Construction Monkey

Construction Monkey Blog

Analytics is simply the science of analysis.  In construction, and probably more specific in the subcontractor community analysis of data is few and far between, even though our industry is ripe for analytics.  In for analytics to be worthwhile, there are two conditions that really need to be met: (1) that there is a lot data generated and (2) that the data is coming from events that repeat themselves.  Every day each employee and activity is creating hundreds of data points as they go out and perform their job and most of the activities are repetitive.

So are you doing analytics?  Answer so of the following questions which should give you some insight:
  • Do you know the precise installation units per hour?  How do they differ on different types of jobs?  With different clients?
  • How many miles per vehicle is your company utilizing in a month?  Which vehicles are driven the most?
  • What is your proficiency in winning work?  Does the hit ratio change with clients?  Types of projects?
  • What is the average minute usage of your cell phone users?  What is the usage during business hours?
These are just a few examples of the questions that analytics would answer.  If you answers at your fingertips to each of them, then great you are doing a great job.  For the rest of us, we need some work.

Let me be clear that the reason to answer the questions above is to start heading to a deeper understanding.  Any dunce can go out and hire a bunch of analysts to generate reports that look cool, but it takes a true subcontractor to understand what the data means.  When I look at poor installation production rates for employees, it is not about "wow this guy sucks and I should fire him", instead it is "I wonder why his results are below the average, do we need to get him more training?"  Do you see the difference in the approach?  One way is destroying the company and the other way is improving it.

Analytics is a relatively new field and is much more complex than what I have had time to write about, but I encourage you to embrace the philosophy.  No one can improve unless they have data.  Data is meaningless or just a pretty chart to hang on the wall without analysis.  And out of analysis comes great ways to improve your performance, the company's position, and your service level.

About the Author

Craig Pierce

Craig Pierce has been working in the construction industry for the past 25 years helping subcontractors master their trade. Currently he is President of Atalanta Enterprises which provides consulting services to contractors And software solutions through