We are firm believers that construction companies need to build internal capability and data literacy to continue to thrive. That is why we actively promote opportunities such as Data Analytics Apprenticeships to our customers. However, until a data-driven culture becomes business-as-usual we believe the need for external support is difficult to ignore.
The management of Business Intelligence projects requires significant effort. From gathering initial requirements , stakeholder engagement, design, development, deployment, training and ongoing support, the needs of a Business Intelligence project are a drain on the limited internal resources construction contractors have available. We believe it is therefore wise to seek external support. In this short article we will discuss some of benefits of outsourcing Business Intelligence capability within construction.
Experience & Efficiency
Employing a BI consultancy with specific construction industry knowledge will mean they have specific skills required to address your immediate business needs. Believe it or not, the processes required to manage a construction business are very similar from one company to the next and the likelihood is that a specialist such as Acumine will have worked on many similar challenges before. This means that you can benefit from established best practice and lessons learned that your internal teams may not have been exposed to. If that is the case, then outside support can help you reach a superior result in less time and particularly because an external party will be less susceptible to competing internal priorities pulling on your available resource.
One of the most obvious benefits of outsourcing BI development would be the reduced overheads and cost. This is because you can employ the services of a BI specialist and pay for a specific deliverable without committing to employee expenses such as salary, NI, Pension, training, and other benefits.
In addition, the external BI specialist may be able to bring pre-existing templates to the table and therefore help to reduce development time and costs. Acumine were recently approached by a Tier 1 UK contractor for access to some of our existing templates and this has allowed them to accelerate their digital transformation and BI Programme.
In some cases, an internal team with the right skills may exist but their time can become overstretched. Acumine are currently working for Tier 1 contractors who require additional BI resource to support some very large tenders. They have some very competent people in-house but having a relationship with an external BI specialist can help a business to scale resource up and down to help deal with the peaks and troughs in demand.
Strengthen In-house teams
Working with transparent businesses like Acumine can mean that internal teams become familiar with best practice, and we will not shy away from sharing our knowledge. This creates longer term added value as your internal teams increase their own capability. This supports our core value to create legacy impact.
Focus on Core Business
Although data should be at the heart of any construction business the expertise of BI development will not be a core focus. By outsourcing this capability, a business can remain focussed on its core operations whilst still benefitting from the insights that BI can deliver. The effort required to keep up to date with the latest data technology, methodologies and training should not be underestimated and it may be more appropriate to outsource than develop this capability in-house. Ultimately this depends on business strategy and priorities.
Contractual Relationships / SLAs
BI Consultants are expected to deliver results and where external parties are involved; they can be held to account contractually. This can be in the form of warranties for development or ongoing Service Level Agreements which can have benefits for both parties – these are often linked to performance targets. Besides the contractual obligations, it is in the specialist’s best interests to provide a quality service and develop a lasting relationship with the client.
It is our belief that construction companies can benefit from a blended approach to developing Business Intelligence capabilities. Whilst it is necessary to upskill internal staff and processes to prepare for data-driven transformation, the option for outsourcing can bring many advantages. Whatever your approach is, it is important not to get left behind and your company must properly plan to take advantage of the huge value potential in construction business data.
For more information about what Acumine can offer please contact us.