Tips on Organizing Your Data

Construction companies are slowly moving toward a digital first model which means that more data is being collected every day. A recent article suggested that 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are produced by humans every day and 95 million photos and videos are shared every day on Instagram. Of course, all the data in the world won’t help if you aren’t making the most of the data you do collect. Here are some tips on organizing your data.

The most successful construction companies aren’t just sitting on that data motherlode. Instead, they’re taking the data they generate and developing data driven approaches to construction to deliver better buildings, more efficient building processes, and increase the ROI for their clients.

According to an FMI study, 95.5% of all data captured goes unused in the construction industry. So how can modern construction companies leverage the power of their data to increase productivity? Let’s look at how you can organize your data to increase the potential of the information you use to make decisions.

The Dirty Truth About Data

One of the reasons that data collection greatly out paces data use is because data collection is unfiltered and disorganized. This is especially true when combining sources from the data collected. Raw data pools are filled with duplicated or mislabeled information. The more junk data that is in your data set, the more likely that outcomes and algorithms you produce with your data is unreliable even if it appears correct.

To combat this issue, the challenge is in cleaning your data before use. Simply put, data cleaning, also known as data cleansing or data scrubbing, is the first and most important step in making quality data-driven decisions.

Cleaning Data for Better Results

The first step in cleaning your data is to remove unwanted information from your dataset, including duplicated or irrelevant entries. Duplicated data is easy to spot… it appears more than once in a data set. Irrelevant information is simply data that doesn’t fit into the specific problem you are trying to analyze.

For most users, organizing the data ends with cleaning unstructured data sets, deleting unnecessary files, and populating and eliminating missing or needed values from data fields. Of course, if you want the most accurate analysis, you need make that data to be accessible for presentation to decision makers.

Sharing is Caring: Organizing Your Data for your Audience

By far the easiest method is to organize your information into charts and graphs so the data is easily digestible for the audience. After cleaning your data, presenting that information in clusters is not enough. Breaking apart each block of information and compiling it into a visual format like a graph or chart is a necessary step in the process of sharing your data and analysis.

Both Microsoft Word and Excel are excellent tools to display your data into charts and graphs that anyone can follow and understand. There are many tutorials available online on how to accomplish this task.

If you prefer a different approach to organizing your data, you might also consider organizing by category or attributes. There are many ways to do this, all dependent on the type of information. For instance, if your data is humidity levels on your job site, you can categorize based on location or based on time of day. You could also organize by attributes like time of day, or zone, or alphabetically or file name.

Organizing your data is as important as the collection itself. The point in organizing the data is to make it easy to digest and to arrange it in a way that analysis is easier and clearer for decision makers. Ultimately knowing your audience and how they process information will likely be the key to how you decide to organize your data for analysis and presentation.

To find out how SiteKick is helping construction companies make better use of their data, contact us for a demonstration today. That’s the best tips on organizing your data.