We’re producing more data than ever—roughly 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day.

With so much data being created and the use of data analytics starting to gain traction in the E&C industry, understanding what big data is and how your organization can leverage it to improve business processes is becoming an increasingly critical aspect of doing business—and a key differentiator.

However, using big data effectively requires the right talent, tools and processes, and presents unique challenges for E&C companies. In fact, many of today’s organizations are either unprepared for or overwhelmed by the magnitude of information. Understanding which data can be useful and how it translates into business intelligence, for example, requires strategic planning and a clear understanding of your organization’s overall goals and vision.

This is no easy task and takes time, money and focus. For some E&C firms, current organizational processes simply can’t accommodate advancements in data analytics. In an industry that is known for being behind the technology adaptation curve, some firms struggle with frontline managers and field staff who often don’t under- stand how to implement analytical procedures. This can often make it difficult to get companywide participation in new data-driven processes, effectively slowing down the benefits of analytical tools within an organization.

Like it or not, however, all of today’s E&C companies are in the data business and need to adapt to the fast-changing business environment. Particularly in light of a slowing economy further down the road, companies must have a deep understanding of their businesses and operations. Without these insights, E&C firms can’t uncover underlying challenges and/or situations that can impact overall performance. Using data analytics, companies can turn that tide, monitor different key performance indicators (KPIs) and make good forward-looking deci- sions in real time.

Businesses that fail to identify and fix potential issues will be at a disadvantage in a down cycle. By deploying emerging technologies and implementing and learning about advanced tools and resources, E&C companies can gain real advantage, enhance performance and stay ahead of the curve.