Digital workflows start early with us – out in the field. Our engineers are using handheld devices that are picking up data at source, interrogating assets live onsite, the information from which can be immediately relayed to the office and processed digitally, whether it’s a drone capturing aerial footage of a cellsite, an engineer with a tablet taking pictures of a duct, surveyors mapping locations with our ‘4Fibre’ app, or a resistograph recording rot in a telegraph pole. This processed information can then in turn can be re-relayed to site for digital assimilation and cross checking. Design turnaround along with site maintenance as a result is hugely improved.
The app alone, which our subsidiary 4site, developed in conjunction with Esri Ireland, has delivered a 50 per cent reduction in data collection time and a 25 per cent reduction in planning/design turnaround times.
Back in the office there are a host of software tools that use and generate more data: UAV drone software, mapping systems, BIM (Building Information Management), 3D laser scanners. Our work is all about converting the information they generate into actionable data and optimised workflows.
With more data comes more responsibility. We are an advocate for better data at all project stages and are always exploring new ways to keep it up to date and accurate with an auditable record of different iterations and version control. This ensures the integrity of the data is not compromised nor modified without a clear record of any changes – important for best practice governance, meeting regulatory responsibilities and ticking boxes around ISO standards.
We are constantly exploring new ways of working with data, facilitating workflows that enable us to collaborate and solve problems more quickly. The exciting part, however, is that it’s still early days. Having reinvented ourselves as a data-driven business, we are in prime position to leverage new technologies as they emerge.