Business strategy should be based on fact, rather than perception, says Databuild

The sooner the construction industry embraces digital technology and harnesses the power of data, the sooner these companies will be able to operate more efficiently and improve their profitability, says Databuild CEO Morag Evans.

“Other industries have long ago recognised the significance and value of data and it’s time the construction sector caught up. Data empowers organisations with knowledge that can be used to improve planning and ultimately enhance business performance.”

Databuild is already widely acknowledged as a one-stop source of intelligence for the construction and allied industries. According to Evans, its flagship offering, Databuild Online, offers significantly more than a database of active contacts, projects and tender opportunities in South Africa and other African countries.

“Users have long been relying on Databuild Online to proactively and timeously market their products and services to the right industry players throughout the supply chain and across all stages of a project’s lifecycle.

“Now Databuild is taking the provision of information one step further, through Watchlist Connect, a comprehensive data analytics service that provides invaluable insight to managers and contractors.

“Information provided by Databuild Online can be utilised in various ways, depending on the nature of the user’s business,” Evans explains. “With Watchlist Connect, companies have access to business analysis dashboards that provide detailed insight into their users’ activity on Databuild Online, enabling companies to track whether their sales teams are leveraging the information efficiently and productively.”

But, Evans points out, data isn’t useful on its own; it’s what you do with it that counts.

“Companies can interrogate the data provided by Watchlist Connect to answer pertinent questions about industry-related activity that has a direct bearing on their business. The information garnered can be used to learn from past projects, identify industry trends, and make informed and real-time decisions, not only about current and future projects, but also the strategic direction of the company.

“Some of our clients have used the information obtained from Watchlist Connect to determine where to open new manufacturing plants and close down existing ones, while others rely on it to indicate the busiest distribution points for the transportation of their product.”

According to Evans, perhaps the most valuable feature of Watchlist Connect is that the information it provides paints an accurate picture of the state of the local construction industry. “Often our perceptions are skewed by what we read in the media or because we choose to only consider the facts that support our opinion.

“Watchlist Connect, however, provides the informational evidence that distinguishes perception from reality. It is interesting to note, for example, that the data reveals tiny glimmers of hope regarding the outlook for the local construction industry, specifically in the civil sector.”

“Construction companies the world over have been slow to adopt digital technology, but the power of data can no longer be ignored,” Evans asserts. “Construction sites are no longer just about cement mixers, pickup trucks and power tools.

“The generation, collection and analysis of data has become the strategic imperative that is driving the industry forward. Construction firms that choose to disregard the significance thereof will soon find themselves unable to stay ahead of the game.”

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