News from AU
September 2, 2020

What Have You Done with Your Data Lately?

Data center
Data center. Image courtesy of DLB Associates.

You’re making the data. With every building or product you design, you’re generating vast amounts of information—the details about every component, angle, and material. The question is: what are you doing with that data?

During the first phases of adopting Building Information Modeling (BIM)—and now Product Information Modeling (PIM)—the answer is likely: not a lot. It’s often still routine to recreate data sets multiple times through the lifecycle of a building or product, as was standard when things were drawn by hand.

But as the cloud has put nearly infinite compute power at the fingertips of anyone with an Internet connection, we can do more with our data now—from simulating and interrogating design ideas and streamlining processes to automating tasks and even generating new design possibilities.

Check out a few examples of what pioneering teams are doing with data today:


From site data to building designs and construction process data, learn how to connect, manipulate, and display information in an understandable way for various stakeholders with Liang Gong and Tomislav Zigo’s Data Integrations for a Construction Project.

Use Forge to translate and view data and use machine learning to extract geometrical information from product mesh models. Sandip Jadhav and Nem Kumar show you the steps with Autonomous Geometry Processing Using Machine Learning and Forge.

Want to see construction clashes before they occur? Carlo Caparas shows you how to make model data meaningful with his class, It’s All in the Data: Visualizing Clash Metrics with Navisworks and Power BI.

With Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA), visibility and effective coordination are key. John Myhill shows how the team at Laing O’Rourke links data from internal and external sources to track components from suppliers and their own off-site manufacturing facilities, giving them the ability to detect problems before they happen.


How can contractors create more accurate estimates for complex building projects, including those that use off-site prefabrication? By aligning and analyzing data using a new generation of tools. Greg Davis takes you through it.

Alex Gioso and Luca Bazzocchi show you how to use the Forge platform and Microsoft Power BI to aggregate, analyze, and share up-to-date information on construction progress with the folks in the home office—or any team member with a mobile device.


AU all-star Bill Allen shares his vision of data-driven design in his AU Theater talk, Crossing the Data-Driven Chasm.



Just because you’ve handled routine design tasks manually until now doesn’t mean you have to handle them manually forever. In this pair of classes, Andrew Akenson shows you how to use the Forge Design Automation API for Inventor while Sasha Crotty shows you how get started with the Forge Design Automation API for Revit. Both spend time evaluating the kinds of tasks that are easily automated, then how to take computation into the cloud to create a more streamlined design-to-make process.


You’re not done with all that data when construction is complete. David Möller and Nicklas Ring show you how they used Forge and BIM 360 to merge data from various systems with their BIM model and manage 600,000 assets in an operational Swedish hospital.


Finally, doing all this stuff with your data won’t mean much if it’s not secure. Tony Arous and Anmol Misra break down the issues related to data security in the cloud and explain how to make the most of the built-in security capabilities of the Forge platform.

There’s always more to learn at Autodesk University. We’re ready when you are.