How Big Data is Transforming Construction
As recent controversies following leaks about the National Security Agency's secret domestic espionage programs have highlighted, data is power.
According to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the accumulation of data began an extraordinary upward trajectory in 2006 that has only continued to skyrocket since: 2.8 zettabytes (that's a byte of data multiplied by the seventh power of 1,000) of data were created in 2012, and that number is projected to double by 2015.
The quest to hold, catalogue and interpret these almost incomprehensible amounts of data in real time is the motive behind the loosely defined concept of "big data." The companies that figure it out are often the ones that succeed.
Big data's small beginnings
As the following article shows, the earliest companies that learned "How to unlock big data's big potential” all had one thing in common: tech.
The future kings of the digital universe - companies like Yahoo, Google, Facebook, LinkedIn and Amazon - realised early on that warehousing and sorting massive amounts of data was the key to future dominance, and their respective investments in the big-data revolution obviously paid off.
How the construction industry harnessed big data
Although it started as a tech revolution in the digital world, the benefits of big data are being realised by more traditional industries: not least of which is construction.
Firms in the construction and architectural industries - specifically in the arenas of project planning, 3D mapping and pre-construction analytics - are extending fewer deadlines, wasting fewer materials and going over fewer budgets thanks to the power of big data.
By using big data strategies, every conceivable aspect of a building's construction and lifespan can be worked into remarkably accurate models that can be analysed before work begins, reducing on-site mishaps that lead to expensive and time consuming do-overs.
Not only are construction firms benefitting, but an entire new crop of 3D digital map-making companies have sprung up in support and service of the construction industry now that big data has revolutionised the pre-construction phase of building.
Big data is now big business.
Formerly a digital phenomenon, more traditional industries like manufacturing and construction are now seeing the benefit.
The collection and analysation of massive data chunks launched Facebook and Google - but could it lead to a new building boom?
About the Author: Andrew Lisa is a freelance business writer. He covers tech startups and the big data revolution.
BT and Microsoft unveil strategic partnership
BT and Microsoft have launched a strategic partnership to accelerate innovation across enterprise voice, cyber security and industry-focused services in sectors from digital manufacturing to health.
BT has already been named one of the first development partners for Microsoft Operator Connect and Operator Connect Conferencing. The renewed agreement will allow BT to build on this relationship and offer its own branded global managed voice services directly through Microsoft Teams, with an approach that further enhances customer experience and creates new opportunities for growth.
The strategic partnership will build on BT’s existing portfolio of cyber security services built on Microsoft technology. It will see the companies push forward with the design and launch of a new generation of managed security services to enable and protect the modern collaborative workplace. BT will work closely with Microsoft to develop distinct security propositions to defend customers’ operations across the cloud as well as its own IT estate.
Sustainability and collaboration on digital skills are integral to the partnership. BT and Microsoft will work together on further enhancing sustainability credentials within their supply chains and join forces on promoting digital skills in the communities.
“BT and Microsoft are at the forefront of innovation in global digital platforms and connectivity that will take technology and communication beyond limits,” said Bas Burger, CEO of Global at BT and executive sponsor of BT’s partnership with Microsoft. “This partnership will ensure all of Microsoft’s solutions work ‘Best on BT’ and support both companies’ commitments to improving digital skills in the community.”
Omar Abbosh, corporate vice president of industry solutions at Microsoft, said: “BT can use Microsoft’s cutting-edge tools to develop new communications services that meet the needs and demands of today’s customers. By aligning our visions for communication, connectivity, security and digital technology, Microsoft and BT will support real growth for businesses across the world.”
Microsoft's vision is to transform construction and built environment businesses with design innovation, a supply chain you can control, and a connected, safer, more productive workforce.
Microsoft recently unveiled strong results for the quarter ending June 30:
- Revenue totalled $46.2 billion, up 21%
- Operating income was $19.1 billion, up 42%
- Net income was $16.5 billion, up 47%
- Diluted earnings per share was $2.17, up 49%
For the year, revenues totalled $168.1 billion (up 18%), operating income hit $69.9 billion (up 32%), net income was $61.3 billion GAAP and $60.7 billion non-GAAP, and increased 38% and 37%, respectively.
“We are innovating across the technology stack to help organizations drive new levels of tech intensity across their business,” said Satya Nadella, chairman and chief executive officer of Microsoft. “Our results show that when we execute well and meet customers’ needs in differentiated ways in large and growing markets, we generate growth, as we’ve seen in our commercial cloud – and in new franchises we’ve built, including gaming, security, and LinkedIn, all of which surpassed $10 billion in annual revenue over the past three years.”
In a trading update last month, BT reported profit after tax £2m, down £446m, due to a "one-off tax charge in the quarter to reflect the remeasurement of deferred tax balances following the enactment of the new UK corporation tax rate of 25% from April 2023".