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Expect the Extraordinary.

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The Power of Connected Data (Part 3) - ACES: How Connected Data is Always the Winning Hand

DATE: October 2021

At the beginning of any card game, each player is dealt a hand that determines their mathematical odds of winning. From there, they must rely on a combination of risk assessment, analytical reasoning, and quick thinking. While experience provides a critical advantage, even the most seasoned player can only see the cards they’ve been dealt with little control over the future. But what if that player could see the entire picture ahead of them?

Here at APTIM we rely on the unparalleled expertise of our professionals to evaluate estimates prior to submittal and track the execution of awarded projects. During the proposal stage our teams perform extensive reviews of a project’s specific scope, cost basis, planning basis, and execution plan. Our team then correlates this data against historical benchmarks to identify potential risks. However, historically the value of this evaluation has been limited by disconnected sources of non-uniform data. During execution the team collects cost data to gain insights into the financial health of a project, but the reports have previously focused on results and outcomes instead of providing timely leading indicators that allow for proactive management and issue avoidance.

In recognition of these challenges, the APTIM Controls and Estimating Solutions (ACES) team has envisioned a future rooted in proactively managing our projects and evaluating estimates against granular level benchmark data. In support of these objectives ACES is setting the foundation to revise our approach to estimate data analysis, amend our benchmarking process, and expand our project management capabilities by revising procedures and establishing InEight’s integrated Project Cost Management software as an enterprise level program management tool. 

As-built benchmarks are composed of field actuals such as quantities, workhours, and costs collected in the field as they are incurred. Automatically sourcing this data from the field using APTIM’s service line aligned technology toolkits will aid in the creation of as-built productivity rates and unit costs that evaluators can compare to estimate data without added level of effort. We capture the data as generated and “connect” them to support conversations focused on data points outside of expected ranges, ensuring that high risk activities are thoroughly discussed. The benchmarking process will increase estimate accuracy and reduce risk by stimulating communication between estimating, project controls, and project operations.

Leveraging ACES and the other tools within APTIM’s toolkit to connect estimating, project controls, and field data will streamline and automate what are now time-consuming processes, generate consistent results, and eliminate sources of error, all while maintaining data confidence and integrity and providing transparency of results and performance between field, office, and our client(s)—enabling full team collaboration.

By tapping into our connected data, APTIM can confidently assess and monitor risk, improve the quality of our proposals, identify leading indicators to proactively manage our projects, and manage forward to optimize our performance and delivery. Simply said, the experienced player will no longer be limited by the data within their hand. Not only will APTIM see the entire picture they will also hold a few ACES up their sleeve.