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Applying predictive analytics in construction

The COVID-19 pandemic has caught nearly everyone off guard, and as a result, we’re all living in a different world now. Working from home and not traveling has given many of us more time to think and read (assuming you’re not wrangling stir-crazy children). You may even be familiar with the recent article that talks about how Sir Isaac Newton did some of his best work from home during the Plague of London in 1665 and 1666, though it’s also worth noting he was a lifelong bachelor.  

Like Newton, we’ve been making good use of our time to complete unfinished endeavors. One such project is a collaboration among the members of the Predictive Analytics Strategic Council (PASC) Operations Workstream that resulted in a white paper titled, “Applying Predictive Analytics in Construction”.

The goal of the white paper is to produce guidelines on how to incorporate predictive analytics outputs within existing operational processes of a construction firm. After nearly a year of collaboration, at least 3 drafts and countless comments, the white paper has been published. I’m also happy to say that I think we’ve succeeded.  

Graph describing the different types of models and their value

Graph describing the different types of models and their value (adapted from Gartner)

The document provides guidance on how to gather data for predictive models, how the outputs from predictive models should be treated and how various levels of an organization can use predictive outputs to enhance decision making. The paper can be downloaded (free of any form fills) from the PASC website.

The process of drafting the document started with a brainstorming session where PASC members shared the questions that they would like a paper on the topic of predictive analytics to answer. Once the forty-plus questions and talking points were assembled, it was up to the workstream leads, Andy Burg of Messer Construction and myself, to do the research and organize the materials into a document. I’d like to thank Andy for his efforts in this regard.

Once the document took a draft form, it was issued to the member firms for comment — and they did! Thank you to all of the PASC members who contributed comments, thoughts and suggestions to make the white paper what it is.

Through the content and ideas contained in the white paper, we hope to bring about a change in the way the industry views data. It’s my hope that organizations up and down the supply chain adopt some of the ideas in the paper to help prepare them for the future use of predictive analytics concepts and improve their performance.

The Predictive Analytics Strategic Council would love to hear your direct feedback, as would I! You can contact the PASC directly or reach me directly at tgattie@newmetrix.com


Written by Tim Gattie

Tim is VP of Industry Strategy at Newmetrix. He has 20 years of construction industry experience working for regional, national and international general contractors in roles ranging from Field Engineer to Project Director. Tim is passionate about using technology as a tool to improve the way construction projects are delivered and is eager to share his story with others in the industry. Gattie graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a Bachelors of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering and is a Registered Professional Engineer in Arizona, California and Utah. When not at work, Tim enjoys golfing, traveling and being a great dad to his two boys.

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