Ronan Collins — ‘Data Management in Construction’

Ronan Collins, Head of Project Information Management at Gamuda talks to BIMIreland.ie about his upcoming presentation at CitA Tech Live, titled ‘Data Management in Construction — a big challenge to address’ taking place on Thursday, 24 September and what he is looking forward to hearing about over the week-long event. CitA have assembled 20 experts from across the globe for this event.

Ronan is committed to driving innovation and digital transformation in the construction industry in Malaysia. Ronan believes that the business benefits provided by well-planned digital engineering BIM processes will transform the way we design, construct and maintain our infrastructure and buildings.

Throughout his career, Ronan has implemented digital solutions and services for large scale developments including airports, hotels, residential complexes, railway stations, educational facilities, exhibition centres, casinos and complex industrial projects all around the world. As a certified Professional Project Manager, he has been able to provide expert advice on how to specify and how to plan the implementation of BIM processes.

Please tell us about your work.

My current title is Head of Project Information Management and I’m responsible for BIM related issues at Gamuda. I’m involved in preparing bids and management plans for new projects, overseeing the implementation of our common data environment and working with our digital transformation teams on implementing new solutions such as AR, VR, drones, field data collection and business intelligence and data analytics. I’m also involved in ISO 19650 certification, staff training and education courses for construction technology.

What is the focus of your CitA Tech Live presentation?

We are witnessing a growing demand for improved data literacy in the construction industry. BIM has been a catalyst for many contractors to develop BIM capabilities, competency and new ways of working. Now with the proliferation of smart devices across our sites and in the supply chain, it’s easier than ever to collect data. The challenge is knowing what data to collect, how best to collect it and most importantly, how to use it for project monitoring, reporting and gaining business insights. My presentation will demonstrate some of the work flows we have been developing and shed some light on the roadmap we envision for improving data literacy in construction.

Why is this topic important in Digital Construction?

Data provides the building blocks for all of the digital transformation initiatives in construction. Structured data is needed to improve productivity, enhance safety, address labour shortages and unlock potential in other fields such as robotics, logistics etc. Reliance on Excel tables and PDF reports is not going to be enough in the coming years. We need to understand data analytics and learn the skills needed to leverage it. Those skills include knowing the right questions to ask, auditing the information as well as the software skills needed to process data.

Have you attended CitA events in the past?

Yes. I’ve presented at CitA on two previous occasions. In 2012 and most recently in 2016. What’s amazing to me, when I review those presentations, is that many of the issues, processes and strategies shared from my experience are as relevant today as they were four or eight years ago. The technologies have evolved, our understanding of them has improved but our deployment and adoption of them is still lagging behind where we should be in 2020.

What are you most looking forward to hearing about at CitA Tech Live?

I’m keen to hear the questions and comments from the attendees. The list of speakers is very impressive and I’m sure we will all learn from their insights. But it’s the delegates that truly make a great event. Their participation, their enquiries and the line of questioning is where we learn the most. It’s an excellent way for us all to gauge the progression of digital transformation in construction and always illuminates the biggest issues facing the people in our sector. My role is to push transformation forwards but I need to keep my ear close to the ground to engage with everyone involved.

CitA Tech Live 2020 will be a virtual conference taking place between 21-25 September next. CitA have assembled 20 experts from across the globe to address five transformational forces that will change the way the industry works: focusing on the daily themes of Working with COVID-19, Disruptive Technologies, Digital Twins, Data Management and Modularisation.

The speakers will help provide insights into how the construction industry is rapidly moving towards being more inclusive, innovative and collaborative by use of smart technologies.

CitA hope you can join them for 2 hours each day between 21-25 September from 1.30pm-3.30pm and take away inspirational messages that you can apply in your own work environment.

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