Identified Technologies, a Pittsburgh-based specialist in drone-enabled gathering of data from construction materials production and job sites, projects a watershed year for technology adoption among contractors, suppliers and customers. Leading the firm’s Top Construction Technology Trends of 2018:
Artificial intelligence ubiquity. The ability for computers to learn and detect patterns is powerful. Machine learning is impacting construction project planning, fleet management, and structural damage assessment. What’s new in 2018 is how ubiquitous such learning will become, thanks especially to developers from institutions like Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, who are making artificial intelligence as easy to use as an iPhone.
Internet of Things horizontal integration. Few construction businesses are using sensor-connected hardware. This year will see construction interests place sensors throughout the vertical and horizontal construction space—from boots and hats to tablets and trucks— then aim to connect collected data to every other piece of data. Horizontal integration of IoT stands to make the construction job site as efficient as it has made the factory floor.
Data analytics for Big Data. Analytics is poised to help construction companies do business in a much more efficient way. Data capture has been around for a long time, but understanding all sensor-relayed information is key. Analytics and decision making is easier than ever before thanks to service providers equipped to help construction interests draw conclusions from data. Microsoft Business Intelligence is a good example of wide data analytics availability; any company can use it to turn existing data sets into visualizations, stories, and reports.
Virtual reality + existing platforms. VR will go from a novelty to necessity in construction, a physical business that becomes more challenging if the planning, bidding and building team is not familiar with the site. This year will see VR incorporated into established software platforms, rather than existing in its own silo.
CONEXPO-CON/AGG MANAGER EMBRACES DATA ANALYTICS
The Association of Equipment Manufacturers, Milwaukee, has acquired Minneapolis-based Hargrove & Associates Inc. (HAI), a data processing and business analytics company for whom it has been a client since 1989. The move dovetails a manufacturing industry transformation, driven by the innovative use of data, and enables AEM to further develop its statistics program for construction and agricultural equipment members.
“Insights gained through participation in [the] program give members an advantage in an increasingly competitive global marketplace,” says AEM President Dennis Slater. “Through investment in HAI, we look to sharpen this competitive advantage.”
“We are looking forward to how this deepening of our 30-year working relationship will position both of our groups for exciting growth and technological opportunities, while maintaining strong commitment to the data program so valued by the equipment industry,” notes HAI President Claire Hargrove.
The firm will operate as a stand-alone AEM subsidiary in its current Minneapolis office, she adds, and continue to maintain sole access and handling of company data. In addition to customer care and support, HAI employees will collaborate with AEM on projects using advanced data analytics that bring value to association members.