Your ultimate guide to workforce intelligence

Executive summary – Workforce intelligence transforms workforce data into actionable insights that inform an organization’s strategic and tactical business decisions. Workforce intelligence provides analytics and insight into your:

Construction technology has come leaps and bounds in the last decade. Up until 2010, the construction industry had essentially been overlooked by the tech world. The dynamic nature of projects was a big mountain for technology and software companies to climb.

But climb they have. Over the last decade we’ve seen hundreds, if not thousands, of new entrants into the construction technology space. As a mostly-manual industry, construction was ripe for the disruption that comes along with new technology updating manual processes.

The first problem that construction technology solved was speed. Tedious, manual data-entry that was slowing down planning processes took precedent. Software companies were looking to streamline project planning, capture important data, and give more productive time back into a contractor’s day.

Then came mobility and connecting the jobsite back to the office. Mobile applications for construction software became one of the top criteria for contractors evaluating new tech. Cloud-based technology updated in real time that allowed contractors to continue working while on the move.

So what’s next?

We’ve seen the impact that construction technology is having on manual processes. Digitizing workflows is helping contractors be more efficient and opening up more time to spend on profit-driving tasks. However, 95% of the data that’s being captured in construction is still going unused. We’ve seen processes become more efficient, now we want to see them become more effective.

More effective processes take advantage of data captured to help make informed decisions when creating project plans and organizational strategies. One of these core operational processes is workforce management. Allocating the right people to the right projects at the right time has always been a manual struggle for contractors. However, with the introduction of workforce intelligence, contractors are able to leverage their people, project, and pursuit data to ensure they’re putting their best project teams forward and turning their workforce into a competitive advantage.

What is workforce intelligence?

Workforce intelligence provides a comprehensive view into your people, project pipeline, and organizational growth. It helps you deliver an optimal workforce strategy by offering actionable insights into your current and future staffing needs in relation to project demand.

With these insights, contractors are better equipped to deliver high quality results, meet client needs, and maximize profitability. Workforce intelligence analyzes project, people, and pursuit data to surface digestible findings through dashboards, graphs, and reports. Armed with this data, it provides contractors with detailed intelligence about the state of their workforce.


PEOPLE INTELLIGENCE

People intelligence provides real time visibility on all active, upcoming, and historical project allocations. By leveraging team member availability, experience, skill sets, and certifications, users will be able to create an optimized, adaptive workforce strategy. People intelligence includes:

  • Skills and experience tracking 
  • Certifications
  • Team fit
  • Adaptive scheduling
  • Full project history

PROJECT INTELLIGENCE

Project intelligence allows you to plan resource allocations throughout your entire project pipeline. Whether they are project opportunities or awarded projects, users can allocate their workforce in advance to deliver optimal outcomes now and into the future. Project intelligence includes:

  • Optimized scheduling
  • Pursuits projects
  • Scenario running
  • Smart allocation suggestions
  • Single source of truth for 
  • Visibility on projects and project opportunities

PURSUIT INTELLIGENCE

Pursuit intelligence offers actionable insights into your workforce needs based on project demand. It gives you an understanding of when you need more projects or more people, so you can make the right decisions at the right time. Pursuit intelligence includes:

Challenges addressed by workforce intelligence professionals

SCHEDULING WORKERS EFFICIENTLY

Workforce intelligence solutions like Bridgit Bench help contractors surface key information when scheduling team members. With so many moving parts, keeping track of resources moving from one project to the next can be incredibly challenging. Workforce intelligence helps streamline the scheduling process by answering 3 very important questions:

  • Who on your team is available or underallocated (and costing you money)?
  • Which projects currently need more people?
  • How will your project opportunities impact your workforce strategy?

With this information, contractors are able to quickly create optimized workforce schedules and ensure they aren’t leaving any ‘money on the bench’.

HUMAN CAPITAL PLANNING

Human capital planning is the process of identifying organizational goals and whether or not the current pool of resources is capable of meeting them. From there, strategies can be developed to ensure the requirements are met to fill those goals.

Similar to scheduling workers, effective human capital planning relies on accurate data and will require consolidating project, workforce, and pursuit data to create informed strategies.

