Oracle brings AI and analytics to construction industry

  • February 22, 2021
  • Steve Rogerson

Oracle has announced a suite of AI and analytics applications for the engineering and construction industry.

Construction projects often run into problems that impact productivity, safety and profitability. The Construction Intelligence Cloud Service suite uses machine learning to analyse continually project data to identify these potential risks and inefficiencies early, helping organisations make better decisions.

The first application in the suite, Construction Intelligence Cloud Advisor, is generally available, with other applications to follow.

“When you see some of the predictive modelling being done, such as Oracle’s Construction Intelligence Cloud Service, you see an endless opportunity for us to be more proactively responsive as opposed to reactive,” said Patty Sullivan, project manager at Burns & McDonnell. “Additionally, I believe there is an opportunity to manage or mitigate project risk with this technology. It is certainly something we will be looking at this year and we look forward to working with Oracle in utilising this technology to improve and transform our industry.”

Construction Intelligence Cloud Advisor provides predictive intelligence to improve decision-making at all levels of an organisation. Unlike software that provides only a view into what has happened in a project, the application also anticipates what may happen next. Its re-trainable machine-learning models improve in accuracy over time as they learn from an organisation’s experiences.

The application uses data from Oracle’s Primavera scheduling product to predict project delays, which often lead to cost overruns, and help organisations determine appropriate corrective actions. This includes identifying what project activities might be delayed and why. It can also help create better estimates, identify the impact of predicted delays on downstream activities, and improve the scheduling process to increase productivity.

For example, imagine that while assessing a construction firm’s vast portfolio of projects, Construction Intelligence Cloud Advisor predicts that the structural work on one of the projects could be delayed by 14 days due to scheduling errors, resourcing constraints and the historical setbacks in these types of activities. This intelligence enables the project team to work with their in-house scheduling teams and supply chain partners to manage the risk and ensure the factors causing the delay can be mitigated. They can also determine whether similar delays have happened on past projects to identify the root causes and fix the issue systematically.

“It requires a substantial amount of time for Hart to review and provide feedback on monthly schedule submittals from our contractors,” said Nate Meddings, director of project controls for Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (Hart). “We look forward to having Oracle Construction Intelligence Cloud Advisor streamline the analysis by highlighting specific areas of concern before we even begin our review process. We welcome the fact-based, visual indicators we can share with our contractors to help drive improvements in their work product.”

There are plans to expand Construction Intelligence Cloud Advisor to include data from across Oracle’s construction and engineering portfolio over the next year. These enhancements may help identify potential risks related to litigation, safety, rework, supply chain performance and cash flow. Additionally, more analytics and data service offerings will be added to the product line.

“Engineering and construction organisations are struggling to mine their data for useful insights into the performance of their projects and operations,” said Mark Webster, senior vice president at Oracle, which recently moved its headquarters from California to Texas. “Oracle Construction Intelligence Cloud Service was shaped by our customers’ need for intuitive tools to make their project outcomes more predictable and their businesses more competitive and profitable.”