Mar 31, 2021

Why Connected Analytics Helps You Achieve Project Certainty

4 min
It's not the amount of data you capture that's important - but how actionable it is during the pre-construction and execution phases of the project
It's not the amount of data you capture that's important - but how actionable it is during the pre-construction and execution phases of the project...

When you look at the numbers, they can be alarming. Studies have shown that upwards of 60% of capital projects experience some sort of cost or schedule overrun. One might wonder how this could happen when more and more engineering and construction firms are capturing copious amounts of digitized data. It would seem the more data we have, the greater the likelihood that we could considerably lessen the cost and schedule overrun issue. 

However, it’s not the amount of data we are capturing, it’s how actionable that data is during the pre-construction and execution phases of the project. In other words, it’s not about having the data, it’s how you manage it and share it with key stakeholders. You want to connect the data and make it accessible so that decision makers can connect all the dots. 

Fortunately, there’s been a tremendous amount of progress made recently in construction technology software that can help project owners and teams identify trends through advanced project platforms that unlock the power of connected analytics. Through connected data, we can ensure that projects say on schedule and under budget. 

Maximizing Visibility Is Critical

When we examine the concept of connected data, what we are really talking about is a holistic view of every ongoing project. This allows project data to be connected from the start through execution, turnover and startup. Connecting construction data through a project controls platform helps decrease risk by tackling duplicate entry, process inefficiencies and other issues that arise when teams choose to store and manage information in siloed and disconnected solutions. 

When organizations implement a connected data solution, they can identify projects that are in urgent need of attention and course correction. Why? Because they have access to real-time information and insights, which drives continuity in operations and prevents workers from spending valuable time researching and figuring out how to get a project back on track. 

One of the greatest benefits of a construction analytics solution is the broad project visibility it offers. With only a few mouse clicks you can make better informed decisions in real time because you have sharper insights into metrics, KPIs and trends. And advanced dashboard views, much like the ones contained in InEight’s connected analytics solution, provides a detailed project snapshot. In seconds, you’re able to see pieces of information about projects, so you know where you should focus your attention. 


Slice and Dice With Dashboards

Looking for some high-level metrics? Dashboard views tell you quickly how many projects you have, the total number of employees and your total equipment, as well as financial metrics. You can see your total costs to date across your portfolio of projects versus what you’re forecasting. If the data shows you’re going to be losing money, you can drill down deeper into the information to determine the reason behind this less-than-rosy forecast. With the proper connected data analytics tool, you can also deploy filters to allow for multiple project views, such as active versus completed projects, percent complete projects, geographically located, and more. 

Connected analytics dashboards can often be customized to get the project view that’s most useful to you or your department. Let’s say you are a leader of one of the business units; you can rearrange the column views based on the criteria that’s most useful to you. 

Demographic information can tell you how certain markets are doing, for instance, with earned versus actual costs. The data analytics will tell you when you’re having success in one market but losing money in another. You can also use the knowledge you’ve collected to determine your success rates based on certain clients. 

Connecting Data Will Transform the Industry

The influence technology is having today on the construction and capital projects industry is downright astounding. Considering where we were just five years ago versus what we can do today with integrated construction software platforms shows the tremendous promise of technology, even as we face a growing number of uncertainties. Companies that are using integrated solutions are improving their data flow across the entire project life cycle. They are seeing greater owner/contractor collaboration because of the more transparent workflows and real-time notifications. 

So, consider again that it’s not just about gathering the data, it’s how you pull the right information from that data and use it to see the risks before they happen. You’ll find by implementing a cloud-based, connected analytics solution, you are avoiding those dreaded cost overruns and schedule delays, and improving overall productivity. 

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Aug 2, 2021

Financing rises in digital platforms and renewables projects

Dominic Ellis
3 min
Recent financing deals involving Cold Bore Technology and Soltage underline the importance of digital platforms and renewables

Cold Bore Technology has closed $14M in growth financing in a round that was led by bp ventures with participation from the Canadian Business Growth Fund (CBGF).  

Cold Bore is leading a shift in the completions (fracking) industry towards safer, more autonomous operations by providing oil & gas companies with SmartPAD, a centralised fully integrated software and hardware platform designed to collect, analyse, and report data. Better utilisation of this data unlocks operators’ ability to make improvements across all KPIs.

Results from a recent SmartPAD implementation with Hibernia Resources, saw the Permian-based producer able to reduce the duration of their completions program by 15 days (27%), with commensurate reductions in cost and emissions.

Along with this investment from bp ventures, bp will be deploying Cold Bore’s SmartPAD in bpx energy’s US onshore operations. The technology will support bpx’s efforts to continuously improve its operations.

“The oil & gas industry has realised that technological innovation is key to meeting growing calls for reduced emissions and improved returns. Cold Bore is proud to be playing a leadership role in the future of oil & gas operations.” said Brett Chell, Co-founder & President at Cold Bore Technology.

“As we scale to meet incredible demand, we’re excited to have a strong strategic partner in bp, a forward-thinking international energy company, and to play a part in helping bp reach its carbon and operational targets. The future of the oil & gas industry is autonomous operations."

Existing investors include the Rice Investment Group (RIG), a $200M multi-strategy, energy sector investment fund.

Another company in the spotlight last week was Soltage, a leading independent renewable power producer, which has raised a $130M debt facility led by Silicon Valley Bank. The investment will finance a 110MW national portfolio of projects across North Carolina, South Carolina, Maine, Illinois, Virginia and Maryland.

The construction of this portfolio will be staged over the next three quarters, with construction currently underway on ten projects across four states. Customers purchasing electricity from the projects financed through this debt vehicle include Investor Owned Utilities buying power under Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA) contracts, community solar subscribers and corporations purchasing power from the portfolio to meet clean energy goals and lower energy costs.

Silicon Valley Bank is the Sole Coordinating Lead Arranger of the debt facility with three other banks included as lenders. This facility includes an optional $100M expansion feature to finance additional projects beyond the current set of identified projects. This announcement marks the latest development for the Soltage Iris capital vehicle, following Soltage and Harrison Street's $250M commitment in March to deliver 450MW of new solar, solar+storage and standalone storage development across the US.

"Soltage continues to provide stable investment opportunities for capital providers who are looking for bankable approaches to sustainable infrastructure investment," said Sripradha Ilango, Soltage CFO. "We are pleased to continue to bring to market high quality project portfolios that open avenues for corporations, utilities and families to adopt solar power and achieve decarbonisation priorities."

"We are at a critical point where funding domestic infrastructure to bring more clean energy online in the United States is of the utmost importance," said Bret Turner, Market Manager at Silicon Valley Bank. "Our team is proud to work with Soltage to support building these essential zero carbon energy projects in key locations across the country."

This announcement is part of a continued movement of mainstream investors looking to solar and other renewable infrastructure assets for long-term investment opportunities. Soltage has deployed over $1B into clean energy assets across the US since its founding in 2005.

SVOLT Energy Technology Co., a leading EV battery manufacturer, held a B Round Financing Transaction Ceremony in Changzhou, Jiangsu on July 28. Following the completion of A Round Financing of RMB 3.5 billion ($538 million) at the end of February, the company rapidly closed this third round of market-based equity funding, raising a total amount of RMB 10.28 billion ($1.58 billion).

Last month also saw Longroad Energy, a US-based renewable energy developer, owner and operator, complete term financing for Sun Streams 2, its 200 MWdc solar project in Maricopa County, Arizona. Longroad owns 100 percent of the project after acquiring it in early 2021 from First Solar, the original developer.

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