Data Visualization is Transforming the Construction Industry

new-industries-embrace-data-visualization_1508_40056089_0_14114939_500The growing ability to process big data and use it for analytics into your corporation has delivered many benefits. But Construction Global has brought our attention to something new. “Small data” has changed the construction industry throughout the year and will continue to change it through 2016.

In their article on constructionglobal.com, Construction Global calls “small data: sales data, profit, equipment up time, machinery down time, personnel productivity, asset life cycles, seasonal surges and dips. Small data points can amount to a lot when it comes to monitoring, predicting and optimizing the overall health of the organization.” It is the powerful pieces of data that drive a construction company’s day-to-day.

“Before, companies would display their Big Visual Chart in the lunch room or board room, literally a poster board displaying either goals or targets hit. You may use some form of this today. Although one-dimensional, these charts played a key role in informing, not only management but rank-and-file as well, about the company’s performance metrics.” But these charts only reflected on the past. Now charts are on a large projector or flat screen, with dynamic, customizable graphics. They also offer insight into various aspects of your business. Real-time metrics can be discussed, instead of just past results.

“Taking raw data, converting it into something attainable, then displaying that data to drive meaningful conversations is the difference between storing data and utilizing intelligence. It’s the difference between tracking past outcomes, and optimizing future performance!” Many construction industries are still relying on paper, excel and reporting on past outcomes. Luckily, “smart companies are working to decode data and provide real-time intelligence and analysis.”

It seems normal that small construction companies would ignore words like “Big Data” being thrown out there, but their small data is still useful to them and in growing their business. Data visualization can make a small, run-of-the-mill construction company surpass its competition and pull away from the pack.

 

Cloud Analytics: Paving the Way

images-1For years, we heard talk of the infamous “Cloud” and how it will cut costs right at implementation. “It has significantly cut upfront capital investments, initial consulting and on-going personnel costs for the vast majority of solutions.” But cutting initial costs isn’t the only benefit the cloud has. Nucleus Research has done more ROI case studies than any other research company, and they see even more value than reducing implementation costs. And each case study has shown the cloud’s cost advantage has made it highly desired. So desired, in fact, that being modern and different by choosing the cloud is not really considered different. Instead, it has become the status quo to have enterprise applications that are cloud-based. “Instead of touting cost savings when evaluating a cloud app, businesses must now justify a higher cost when considering an on-premise solution.”

In 2016, Nucleus found that customers will be increasing spending on analytics by 36%. “As customers search for new solutions, it is important that they take note of the benefits the clod provides because it addresses pain points specific to analytics usage.” In comparison to an on-premise deployment, cloud analytics  delivers “2.3 times more Return on Investment.”  The initial cost savings are exciting, and a main point of focus when we talk about switching to the cloud, but there are even more advantages. For example, the upgrade cycle. Many on-premise upgrades require spending more money, and tons more work. But a cloud-based solution upgrade is simple and inexpensive to change.

Nucleus believes the biggest advantage the cloud has to offer is integration. “Streamlined cloud applications are much easier to integrate, delivering on the promises of Big Data.” Their study found that 86% of analytics users are unhappy with data preparation capabilities, and 92% desire to add additional data sources. “Cloud analytics solutions often have more pre-built connectors that allow users to pull from more data sources more quickly. Many new cloud applications are able to more easily integrate even disparate data streams for a more comprehensive analytics solutions that can provide better insight with a full view of the business.”

This integration gives organizations access to an unlimited amount of information and delivers efficiency, which makes them more powerful as a whole. “Plus analytics is increasingly being integrated with strategic business applications. That has a bottom-line effect on ROI. Better yet, integration itself cuts costs significantly.” The cloud provides an easier path. With the many options that are now available for integration with cloud analytics and other applications, ROI will continue to improve. Initial costs are low, but you can focus on even more value of the cloud for the future.

 

Original article appeared at nucleusresearch.com.

 

 

PwC Finds Pricing & Profitability Law Firms’ Top Priority

PI_Jan15_art3PwC has posted their findings from their 2015 Annual Law Firms’ Survey. Through interviewing the Top 100 firms, they have discovered that a top priority for the future of law firms is to focus on pricing and profitability.

Firms are continuing to invest in business improvement programs. The focus of these programs for Top 10 firms is to drive profitability and enhance support services, whilst firms outside of the Top 10 continue to feel pressure to reduce costs to remain competitive. “A growing number of firms have identified the problem and the solution. Pricing capability and sophistication at a firm-wide and individual partner level is being harnessed and for those firms it is having a swift and significant impact.”

It all falls back into the main idea that communicating and understanding your clients is what leads to a successful law firm. A one-size-fits-all process is no longer the most useful. It results in unhappy clients, and a less profitable law firm. “This depth of understanding the client is a critical precursor to being bale to create and articulate to the client an effective pricing strategy or methodology on a particular matter.”

Providing partners with the right tools and methodology for pricing decisions is also considered key. The article discussing the study mentions that pricing improvement has a very quick ROI. “The PwC report found that even IT projects whose objective is improvement of matter pricing, have an average ROI timescale of only four months.” A lack of correct pricing tools “results in what most firms regard as an unacceptable level of what the report referred to as Unplanned Fee Income Write-offs.”

But, the good news is there is a problem AND a solution. With the right tools, they write-offs are significantly reduced. “Pricing capability and sophistication at a firm-wide and individual partner level is being harnessed and for hose firms it is having a swift and significant impact.”