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The importance of interoperability in construction data sources and systems

In the world of construction, data is a crucial element that enables stakeholders to make informed decisions. From project planning to execution and completion, data plays a significant role in every aspect of the construction process. Unfortunately, with the increasing number of data sources and systems available in the industry and the continued use of legacy systems, interoperability concerns are at the forefront of today’s conversation.

Interoperability refers to the ability of disparate systems and data sources to communicate and exchange data seamlessly. For example, in the construction industry, various software and systems are used by numerous stakeholders, such as architects, engineers, contractors, and building owners, who must be able to share data with each other quickly. If these different stakeholders cannot communicate effectively, construction projects will inevitably run into hiccups, delays, and unforeseen costs.

Simply put, how can an organization successfully track employee hours, work-in-progress reports, deliveries, and deadlines when critical information is inaccessible to the people that require it? It can’t.

Worse, many so-called modern application providers often boast of integration and data migration at the push of a button; however, this is simply impossible. The interoperability of legacy and modernized systems when multiple data silos are present is too complex for the so-called easy button.

Fortunately, modern systems can be configured to fit the unique needs of the construction industry and individual organizations. In addition, these solutions enable stakeholders to access and use data from multiple sources, making it easier to collaborate and make informed decisions. For example, when designing a building, architects can use data from various sources, such as surveys, and environmental and construction data, to inform their decisions.

Moreover, it promotes data accuracy and consistency. When different systems and data sources can communicate, it reduces the likelihood of errors and inconsistencies arising when data is manually entered or transferred between disparate systems. This ensures stakeholders have access to accurate and up-to-date data, enabling them to improve project outcomes and budget accordingly.

Additionally, interoperability can help reduce the number of software applications and systems needed, reducing licensing and maintenance costs, and saving companies millions annually.

One thing is sure: interoperability is critical. It plays a significant role in every aspect of the construction process. By ensuring that different systems and data sources can communicate seamlessly, stakeholders can make intelligent business decisions, ultimately improving project outcomes and cost savings.

As the construction industry embraces digital transformation, interoperability must remain a top priority.