In a recent Constructech magazine article, the role of Big Data in the construction industry is examined. In today’s multi-platform computing era, data management has become essential in most fields. Construction firms are rapidly adapting to paradigm shifting technologies such as building informational modeling (BIM) and mobile computing. However, data rates have been forecast to increase forty-four fold through 2020.
This will require the implementation of effective software architecture that is able to cope with massive data requests and storage. An example of such architecture is the RESTful API, which enables cloud-based technologies to seamlessly connect with a construction firm’s existing IT infrastructure. Big Data at its core, involves three main concepts. The first is Volume. Depending on the project, construction managers may face an incoming torrent of data arising from site progress reports, issue inspections and project plans. An effective Big Data platform would manage this wide range of data as well as be equipped to handle large quantities of information. Thus, if a nexus between construction and big data were to occur, it would have to handle the 2nd element, which is Variety. The last element is Velocity. The amount of information generated every second by the web is staggering. Thus, if construction wants to head in a direction that emphasizes big data, it must be equipped to process multitudinous transactions, updates, downloads and uploads simultaneously and with high fidelity. Big Data has already begun to root itself within the construction industry. Growing firms will need effective systems to be ready for the future of data management.