Big data is the new gold in 2022, leading to data career opportunities spiralling up across the world. For people looking to enhance their career prospects in the construction field, getting to grips with the myriad ways data is created, stored, analysed and used is becoming much more than a nice-to-have addition to the CV. Familiarity with data, and how to collect, analyse and deploy it is increasingly important for roles, such as engineers, architects, tradespeople and consultants, outside purely tech-focused jobs.
In short, becoming savvy with data is one surefire way to future-proof your job prospects and open you up to the newest data career opportunities, as we hurtle through the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Carry on reading to find out how data is transforming construction and why burnishing your data credentials could pay big dividends for your career.
How Much Data is There?
The World Economic Forum estimated that the amount of data amassed in the world was some 44 zettabytes, or 1,000 bytes to the power of seven, as of 2020. From robotics, artificial intelligence and machine learning to 3D printing, blockchain and the Internet of Things, the application of data via new technologies is transforming the entire economy.
Using data in construction holds the promise of making projects much more efficient and greener, thus more and more data career opportunities are being created.
Where is data created?
- Data is ubiquitous across construction, and as such it touches a huge array of roles. It’s generated from a wide range of activities and tech, including:
- Replacement and maintenance systems
- Cost monitoring
- Building management systems
- Transport systems
- Building information modelling
- ICT equipment
- Performance reporting
- Work scheduling
Data in Action
The term big data refers to the massive amounts of information that have been stored and continue to be generated. Historical construction plans and real estate market data are examples of big data. But this raw data is not very useful unless it is processed to derive actionable insights. Systems like CAD may capture lots of data, but it’s only when a pattern is discerned can conclusions and insights be drawn.
Construction companies are embracing data as it is proving to be a competitive advantage, and provide more data career opportunities. Harnessing huge amounts of data and processing it to discern insights that inform decisions in the construction sector empowers businesses to:
Data analytics can identify potential risks and methods for mitigating them. For instance, using data analytics to monitor and predict resource utilisation can identify bottlenecks and flag potential delays during construction projects, which helps managers take the right actions to keep a project on track.
Data-producing technology like sensors is used on sites to monitor machinery and plant equipment to optimise productivity. The more granular and accurate insights that data provides enables managers to more efficiently allocate resources, such as when making the decision whether to purchase or rent machinery.
Construction waste is a huge challenge and one that is becoming more pressing as governments bring in ever-stricter environmental policies. Wasted resources are not only bad news for the planet, it negatively impacts profitability. It’s estimated that a quarter of project costs are lost to material waste. Better managing waste will also reduce the likelihood of project budget overruns, which as construction is responsible for some of, if not the biggest projects in the world, is a huge benefit for any construction company.
Data Career Opportunities
If data is a weakness, starting to remedy that right away is highly advisable. As more disruptive technologies emerge and data becomes evermore important, anyone that lacks the requisite knowledge and data skills will fall further behind. Fortunately, data skills education is at the forefront of the digital revolution.
- Talk to your manager about taking on tasks that will involve learning new data skills. Companies value initiative and employee engagement, and identifying areas that you’d like to work on is a great way to demonstrate your enthusiasm. Learning by doing is the best way to learn new skills.
- Read industry news to keep abreast of the latest technology and data trends. Better understanding the latest developments in construction will help you identify new skills to consider learning, and the knowledge gained will also enable you to make better informed decisions on your next career move.
- Take free online courses. There are numerous well-regarded data courses online, from the likes of Coursera, LinkedIn Learning, CodeSchool, and Udacity. Identify which course is most relevant and make sure to add any certifications or qualifications earned to your CV and LinkedIn profile.
- Reach out to a recruiter. Recruiters spend a lot of their working day engaging with businesses, even ones that aren’t currently hiring. They have a ring-side seat for many of the internal hiring decisions that are made. They’ll know what data skills companies prefer, and what types of experience businesses are prioritising.
Don’t struggle with data, turn it into your competitive advantage and future-proof your career in construction.
For a no-obligation chat about data career opportunities in construction, real estate or property across Australia and Asia, get in touch with us today!