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The Importance of Information Management in the AEC Industry

April 19, 2022


In today’s digital age, we are surrounded by data. Some might even say too much information.

But it doesn’t make any difference, until we begin to organize and categorize that data by assigning values of trustworthiness, responsibility, liability, context, historical background, etc.

“meta-data”, or “data about data”, is what makes information useful, actionable, or meaningful.

From meaningful structured data or information, we can begin to learn, which, when combined with experiences and insights, gives us understanding and gain knowledge.

The future will be created through information, which is produced, managed, and coordinated by all the players in the AEC industry.

Especially the Asset Owners (Clients) and Facilities Managers, or anyone interested in ‘Digital Information’ (better information) as it relates to the built environment or AEC sector.

Graphical representation, Information Management Triangle, image


In order to realize the importance of information let's answer a few questions :

What's the relationship between Information and Project Performance? Does Quality of information Impact project performance/outcomes.

It is very little we can do without information. We can’t “communicate” design intent, compliance, or instructions for the safe fabrication, assembly, and construction, without information. And, it will be very difficult to safely maintain and operate a building, or piece of infrastructure, without any information.

To carry out any task successfully,

you need the right information available, at the right time, to instruct and communicate to the people carrying out the task,

What is required, and of course, you need the people to understand the information and execute the task in accordance with the instructions.

What if the information is wrong, late, missing, or difficult to understand or process? Well the task will either be delayed, or executed incorrectly, or the people executing the task may make adjustments based on their own experience, to try and get the task complete anyway, to avoid delay, but the work may still be done incorrectly and there is a potential risk that it may have to be corrected again later. It may eventually get completed correctly, but there will be a cost and time impact, or you may have to accept the incorrect work.

So, clearly, there is some relationship between information, and project outcomes or performance. And, there is obviously a measure of quality of informationthat impacts project outcomes or performance in either a positive or negative way

Graphical representation of Level of Information, image


So, Good quality information is the one that supports outcomes & performance and poor quality information that detracts or hinders outcomes & performance. Good quality information could be characterized as being Accurate, on time, available, and clear, for the people executing the task, and poor quality information could be characterized as being unresolved, incorrect, late, unavailable, or unclear, for the people executing the task.

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