Three in 10 construction professionals say that half of their data was 'bad' in 2020, according to survey

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23rd September 2021 17:17 - Construction

Three in 10 construction professionals say that half of their data was 'bad' in 2020: A survey of construction professionals has  found that 30% reported that more than half of their data in 2020 was incomplete, inaccurate or inconsistent, resulting in them being unable to use it for reliable insights. 

The study for construction technology firm Autodesk polled 3,900 construction professionals across North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific about their data practices. The research was in collaboration with management consulting firm FMI Corp and was published on Sept. 14 looked at the prevalence of data usage in construction and the losses that result from data errors.

The research suggests that inaccurate, incomplete or inconsistent 'bad data' may have caused losses amounting to $1.8 trillion globally in 2020 as well as been the cause of 14% of avoidable rework, amounting to a potential $88 billion in costs. 

More than half the respondents to the survey (55%) said that they have put in place a formal strategy for project data.

While 30% said that more than half their data was 'bad' and therefor unusable, the study also looked at the causes of bad data, which, revealed the study, are not typically hackers or other criminal explanations, but instead human error.  It found that a quarter of data was 'inaccurate' or 'incorrect' such as an incorrect number added, whilst a further quarter (24%) was because of missing data - such as a field left empty on a spreadsheet. Just over a fifth of bad data was due to inaccuracies or information entered being wrong (21%).

The research highlighted the benefits to companies from 'good data', with 12% of respondents who said they always use project data to aid their decision making, using intentional strategies such as reviewing their data often for quality, standardising data collection, reporting and monitoring practices, and structuring data in a common data environment.

Six in 10 survey participants said that data management and analysis skills were an important factor in construction teams being able to work effectively.

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