Bad data means bad decisions

Image: Daniil Peshkov/

Bad data is leading to bad decision making, according to a new report from Autodesk.

Nearly a third (32%) of data is bad and that bad data leads to poor decisions 31% of the time, according to the 100 UK respondents to the survey that forms the basis of the report, Harnessing The Data Advantage In Construction.

The picture is slightly worse in Ireland, where 41% of data is bad, leading to poor decisions 46% of the time, according to 102 respondents.

Bad data is described as “inaccurate, incomplete, inconsistent or untimely”.

It should be noted that the UK reported the second-lowest proportion of bad data and bad decisions in Europe.

Nearly half of UK respondents (44%) said they always or often incorporate project data into decision-making; the figure for Ireland is 34%.

More than half of Irish respondents (58%) said that data had increased by at least half in the last three years.

Alongside Germany, Ireland is the only country where most data plans include standards for project data formatting (55%), collection methods for priority project data (50%) and quality assurance measures for collected data (55%).

Also after Germany, the UK is the country where companies are most likely to regularly review data at set intervals for quality purposes (45%).

More than a third (40%) of UK respondents pointed to a lack of reliable data as the factor posing the biggest risk to decision-making (35% across Europe).

Marek Suchocki, industry engagement lead at Autodesk, said: “In the UK, it’s really encouraging that construction professionals highlight poor data as the biggest risk that they face, as this shows an increasing reliance on data for project execution.

“The next stage will be for businesses to ensure that they can use insights from multiple projects to drive internal improvements, from productivity and quality to safety. This will help both UK and Irish businesses to meet ongoing uncertainty.”

On Ireland, he added: “It’s positive that advanced companies in Ireland are developing comprehensive data plans. Generally, however, there’s still plenty of work to be done in most businesses, as shown by the relatively high proportion of bad data and the relatively high effort required to gather it.

“Focusing on adopting and embedding digital tools for the site will help businesses to collect data efficiently and accurately, while providing formal and informal training for project managers will ensure they can use this data to drive decision-making.”

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