Highlights from the 2024 Advancing Construction Analytics Conference

Insights Shared From McCown Gordon Construction
Insights Shared From McCown Gordon Construction

(US and Canada) The 2024 Advancing Construction Analytics (ACA) conference, held from April 15 to 17 in Austin, Texas, served as a beacon for the industry's accelerating embrace of data-driven solutions. Against the backdrop of a vibrant gathering of data enthusiasts, ACA illuminated the transformative potential of data, AI, and predictive analytics in reshaping organizational operations.

Also Read
Trusted Data Access and Sharing — Why Automation Is the Key to Achieving Value from Data Democratization
Insights Shared From McCown Gordon Construction

Notably, this year's event introduced a beginner/advanced level track for the Pre-Conference Workshop Day, alongside three distinct tracks.

Advancing Construction Analytics highlights:

  • ACA proved how quickly the industry is moving towards embracing data to improve decision-making and efficiency and showcased the transformative power data holds. With a room full of passionate data enthusiasts, the atmosphere was inspiring as speakers presented how they are applying data, AI, and predictive analytics to transform their organization’s operations.

  • This year ACA introduced a beginner/advanced level track for the Pre-Conference Workshop Day.

  • There were three tracks focusing on Data Integration, Data Governance and Maintenance, and Reporting and Business Application

“My only complaint was that the content was solid in all the three tracks. I wish I could have attended them all!” said an attendee.

AI was a hot topic this year:

  • Robin Patra from ARCO Construction Company kicked off the conference to discuss a comprehensive roadmap strategy for AI integration and leveraging AI and machine learning algorithms to optimize construction schedules and adapt to unforeseen challenges.

  • Procore speaker Rajitha Chaparala revealed the practical and high-value use cases for AI in construction inspiring those looking to embark on their AI journey.

  • Toric’s Thiago Da Costa shared an engaging presentation on how to create AI Agents using proprietary data. He showcased how Toric is making it easy for anyone to create custom agents. With this tool, construction companies will be able to enrich their data, leverage AI to execute tasks, and improve decision-making and productivity.

Company and session highlights:

  • Akira Togawa from Harris Company discussed the process of collecting and preparing relevant data and how predictive analytics led to accurate cost estimation and scheduling. Additionally, he shared insights on challenges and lessons learned to help organizations better prepare for predictive analytics implementation.

  • The increasing importance of data governance is being recognized across the industry to ensure consistent and trustworthy data but implementing this continues to be an industry-wide challenge. Sarah Griffin from Turner Construction and Murali Srinivasan from McCarthy Building Companies presented case studies on how data governance was implemented in their organizations and how this streamlined data operations and ensured successful business initiatives.

  • Bartlett Cocke’s Andrew Pitcher highlighted the significance of raw data extraction for laying the groundwork for effective data management and best practices for extracting raw data from different systems and external sources.

  • Skanska speakers Lisa Neal, Ben Anic, and Marie Roza shared an engaging case study on their journey navigating efficiency with data warehouses using low/no-code applications over the past several years. This is a great way to get involved with data initiatives if you don’t have the technical expertise on hand.

  • Hoffman Construction is prioritizing workflow automation using Python, safety predictive analytics, and quality reporting. Data Manager Erena Friedrich co-presented with Safety Director Jason Dunton to showcase how they are digitizing and streamlining safety processes and leveraging predictive analytics to identify potential risks and proactively address them.

  • Caitlin Plein from Clayco, who was recently interviewed by CDO Magazine, shared her insights about the importance of data cataloging to streamline the retrieval process and locate data easily.

  • DRYCO Construction’s Sergio De Leon shared how the company has managed to use data analytics to predict when equipment maintenance is needed as well as estimate the future market value of equipment to optimize equipment lifecycle and profitability.

  • Rosendin Electric’s Jad Chalhoub shared a raw and honest perspective on encouraging employees to recognize the value of data and training field teams to prioritize data integrity.

The event was chaired by Collin Crossland from Crossland Construction who also presented a detailed presentation with Insurance Specialist Ryan Combs on how to use project data to inform corporate financing and cash flow to drive profitability.

Engaging Panels 

There were insightful valuable lessons from panel sessions including how to secure leadership buy-in with David Huse from Hill & Wilkinson, Bhrett Glenn from BNBuilders, Lutalo Webb from Guarantee Electrical Company, and Sergio De Leon from DRYCO Construction.

Webb shared how data-driven decisions should not be cold and robotic and that it has to be culturally rich and efficient in a way that adds to the human experience. He highlighted the importance of involving fellow business leaders, speaking the language of the industry, and checking the ego to reach your goals together.

There were plenty of questions from the audience for panelists Akira Togawa, Erena Friedrich, and Chris Palmer (PCL Construction) on optimizing collaboration with other business units. They shared the importance of bringing the data to them early in planning and showing the business value of data.

Palmer shared that site visits and job shadowing are strategies their data team uses to improve business understanding and highlighted the importance for them to have access to subject matter experts. Friedrich reiterated the value of sharing examples of dashboards to visualize the data and tell a better story.

To register your interest for next year, simply contact us construction@hansonwade.com

Alternatively, to take a look at other Advancing Construction events, simply Click Here.

Related Stories

No stories found.
CDO Magazine