Autodesk and AWS are Helping Construction Firms Gain Useful Insights from Their Data 

aws amazon and autodesk integrate insights data

Many construction companies struggle with data—but not because they don't have enough of it. Quite the opposite: our research with FMI shows that the volume of project data has doubled over the last few years.

Unfortunately, much of that information (95%, according to this FMI study) goes unused. Furthermore, 90% of the data is unstructured and may come in the form of photos, videos, purchase history, and customer service call logs.

Organizing and analyzing all those files, figures, and logs can be challenging. And in today's competitive and uncertain environment, getting your hands on the correct information at the right time is more critical than ever.

The good news is that together Autodesk and Amazon are taking a big step in making data and insights more accessible for construction professionals. We're thrilled to share that customers can integrate Autodesk Construction Cloud with Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) and Amazon Redshift. Construction teams can use Autodesk Construction Cloud Connect (ACC Connect) to synchronize files and data into Amazon S3 and Redshift according to customized workflows, and then run advanced Amazon analytics tools on that data. They can also embed Amazon’s QuickSight tool in Partner Cards in Autodesk Build and BIM 360.

In addition, AWS AI and Machine Learning services such as Amazon Rekognition and Amazon Forecast can be implemented on the data stored in Amazon S3 and Redshift to better analyze and forecast construction performance.

The data you and your teams need, when you need it

Successful project outcomes stem from excellent collaboration between teams. To accomplish this, construction professionals need the ability to access the necessary information quickly and easily.

This can be tricky, given the nature of Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) data. In addition to documents, photos, and videos, project data also includes Computer-Aided-Design files (CAD), Building Information Models (BIM), and spatial data captured using various 3D scanning methods.

Supporting all these data types requires a platform that can make information globally available, consolidated, and protected.

ACC Connect makes this possible by automatically moving critical project data and files between Autodesk Construction Cloud and AWS storage services.

This customizable integration enables you to access powerful tools for storing, organizing, and securing your data. Even better news—Amazon S3 is highly configurable to meet your specific business needs and allows you to retrieve any amount of data from anywhere. And with robust data access controls, Amazon S3 enables firms to stay compliant with data privacy regulations.

By synchronizing files to Amazon S3, teams can take advantage of a variety of storage classes, all of which accommodate different storage demands based on data access, availability, and cost. The S3 storage classes provide the best value for storage across a variety of use cases, including those with demanding performance needs, data residency requirements, unknown or changing access patterns, and archival storage.

AWS offers a number of storage optimization options—including S3 Intelligent-Tiering, which is the first cloud storage that automatically reduces your storage costs on a granular object level by automatically moving data to the most cost-effective access tier based on access frequency, without performance impact, retrieval fees, or operational overhead.

By using ACC Connect to send data to Amazon S3, Amazon Redshift, or other Amazon data stores, you unlock an entire portfolio of tools to drive value from your construction data. Autodesk Construction Cloud users can leverage incredible tools such as Amazon Forecast, Amazon Athena, and Amazon QuickSight —powerful services that use AI and Machine Learning to analyze data.

Amazon Rekognition enables you to implement image and video analysis to identify objects, people, text, and other activities. You can identify objects and scenes in images that are specific to your business needs—for instance, to evaluate job site safety. This allows you to automatically flag safety issues or areas of non-compliance, thus reducing project risk.

Amazon Forecast allows you to combine time series data with additional variables to build better forecasts. It's an excellent tool for forecasting your inventory, supply, and workforce needs.

Consider, for example, how weather conditions affect product delivery patterns, staffing needs, and energy consumption levels. Amazon Forecast can automatically ingest local weather information in your demand forecasts to improve forecasting accuracy.

When you implement the Forecast’s Weather Index, you train a model with historical weather data for your location, which employs the most recent 14-day weather forecasts on items that are influenced by daily fluctuations to generate more precise predictions.

Together, these services help construction firms improve job site efficiency, promote safer working environments, and achieve better project results.

Amazon Athena is an easy-to-use, interactive query service that makes it easy to analyze data in Amazon S3 using standard SQL. Simply point to your data in Amazon S3, define the schema, and start querying using standard SQL. Most results are delivered within seconds. With Athena, there’s no need for complex ETL jobs to prepare your data for analysis. This makes it easy for anyone with SQL skills to quickly analyze large-scale datasets.

Amazon QuickSight allows everyone in your organization to understand your data by asking questions in natural language, exploring through interactive dashboards, or automatically looking for patterns and outliers powered by machine learning. QuickSight powers millions of dashboard views weekly for customers, allowing their end-users to make better data-driven decisions.

You can use QuickSight to summarize and display the insights you generate in the other Amazon tools. Then, you can embed that QuickSight view as a Partner Card in Autodesk Build’s Insight Dashboard or BIM 360 Project Home Dashboard. By including QuickSight in your dashboard, you can surface essential project information quickly and determine any areas that require action from you and your team. With the QuickSight Partner Card, you can surface the new, advanced analytics alongside the critical construction workflows you already monitor in Autodesk Build or BIM 360, such as Issues, RFIs, Submittals, and more.

The best part? All this can be done using assets and information you may already have. By equipping your technology teams with these powerful Amazon tools, you can get more out of your data and obtain findings that drive successful outcomes.

Explore the Amazon Web Services integrations for Autodesk Construction Cloud

If you find yourself flush with data but short on actionable insights, it's time to adopt tools that enable you to analyze information better and extract useful intel. Our intuitive and integration with these Amazon applications can help you do just that.

James Cook

Head of Integrations, Autodesk Construction Solutions