Case Study

Government authority makes more informed decisions using Benchmark Estimating Analytics

January 11, 2022

See how a leading government authority were able to significantly reduce their time spent on gathering and consolidating relevant estimating data to gain insights into their organisation.

About the government authority

The government authority is responsible for providing services to household customers and wholesale Licensed Providers across their region. In addition, they deliver the investment priorities of the government.

The challenge:

For 20 years, the authority had been using a custom designed system for their cost modelling which was closely tied into their estimating solution. Their existing system had several short comings, including:

  • Manual data collection and update process
  • Non-standard cost curve creation process
  • Lack of overarching control and peer review process
  • Limited sophistication i.e., could only comprehend one changing factor at a time.
  • Most common data processing tasks not built-in

How was Benchmark Estimating selected?

The authorities decision to choose Benchmark Estimating’s Analytics solutions (BEA) was due to the fact this was the only solution that provided  a complete end-to-end and integrated cost estimating and analytics solution.

In addition, Benchmark Estimating assisted the authority through a complex data migration of legacy estimated data to make the solution start generating business value from Day 1.

What were the other compelling reasons Benchmark was selected?

  • Automated sourcing and collection of data from multiple sources reducing the time and effort typically required for such activity.
  • Iterative data analysis and improvement process with specific markers at each stage to guide the modellers.
  • Most frequent data processing tasks, like outlier analysis, multicollinearity testing, confidence bands baked right into the solution so that the users don’t have to reinvent the wheel
  • A robust and flexible workflow, tasks management and peer review process to manage the team and the outcomes
  • Comprehensive run and releases process to securely grant access to the relevant information consumers, thus keeping a close control on the data and the IP generated.
  • Broad data management, user administration, and security controls to audit and govern the use of the solution.

What types of projects are the authority using with BEA?

  • Asset revaluation - every year the authority is required to revalue the replacement cost of all their assets.
  • Identifying abnormalities - the authority uses partners (to estimate upcoming projects. BEA helps them keep a check on the costs estimated by partners and identifies abnormalities i.e., if an item cost is too high.
  • Governance and reporting - use cost curve reports for governance and reporting requirements.

Most valuable functions:

  • Ability to create multi yardstick cost curves to account for multiple varying factors.
  • Feature rich and out of the box availability of most of the common data transformation tasks.
  • Multiple gates to review and audit the process and results, to identify potential issues early and take corrective steps.
  • Library based approach, keeping much of the filters, dataset, etc., available for reuse.

BEA's impact on the authority

The authority has been using BEA for several months and have found the turn around time of creating valuable information from data has been reduced to a matter of days from the original weeks or months.

Two Use Cases

Timings of cost curve creation (weeks to hours)

  • The authority’s cost curve creation previously took weeks to generate a collection of cost curves.  Each of these collections represents a set of curves scoped for a particular department or purpose.
  •  BEA has significantly reduced this process todays instead of months, dramatically improving efficiency in generating cost curves.
  • An additional benefit of using BEA is the volume of curves that can be included within a collection has also increased.

Timings of trade-splits report creation and use.

  • Currently, the authority manually extracts trade-split data from their cost modelling application into spreadsheet reports.  These reports are then manually merged into a master spreadsheet report template to then calculate the trade-split breakdown of trades for data sets. This process can take up to a week of effort and needs to be checked for any errors or omissions.
  • BEA now integrates this process as part of the application so that all data can be sourced directly from the data warehouse. The report is then generated automatically without the requirement of manually manipulating any of the source information (reducing errors and omissions) which has significantly improved this process for generating the report to now taking a couple of minute.

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