- Construction workers are ready to take on new digital tools, 95% of office- and field-level respondents said in an October 2021 survey from Dodge Construction Network, a merger of several industry labels that includes Dodge Data & Analytics. Another 95% of field workers said they would be willing to use digital tools to combine or streamline parts of their work.
- These results were displayed in an infographic that pulls from DCN's survey, shared with Construction Dive, on emerging data trends in the construction industry. The survey cites 648 respondents from around the United States who were split into office- and field-level workers and were primarily users of Dodge and Blue Book products, as well as other interested parties, according to a DCN spokesperson.
- Despite the hunger for digital transformation, construction lags behind other industries. Only 15% of respondents have implemented a digital transformation strategy, and 38% of respondents said that they haven't built out a strategy or that it's not a priority, according to the survey report.
Dan McCarthy, the CEO of Dodge Construction Network, was optimistic about what worker demand for digital tools and data would mean for the industry.
"One of the byproducts of the explosion of workflow is that there's a lot of partial data. And it's not necessarily as accurate or as timely, or as validated, as good data deserves to be," McCarthy told Construction Dive. "The [construction] industry, like every other industry, has the right to say 'I want good, accurate data.' That's a sign of industry maturity, and I believe that there's increasingly more demand for that."
The road to digital transformation is often not smooth, however. Of the 49% of office workers who ran into issues with implementing their digital strategy, 42% reported that hardware/software issues slowed or stopped the project entirely, according to the report. In addition, 39% of those respondents said these issues made the project more expensive overall, and 19% said that staff failure to adopt the new strategy stalled the project and resulted in no improvement in their work.
"What's really behind the challenges is that it's hard to organize data and deploy it in a way that it can create value for companies," McCarthy said.
As the pandemic stretches on and contractors brace for further losses, many in construction are considering the role of data in their industry. In September, Autodesk released a report that showed bad data was costing the construction industry $1.8 trillion annually. In the report, Autodesk also found that 30% of the report's respondents said that more than half of their data was "bad" and thus unusable in their work.
"Organizations that implement formal data strategies stand to gain the most ROI from their technology investments, so it is important to collaborate with vendors and determine how to make the best use of the data being collected," said Autodesk director of construction thought leadership, Allison Scott, in the report's press release.