The Vital Role of Authentic Metadata in AECO Project Management

by Zach Gentry – Concert CEO

With market conditions challenged by higher interest rates, ongoing supply chain issues, and long-term labor shortages, design and construction professionals are being asked to devise solutions that improve efficiency. This is not a dire situation. Technology is the key, particularly in the age of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) which serve as force multipliers to existing resource allocation. There’s a catch: these tools are only as powerful as the data that fuels them.

Imagine constructing a building without a solid foundation—it’s bound to crumble. The same principle applies to AI and analytics in AECO project management. To harness their true potential, the data needs to faithfully represents the time, manner, and place in which construction project data is used.

This is a challenge in the current construction arena. Multiple stakeholders are using multiple software solutions in offices throughout the country. As an example, we spoke to a hospital developer who named 30 different data stores in use across his team, and that doesn’t include the tools being used by the myriad number of consultants, contractors, and vendors involved in the project. This is healthy in some ways as each of those tools satisfies a different specific need. However, the siloed nature of this data obviates a facility to learn and optimize project management as is being done in other industries.

The solution is not to require everyone to use the same software. The solution is to create a data log that aggregates project “metadata.” Metadata is data about the data. It includes information that is typically thrown away like log-in times and location. By itself, it doesn’t tell a very interesting story, but when viewed through AI/ML, it forms the basis for understanding which firms are responsive and which are not. It can tell a project lead which projects might be at risk for missing deadlines and which might be over-budget.

At Concert, this is our core. We can aggregate data from all the data stores that people use and provide a means for authorizing, sharing, and validating that data. What does that mean? We centralize the decision-making process, and we create a mechanism by which project participants can be assured they are using the most up-to-date version while enabling them to change their regular data authoring and utilization. Because this happens across all the platforms, it creates a home for authentic project management data.

Here’s what it encompasses:

  • Authorization of Authentic Data: Concert ensures that only authorized, validated data sources contribute to the repository, eliminating the risk of inaccurate or fraudulent information.
  • Timely Versioning: With Concert, project data versions are updated in real-time, reflecting the most current project status and minimizing discrepancies caused by outdated information.
  • User Access Authorization: Role-based access control ensures that only authorized users can access specific data, protecting sensitive information and maintaining data integrity.
  • Data Utilization and Searches: Concert offers robust data utilization features, facilitating advanced searches and analytics that provide actionable insights for better decision-making.

The journey to next-generation project management tools starts with authentic metadata. Only a system like Concert, with its emphasis on real-time, centralized data logging, can provide the foundation for accurate analytics, informed decision-making, and successful AECO projects. Stay tuned to discover how Concert can make your AECO projects soar to new heights by transforming data into your most valuable asset.