Dodge Data Developing Project Analytics Dataset to Curb Project Uncertainty
Emily Pollock posted on June 13, 2019 |
Dodge Data is gathering project analytics data from project owners to help prevent problems in the future. (Image courtesy of Dodge Data and Analytics.)
Dodge Data is gathering project analytics data from project owners to help prevent problems in the future. (Image courtesy of Dodge Data and Analytics.)

Dodge Data and Analytics is launching a multiplatform effort aimed at bridging the communication gap between owners and architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) professionals, including a predictive analytics dataset that will help anticipate construction problems.

The inspiration behind the effort is a study that Dodge conducted in 2014, where the company interviewed owners, architects and contractors on project completion satisfaction. There was a 300 percent difference between how successfully a project was completed and how successful the architects and contractors believed they would describe it. Dodge also found that everyone described the problems their discipline could contribute to as the least toxic problems on a build site.

“It’s like the blind man and the elephant,” said Steve Jones, Dodge’s senior director of Industry Insights. “They’re looking at the same project, but nobody has an idea as to whether the project works.”

Part of the company’s solution is a dataset on project problems and why they happen. Dodge has started reaching out to owners for project data: what went wrong that you weren’t planning for, how toxic the project was, and what advice they would give to avoid the problems. Dodge has gathered reports on 40 projects, and hopes to get the numbers up to 100 in the pilot phase.

With that data, Dodge plans to see if it’s viable to compile a dataset of thousands of projects so that it can perform predictive analytics on future projects. Its main roadblock on this project has been that it’s difficult to get owners to share data on projects, especially in the early phases of an analytic project. “As a friend of mine says, everybody wants to be first to be third,” Dodge said.

In the meantime, the company has released a project planning guide, with advice on how to structure a discussion between a contractor/architect and an owner, with a downloadable contingency calculator that lets owners know what kind of contingency budget they should allocate for a specific project. “What it does is, it walks you through all the ugly things that might happen, that might be awkward to talk about it you didn’t have that kind of structure,” explained Jones. “At least there’s going to be no surprises.”


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