Notes from 2016 Zweig Hot Firms conference: Time to liberate the hidden data

Zweig Group’s Christina Zweig Niehues just left the stage at the annual Hot Firms opening keynote at the iconic Arizona Biltmore hotel where she implored attendees to unlock the hidden data our collective firms hold.

As head of research for Zweig—the nation’s leading management consulting firm for companies in the architecture, engineering and construction consulting industry—she has a bird’s eye view of how successful companies remain successful.

Her research indicates that less than 0.5% of the data that most companies have ever gets analyzed and made use of. To help illustrate that point further, ENR’s Kaela Torres wrote a fantastic piece on Unlocking the Data Treasure Chest.

Construction technology leaders and software developers are preparing for a massive storm of innovation as the industry moves its data and processes to the cloud. The trend is breaking down data silos and opening company operations to penetrating, real-time analysis of the rivers of data flowing from traditional software processes, as well as newer ones supported by an explosion of field-collected data and mobile devices. The data is revealing how construction actually works and how projects really get built.

“In the next five years, the industry is going to be transformed through data. It’s an unprecedented, perfect storm of cloud, mobility and an incredible amount of collectors and data science converging together,” says Pat Keaney, director of BIM 360 Enterprise Products at Autodesk. “It’s really going to move the needle in ways we couldn’t have dreamed of five years ago.”

The delivery of construction software and services via the internet, or software as a service (SaaS), exposes the industry’s vital signs. Developers say data patterns are emerging that can improve software, designs, project management, supply chains and safety. And the magic is only just getting started.

Learn more about the Zweig Group’s annual conference for A/E/C professionals at their website.

Image taken by me at the Zweig Awards opening keynote. That’s Mark, Christina’s dad. During my tenure overseeing Xpera’s marketing program, we received Zweig’s Hot Firm Award two years in a row.