Data Wins the Precon Day: an Interview with a Data Integration Specialist

“High-quality data is essential since the decisions made based on insights derived from data can significantly impact the success of a business.” -Jeff White, Forbes Councils Member

Preconstruction professionals know firsthand the power of using data to make decisions. And how the lack of data can be costly to the construction industry. An estimator’s main purpose is to decipher if the data input into an estimate is feasible, risky, and beneficial to their business.  

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We sat down with Laura Hollenbach, Data Integration Specialist at Beck Technology, to discuss the importance of high-quality data that is consistent and organized. 

In this interview, Laura discusses: 

  • The need for a data champion. 
  • Lack of flexibility in using data among precon teams today. 
  • Embracing change in technology. 

Interviewer: Explain what a Data Integration Specialist is and how your role impacts our customers. 

Laura: As a Data Integration Specialist, I assist the implementation team in organizing the client’s data so that it can be used in DESTINI Estimator. I build backend tools like assemblies, dashboards, and templates for the clients use in the software. 

Interviewer: If data is king in preconstruction, then you are helping DESTINI users rise to their royal status. Do you have a recommendation on how they can quickly start digesting their data?  

Laura: I would recommend identifying a data champion - someone on the team who understands how their company uses the data and what data they need to get out of the software - that can be assigned to the core team. It is helpful to have a data champion from the offset as it helps the entire process hit the ground running.  

Interviewer: A lot of construction companies know data can make them standout from their competition, but what do you think is holding back precon teams from using their own data to make project decisions? 

Laura: I think the primary issue or dilemma precon teams face is a lack of flexibility in how they use their data. A more flexible approach would allow for a more efficient estimation process. But the type of flexibility they need requires embracing new software and deliverables. Whenever change is necessary, it can often be met with hesitation and skepticism, no matter how beneficial it might be.  

Interviewer: As new DESTINI users are getting trained on the platform what advice do you have for them?  

Laura: The main thing is being open to new software that, while foreign, is much more efficient. It’s most successful when a user embraces the software and its capabilities instead of trying to make it produce the same outcomes that they’ve been getting with their existing processes or software. Take DESTINI Estimator, for example. You can update and maintain cost databases to keep a more accurate and real-time set of data points that allows you to maintain a cost history over the life of the project. That sort of real-time capability is essential to being as efficient as possible. Estimator gives the user a much fuller picture of the job than they have had before.   

If you know data is a difference maker in your preconstruction decisions, then make sure you are using a platform that allows you to tap into that data quickly and efficiently. At Beck Technology, we understand how powerful data is in construction and that is why we created the DESTINI platform with the muscle to digest and analyze data the way preconstruction pros need to decipher the information.  

Build your company’s preconstruction efforts by having a dedicated and supported data champion, create a flexible process so you can use your data to its fullest potential, and embrace the technology that can help you analyze your data. Data has the power to win projects.

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