Skyrocketing AEC data pushes need for data governance best practices

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As the structure, engineering and building (AEC) {industry} is present process a staggering development within the creation of data, organizations need to position a robust concentrate on data governance best practices.

That is without doubt one of the findings of a brand new examine of the AEC sector that reveals it has skilled a 31.2% compound development charge in data storage since 2017. The quantity of recent data being captured or created is staggering, however getting full worth from it is dependent upon how the data is managed, saved, accessed and guarded.

According to the AEC Data Insights Report from Egnyte, “the AEC industry is experiencing unprecedented growth, challenges and opportunities all at once. Demand is high, supply chains are unpredictable, but through it all the industry is growing. So is the amount of data it is using and storing to function in this roller-coaster environment.”

Egnyte surveyed roughly 3,000 organizations on their present and up to date data administration and data storage practices. While the agency anticipated to see a rise in data creation and storage, it was caught unexpectedly on simply how a lot that has elevated.


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Surprising development

“Probably the most surprising finding was the rate of storage growth of our customers over the four years,” Ronen Vengosh, vice chairman of AEC at Egnyte, advised VentureBeat. “While this is in line with other industry reports, the fact that, on average, our customers have nearly quadrupled their data storage – from 0.9 TB in 2017 to 3.5 TB in 2021 – is a rather striking indication of how AEC firms have become data companies.”

The pandemic vastly accelerated the AEC {industry}’s digital transformation, Vengosh defined. More and extra AEC companies have migrated to the cloud over the previous couple of years. This is essentially pushed by the cloud’s capacity to allow simpler communication and collaboration between distant staff and people engaged on mission websites, whereas additionally permitting them to securely analyze and course of massive quantities of data.

“In addition, the industry is experiencing dramatic acceleration in the adoption of advanced, data-intensive technology (drone video, laser scanning, etc.), and we’re seeing organizations collect and retain all that data – often without robust practices to sort out what data needs to be kept and what should be discarded,” Vengosh mentioned.

This development has had a big influence on data infrastructure, Vengosh mentioned. AEC companies have needed to make strategic choices on the way to handle and safe their growing volumes of data successfully with out disrupting productiveness or mission outcomes. This comes because the AEC {industry} is experiencing extra stringent regulation and compliance necessities.

Key report findings

There have been a number of key findings within the Egnyte AEC Data Insights Report, Vengosh mentioned. They embody:

  • AEC companies retailer and act on extra information than different industries. The typical AEC agency manages 149% (2.49x) extra information than the cross-industry common. This consists of industries similar to actual property, retail, manufacturing and life sciences.
  • Data quantity development is explosive. The common AEC agency has elevated file storage by 31.2% compound annual development charge (CAGR) from 2017 to 2021.
  • Data sprawl is a rising problem. The variety of particular person information saved by AEC companies grew by 23.4% CAGR from 2017 to 2021. Firms have more and more relied on bigger file sorts from numerous sources, together with drone footage and 3D imagery. In addition, the rise in specialty functions similar to Procore and Bluebeam has resulted within the fixed motion of information from one location to a different.
  • Usage patterns differ broadly throughout disciplines. An AEC employee’s sub-industry (proprietor, structure, engineering, common contractor and specialty contractor) has a direct influence on how they work together with information and the sorts of information that they use. General contractors share information on the highest charge, whereas house owners entry probably the most information.
  • Data safety points differ by firm dimension and self-discipline. With extra data comes extra threat. Egnyte flagged a staggering development of “high-severity” data points from This autumn 2020 to This autumn 2021, a 325% improve throughout all AEC domains. For context, a problem is taken into account excessive severity when it represents the attainable loss or publicity of confidential info or different antagonistic occasion that ends in a big influence on the enterprise.

Data governance to stability development with enterprise wants

In response to this skyrocketing quantity of AEC data, Vengosh provided his recommendation on how AEC companies ought to best reply.

“To best optimize their data and increase project productivity, AEC firms should align the management of their rapidly growing data with their business needs,” he mentioned.

Toward that purpose, an efficient data administration plan ought to embody:

  • Overall enterprise goals and the data wanted to satisfy these goals.
  • The means and strategies for making progress.
  • A schedule for frequent opinions and updates.
  • Documentation of obligatory organizational and mission processes (e.g., insurance policies, types, checklists, tutorials and screenshots).

“Establishing data governance is critical,” Vengosh suggested. “Putting systems and processes in place not only protects office- and project-generated data, but can also help firms comply with corporate, industry and government regulations.”

“Most importantly, IT organizations need to accept that manual processes for governing and managing data (for example, manual content classification or manual content retention policies) are not viable at current data volumes, and that policy-based automation is central to a successful content management and governance strategy,” Vengosh mentioned.

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