the “newbie” amongst a group of Analytics staff that had been Dodge employees for 15-20 years even back then! And, most of them are all still with Dodge to this day! I think this is true of the industry as a whole. It’s a lot more “gray” today than ever before. What that means for the industry today and over the next decade is that those with tons of experience are retiring, leaving the next generation to take over. Despite the fact that change can be difficult, I do think that it will ultimately be good for the industry as fresh new faces take over the helm with creative new approaches and ideas.
What spare time? I’m a single mom who works full time and runs a household with two kids who, even though they are 24 and 18, still take up most of my time! My 18-year-old is a senior in high school and is applying to colleges this year. That has become a full-time job for both her and me! My 24-year-old has just moved back home and we are all still adjusting to his return after six years on his own. Wouldn’t have it any other way, though! I love having them around and can only imagine the further changes our family will be seeing over the next few years!
Continue reading from The Scoop November 2017 Edition:
2018 Dodge Construction Outlook Executive Conference in Chicago
: Dodge Data & Analytics is North America’s leading provider of analytics and software-based workflow integration solutions for the construction industry. Building product manufacturers, architects, engineers, contractors, and service providers leverage Dodge to identify and pursue unseen growth opportunities and execute on those opportunities for enhanced business performance. Whether it’s on a local, regional or national level, Dodge makes the hidden obvious, empowering its clients to better understand their markets, uncover key relationships, size growth opportunities, and pursue those opportunities with success. The company’s construction project information is the most comprehensive and verified in the industry. Dodge is leveraging its 100-year-old legacy of continuous innovation to help the industry meet the building challenges of the future. To learn more, visit www.construction.com.
: Benjamin Gorelick | Spector & Associates +1-212-943-5858, firstname.lastname@example.org
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