Construction

Setting up a Construction Data Warehouse – it isn’t one big database anymore

We talk to construction IT managers every day about construction data warehouses and business intelligence. Many people think that building a data warehouse means that you have to transform data and transfer or push it from several databases into one data warehouse. In the last few years data warehouse technology has evolved so you can leave data in it’s native location and include it in reports across systems. You can even combine traditional data warehouses where you move or synchronize data with data from other systems to create a broader data warehouse.

For example our clients that use Sage Timberline Office deploy our anterraDataCenter™ product to synchronize data from Pervasive databases (one per data folder) into a single Microsoft SQL database. This effectively gives them a Sage Timberline SQL database. This SQL database then becomes PART of another data warehouse when we write reports for our construction BI software that spans other systems like a CRM to get sales information to prepare work backlog forecasts.

By |February 15th, 2013|Blog Post, Construction|0 Comments

TechRepublic is a great resource for Construction and Real Estate IT Managers to keep up with technology

We work with construction and real estate companies every day to improve their reporting and provide an over-arching reporting system.   I’ve talked to many IT managers about their technology and what resources they use to stay on top of ever changing technology.  Several of them mention TechRepublic.  It’s a site I scan every day and often find reviews of new hardware and software along with IT trends and best practices.

As an example here are some topics from today’s home page that would help construction and real estate IT managers and directors keep up with technology changes:

Microsoft Office 2013 released – is it good for Construction and Real Estate companies?

Microsoft released Office 2013 this week. As Microsoft Partners we have been using it for 6 months already.  Here here are my observations on how it will affect real estate and construction company users:

  • The interface is “cleaner”.  As usual with an Office upgrade it will take you a couple of days to get used to a few things moving around in Excel, Outook, Word and PowerPoint.  For example the navigation for Outlook between mail, calendars and people (formerly “contacts”) is now in the bottom left of the Outlook program.   Overall you’ll like the look and feel.

Microsoft Surface Pro – Construction or Real Estate Tablet Releasing Feb 9

The Microsoft Surface Pro tablet will blur the line between tablets like the iPad and laptop computers. For construction and real estate users this finally means an ultra portable device that turns on instantly with the ability to save files in folders and work on construction documents and leases in Microsoft Word and Excel. You will also be able to run any windows program.

I think this is a game changer for people that visit construction sites or properties as part of their jobs. Our construction and real estate dashboards, scorecards and drill through reports will shine on this device, making project and leasing managers more productive. 

Financial Consolidations Across 2 Accounting Systems Without Excel

Many companies end up with more than one accounting system. It happens all the time – you acquire another company, merge with another company or end up with a division that is in different line of business that needs a different accounting system to function. Examples we see include:

A) Acquisitions or mergers that lead to 2 similar core systems
Construction companies end up a combination of Timberline Office, ViewPoint Software, Dexter Chaney, Sage Master Builder, etc.  Real Estate companies end up with a combination of Yardi Software, MRI Software, RealPage or Timberline.  Depending on the sizes of each company / division on each system converting to one of the systems is expensive, time consuming and results in huge productivity losses with historical data gone and people taking time to learn the new system.

B) Companies with subsidiaries in different businesses:

Anterra FREE best practices guide for improving construction reporting

Anterra has published a free best practices guide for improving construction reporting.

This guide is intended to help CFO’s, Controllers and IT managers look at their reporting in 5 key areas.

  1. Report design improvement
  2. Data Quality
  3. Reducing the use of Excel as a reporting tool
  4. Using dashboards to quickly convey information
  5. Mobile availability of reports

This guide is free and can be downloaded by clicking here.