In my last post, I wrote about the advantages that using big data can bring to developers, contractors and all others in the supply chain. If you missed it, you can read it here:

Bigger, Better Data

Whilst undeniably being a useful tool, there are other considerations to be taken into account.  Whilst storing data is now cheaper than it used to be, the cost is relative and that cost may be a barrier to smaller businesses making use of this technology. Further, although data can be used to reduce waste, (and is now being used by the Construction Leadership Council to track progress against the Construct Zero Performance Framework) the physical or digital act of storing data can  create waste and pollution, depending on the source of energy. Some  businesses looking to  promote their green credentials might hesitate to use  the technology without assurances that the energy sources those who store the data use are sufficiently environmentally friendly.

Also, the question of who owns the data has to be addressed, and the privacy of those included in the data must be maintained. Those looking to utilise big data should ensure that they do so in compliance with GDPR and that they have the right to copy and use the data. Having the documents (for example, collateral warranties) in place to give those parties the necessary copyright licenses is vital to avoid any infringement issues.

The use of big data should be managed so that it isn't the cause of some bigger problems. However, done properly it can evidently be an invaluable tool.  Many in the supply chain are now using it to improve their business. As the technology improves to allow collection of better data, and analyse it more efficiently, it is difficult to see big data getting smaller!