Study shows contractors who use automated construction data technologies report significantly better project performance
HAMILTON, NJ – September 19, 2023 – It is widely known that general contractors face persistent schedule, quality, safety and profitability challenges on their projects. A new study from Dodge Construction Network (Dodge) and Versatile® reveals that greater use of site data as an analytical tool allows contractors to surmount those challenges.
The new report, Measuring What Matters: Unleashing the Power of Site Data to Enhance Construction Performance SmartMarket Report, is based on a recent Dodge survey of over 200 general contractors across the United States. The findings show that most report significant performance improvements from their use of site data. Those who use automated technology to gather data and software to analyze it report above-average improvements compared with those still using manual methods.
Although the tools to efficiently gather and analyze site data are readily available, the study also shows that many general contractors have not yet integrated these practices into their standard operating processes:
- Only 28% of general contractors track their performance frequently, with just 24% highly rating their company’s capability for doing it.
- Digital tools are still not widely used, with nearly half still relying on manual methods.
- Less than one-third report having frequent access to current site data for analysis.
- About half (46%) experience frequent quality issues (e.g., accuracy, completeness, consistency) with the data that is being gathered.
- Only 20% apply metrics at least half of the time to determine the success of their process improvement initiatives.
The study examines 12 project management activities and seven performance metrics, establishing maturity levels and reflecting how many contractors are currently using site data effectively. Unfortunately, this analysis reveals that less than half of contractors do so.
There is a notable shortfall in contractors’ internal capability to track performance by using site data: less than half of current users rating their company as highly or very highly-effective in leveraging data for either project management or performance measurement. The report reveals a correlation between higher tracking skills and better project performance, identifying an important area of improvement for construction company skills.
“The findings point to a great opportunity for contractors,” said Steve Jones, senior director of industry insights at Dodge. “Proven methods are achievable for all companies to meaningfully improve performance by focusing more attention on gathering and analyzing site data, especially with automated digital technologies. This report can serve as a roadmap and benchmark as general contracting companies continue to advance in their digital journeys.”
Additionally, the report also features an interview with James Barrett, vice president and chief innovation officer of Turner Construction Company, focusing on how data analysis is generating remarkable value for his company.
Importantly, the findings show that contractors who are taking advantage of automated technologies to gather site data and software solutions to analyze it show markedly better performance. The report includes a case study from Clark Pacific demonstrating specific benefits of this approach.
“We really hope this report gets people talking and taking action,” says Meirav Oren, CEO and co-founder of Versatile, whose company sponsored this research. “We want everyone to see how important it is to collect and use data on every job site. Together, we can make the construction industry better, smarter and future-ready for whatever comes next.”
The report contains more detailed findings and analysis on all of these topics and can be downloaded here.
About Versatile, Inc.
Headquartered in Los Altos, CA, Versatile creates technology that gives construction professionals unmatched visibility into their production rates. By delivering the right data to the right people at the right time while naturally fitting existing processes, a fragmented industry becomes a controllable process. The result? Increased productivity, predictability and safety with the insights needed to manage and bid future projects more competitively. Want to learn more? Reach out at email@example.com.