Faculty of Built Environment and Surveying Hosted an Online Global Classroom on Big Data in Construction

As part of the Online Global Classroom (OGC) initiative by UTM International, the Department of Quantity Surveying had conducted an online webinar entitled ‘The Big Think: What’s Required for Big Data in Construction’. The webinar was hosted on 17th December 2020 at 12.00 p.m. The webinar session had discussed and highlighted big data as the most emerging technology in the Malaysian construction industry.

Streamed through the Faculty of Built Environment & Surveying, UTM Johor Bahru Facebook Live platform, this webinar managed to capture 993 audiences. Such crowd was achieved through collaborations from three universities namely, the University of Melbourne, Universiti Teknologi Mara, Institut Teknologi Bandung, and University College Technology Sarawak. This webinar had blended a unique academician and student audiences across Malaysia, Australia, and Indonesia.

Figure 1. The Potential of Big Data Applications in Construction Projects
Figure 2. How Construction Projects Utilizing Big Data

Two speakers were invited to speak on big data for the construction industry. The first speaker, Mr. Abhinand Pillay, the Vice-President of Aerodyne Group, had talked about how big data technology can improve project management and monitoring processes. By using drones as the technology enabler to gear big data adoption in the construction project, the webinar went from discussing big data as a technology to pioneer efficiency and effectivity in the construction industry towards the application of myPRISM software to improve pre-bid accuracy, effective monitoring of design conformance, rework reduction, and improving site access as well as reporting process. He also shared some projects that have started using big data.

Figure 3. Mr. Nimish is Presenting on the Role of Big Data for Construction 4.0 Direction
Figure 4. The Digital Ecosystem Required for Big Data Transformation

The second speaker for this webinar session was Mr. Nimish Gupta, the Managing Director of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors South Asia. Mr. Nimish had spoken on the context of big data adaptation from the surveying perspective. He discussed how big data play a role in the construction 4.0 framework governing the RICS direction, including aspirations for the future quantity surveyors practicing in the modern and agile construction industry.

He shared the potential of big data to aid accurate predictive capability which drives value in managing the unpredictable construction environments as well as the digital ecosystem required. He further highlighted the need for talent and government support to anchor the big data implementation in the construction industry as well as the surveying profession. There is no doubt that big data technology will drive change to the surveying profession in near future.

Figure 5. Engaging Q&A Session by Moderator and Speakers

The webinar session had received an overwhelming number of questions raised by the audiences. As a moderator, Dr. Zafira Nadia had conducted an engaging discussion based on the questions. Being a big data researcher herself, she shared some thoughts on big data from the academic perspective. Questions raised by the audiences on the type of data used for big data analysis, the difference between BIM and big data, as well as how SMEs can adopt big data, had shown the audiences’ positive interest in big data. It also revealed that some have moved forward from the understanding of big data towards looking at the alternatives to adopt big data.

Overall, the online global classroom concluded on a positive note. This webinar has achieved its goal of depicting the big picture of big data as well as spreading big data awareness to academicians and students within the construction industry. On behalf of the host university, we would like to thank our collaborators from University of Melbourne, Universiti Teknologi Mara, Institut Teknologi Bandung, and University College Technology Sarawak for their efforts and insights into the webinar’s success.

Till next year!

For those who missed our webinar session, you can head on to the link below and stream our webinar session at your convenience.

Watch The Big Think: What’s Required for Big Data in Construction webinar here! —> https://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?v=395190265022342&ref=watch_permalink

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