Data analytics is one of the areas high on the technology investment radar for project owners and contractors alike. And it’s no wonder: the right data is proving to be a highly reliable foundation for more streamlined jobsite efficiencies, more timely decision making and improved risk mitigation. Portfolio analytics is one slice of the larger data analytics pie, but it is an important one, serving up critical insights into performance both within and across capital projects.

Why portfolio analytics are needed

There can be some natural hesitancy about adopting a new process and the tech that goes with it. You may be wondering, “Do I really need it?” With the industry quickly moving to data-driven decision making, there’s a lot of technology solutions to understand and potentially implement. But when you understand the full value of portfolio analytics and what it can do for your projects and your business, it really does make good business sense.

Where to begin? Think of the different kinds of operational and financial data just one of your capital projects continually generates from both the back office and the jobsite. Now expand that to include all of the projects currently on your radar. It’s a lot to sift through when trying to discern what that data is really telling you about your projects’ performance and progress — and what most demands your attention and monitoring — especially when construction data changes so much.

This is where portfolio analytics can help, aggregating all that information in real time and converting it into simple online dashboards for easy consumption. It doesn’t matter whether you’re on a desktop or on a mobile device; that project and portfolio data is always accessible in one place. You get a bird’s-eye view of what’s happening in each of your projects, with the ability to drill down into the data to truly understand what’s happening within overlapping processes and phases at a jobsite at any given moment.

In addition, you’re not limited to analyzing just one project at a time either. Bring them into the same space and assess them side-by-side to see how they’re performing against each other. This comparison may give some context as to why something in one or more projects isn’t going as well as it could.

Yet it’s not all about just finding and addressing inefficiencies. Maybe you simply want to get an idea of where to devote your energies each day. Or perhaps, in looking at your projects, you see that one is doing particularly well. Why not capitalize on that? Dig deeper into the analytics to zero in on what specifically is excelling so you can recreate it in similar projects.

Consequences of not tracking portfolio data

Is there a downside to not analyzing your portfolio data? Yes, because you can’t fix what you can’t see. And it could end up costing you.

There are the measurable project-based risks of wasted dollars and lost time in the form of misallocated resources, change orders, overtime, cost overruns, missed milestones, extra materials and equipment, and rework, for example.

Then there are the ramifications that are truly hard to quantify: perhaps a blemished reputation, damaged client relationships or lost future business. It may be harder to recover from these than even the project-based consequences.

You can quickly wind up at a disadvantage in being able to proactively use your data to know when and where to course-correct issues before they worsen. But more than that, you also may miss out on opportunities to improve overall portfolio efficiency by applying a best practice from one project’s measurable success.

How the technology delivers what you need

Ultimately, portfolio analytics is about ensuring your projects run more smoothly — saving you from suffering the consequences.

One common assumption about data analytics in general that may make the idea of adopting it seem intimidating is the supposed time and effort it could take to input everything into each system. But integrated data eliminates entering copious amounts of data into multiple places. Enter it once, and the system organizes and pushes it out to other connected systems. You don’t have to do a thing after the data is initially entered.

With simplified input comes more accurate and simplified output. Want to produce a report on your biggest, most lucrative project? Or perhaps one report covering your entire portfolio? With the click of a few buttons, you can produce a report at any level depending on your business needs. No more cumbersome and time-consuming effort importing information from various places to produce one rather enormous spreadsheet that has to be constantly updated.

Implementing portfolio analytics

Motivated to amplify your portfolio analytics efforts? Believe it or not, the key isn’t in researching the best software (at least not at first). It’s in determining what it is you want. This will help you narrow down the systems and processes to best deliver on this. It’s kind of like going on a trip; your destination will determine what kind of transportation — vehicle, plane, boat, bike — will best get you to where you want to go.

One thing to keep in mind: implementing and integrating new technology and processes takes purposeful time and patience to set up and learn. But once you’ve got the process down and understand how to read your data, the effort — and rewards — will be more than worth it.

A portfolio analytics option to explore

Why not start exploring your options right now? InEight understands that qualitative insights and decisions come from solid quantitative information. Our Connected Analytics solution delivers this via standardized and customizable reports and dashboards to help you manage and act on the depth and breadth of your capital projects. Let us show you how by scheduling an InEight demo using the enquiry form on this page.