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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May 5, 2021

AES Corp seals 10-year carbon-free energy deal with Google

Dominic Ellis
3 min
AES Corporation will ensure energy powering Google's Virginia data centers will be '90% carbon free'

The AES Corporation has struck a 10-year supply contract with Google to provide near-carbon-free energy to power its Virginia-based data centers which will start later this year.

Claiming the first clean energy procurement deal in the world of its kind, AES will help ensure that the energy powering those data centers will be 90% carbon-free when measured on an hourly basis.

AES will become the sole supplier of the data centers' carbon-free energy needs on an annual basis, sourcing energy from a portfolio of wind, solar, hydro and battery storage resources to be developed or contracted by AES.

The agreement marks an important step in meeting Google's previously announced goal to run its business on 100% carbon-free energy on an hourly basis by 2030.

"Last year, Google set an ambitious sustainability goal of committing to 100% 24/7 carbon-free energy by 2030. Today, we are proud that through our collaboration with Google, we are making 24/7 carbon-free energy a reality for their data centers in Virginia," said Andrés Gluski, AES President and CEO. "This first-of-its-kind solution, which we co-created with Google, will set a new sustainability standard for companies and organizations seeking to eliminate carbon from their energy supply."

"Not only is this partnership with AES an important step towards achieving Google's 24/7 carbon-free energy goal, it also lays a blueprint for other companies looking to decarbonize their own operations," says Michael Terrell, Director of Energy at Google. "Our hope is that this model can be replicated to accelerate the clean energy transition, both for companies and, eventually, for power grids." 

AES assembled the 500MW portfolio from a combination of AES' own renewable energy projects and those of third-party developers, which were selected, sized and contracted to meet Google's energy needs across a number of considerations, including cost efficiency, additionality and carbon-free energy profile.

The portfolio assembled by AES is expected to require approximately $600 million of investment and generate 1,200 jobs, both permanent and construction, in the host communities. These efforts will greatly simplify Google's energy procurement and management at a competitive price while decarbonizing Google's load and the broader PJM grid.

This supply agreement follows on the strategic alliance AES and Google formed in November 2019 to leverage Google Cloud technology to accelerate innovation in energy distribution and management and advance the adoption of clean energy. AES is pioneering greener, smarter energy innovations, with the goal of expanding the services available to large-scale corporate customers.

The Impact Challenge on Climate commits €10M to fund bold ideas that aim to use technology to accelerate Europe’s progress toward a greener, more resilient future. Selected organisations may receive up to €2M in funding and possible customised post-grant support from the Google for Startups Accelerator to help bring their ideas to life.

Last year it issued $5.75 billion in sustainability bonds to fund ongoing and new environmentally or socially responsible projects. To read its 2020 Environment report, click here.

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