e-Builder Regional User Group, DC

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Author: Sergio Aranda

The word ‘sensei’ in martial arts literally translated means ‘he/she who has gone before’. I figured this would be an apt word to describe all our customers who have mastered the art of enabling the e-Builder Enterprise system to best meet their needs.

We recently had the pleasure of hosting a group of e-Builder senseis in Washington DC during one of our annual regional user groups (RUGs).  For those of you who are new to e-Builder, these RUGs are engaging opportunities for customers to meet face to face—sharing business challenges and learning from senseis who have already implemented worthy solutions.

e-Builder DC RUG

In DC, there were a handful of hot topics which included:

In this DC RUG series, we’ll cover a couple of these hot topics as individual blog post to encapsulate all that was discussed.

Data Visualizations via Dashboards

Data visualization, analytics, and reporting continues to be a hot topic, especially for customers who have had e-Builder in place for more than 2 years. And rightly so!

Owners want to make sense of all the data that a system like e-Builder Enterprise helps manage—and while the concept of graphical dashboards is not new, it is becoming more important since the options available to develop these resources continue to adapt.

More advanced e-Builder customers (think ‘black belts’) are turning to our data warehouse component to output data and feed into their business intelligence system of choice, such as Tableau and PowerBI.

Our hosts for the DC RUG, e-Builder customer Johnson, Mirmiran & Thompson graciously presented their approach to dashboard reporting. The discussion focused on the nuances of defining what data sets are the most important, and - interestingly enough - on the best layout of a dashboard.

In the example presented, once key metrics were identified, a lot of time was spent simply reviewing dashboard formatting, such as colors and headers.  Given the flexibility that business intelligence (BI) systems provide in terms of layout, fonts, widgets and such—it’s not surprising customers have a tough time agreeing on the best presentation.

e-Builder DC RUG

As far as performance metrics are concerned, financials were at the top of the list. In one example, a project summary included basic but key information like:

  • Total A/E, Program Manager and GC contract fees
  • Percent complete for their respective projects
  • Total contingency amount, contingency spent and remaining balance

Customers valued the opportunity to share the construction reports and performance metrics they track with each other. They also came away with new ideas on the different approaches available to access their data, and connect to BI tools or data lakes for even deeper analytics and insights.

In our next DC RUG post, we will share highlights of an impressive discussion on driving organizational improvement through Process standardization. This is one area where owners struggle and George Mason University has truly mastered the approach.