Workforce intelligence solutions help to surface this information and ensure all data is accurate and up-to-date. It also helps to identify and resource shortcomings or skilled labor gaps that will prevent you from meeting organizational goals. With this information, contractors can improve recruitment strategies, better cultivate talent to align with your company’s vision, and budget for any potential human capital issues. For more information about the human capital planning process, read this blog.

SCENARIO PLANNING

Understanding how project opportunities or pursuits will impact your project and workforce strategies is critical to organizational success. Scenario planning with accurate data can help to inform which projects opportunities should be pursued more aggressively and, equally important, which projects will be at risk because the resource demands don’t align with your team’s availability.

Workforce intelligence tools like Bridgit Bench provide forecasting dashboards, utilization insights, and strategic workforce planning reports. With these reports and dashboards, contractors can run scenarios to include specific project pursuits to better understand how it will impact their strategy at both the project and company level.

MAINTAINING CONSISTENCY ACROSS YOUR COMPANY’S DATABASE

Construction projects have a lot of moving parts. Software can often be disconnected or lack integration tools. In this case, it’s likely that contractors will have different versions of important documents living in different systems. This also increases the likelihood of having different data from one system to the next. This can lead to critical errors and projects being put at risk.

Fully-integrated workforce intelligence solutions allow for a seamless flow of clean data between software and help make data-driven decisions. Bridgit Bench, the leading workforce intelligence solution for contractors, has taken integrated workflows in stride and have built a number of integrations with some of the leading systems being used in construction.

REDUCING CORPORATE SILOS

The people are the pulse of every construction company. As such, the data surrounding your workforce is foundational for nearly every department within the organization. When departments are siloed off it can negatively impact your team’s engagement and cohesion. On top of that, when departmental data is kept private it can damage the working relationship between teams and impact the trust the teams have in the firm’s leadership.

Workforce intelligence isn’t just about providing data to help drive decision making. Workforce intelligence helps to improve visibility on workforce data and strategies. When it comes to workforce data specifically, by removing corporate silos you’re ensuring your sales, marketing, human resources, and estimating teams have the information they need to inform their work.

Workforce intelligence solutions like Bridgit Bench allow you to control corporate transparency and create custom permissions for the larger team. These permission groups help to provide access to critical workforce information without risking any unwanted changes, or team members seeing information they shouldn’t.

MAKING DATA MORE DIGESTIBLE

Two of the key reasons that data will go unused in the construction industry are:

  1. There’s just too much of it to analyze efficiently
  2. It’s difficult to consolidate and communicate analysis effectively

Workforce intelligence was developed to help cut through the noise of multiple spreadsheet systems filled with data. Making construction operations more effective means not only consolidating relevant data, but also displaying the results of analysis in clear, concise reports and dashboards. Operations teams can then leverage this information to create an efficient and effective workforce strategy for their entire project pipeline.

FORECASTING YOUR WORKFORCE NEEDS

Accurately forecasting workforce needs into the coming months and years can be extremely difficult when dealing with spreadsheets or basic scheduling applications. As construction becomes fluid and dates get shifted, future projects are inevitably impacted.

Updating forecasted project demand and available team members manually can be time consuming, and becomes increasingly difficult the more project dates are shifted. One of the key benefits of workforce intelligence solutions is having project and workforce data updated throughout the tool whenever a change is made. By keeping all data current and reflected accurately in forecasting reports, contractors are better equipped to understand when their team is spread too thin and are at risk of burning out.

On the other hand, accurate forecasting data and insight into workforce utilization rates also helps to identify team members that are underallocated and potentially costing you money.

REDUCING WORKFORCE PINCH POINTS

Pinch points can often have a few different definitions. In this case, we aren’t referring to areas in machinery where workers can get caught and potentially injured.

In regards to workforce management, a pinch point is where your project demand is going to start exceeding the available supply of workers or vice versa. Having an understanding of where these pinch points are helps to better prepare by either sourcing more work, or hiring more team members.

Workforce intelligence solutions like Bridgit Bench have strategic workforce planning reports that analyze current and upcoming project roles and compare them against your current team. This information is then reflected in a report in the dashboard to help easily identify and reduce potential pinch points.

Best practices for workforce intelligence

CHOOSE YOUR SOFTWARE WISELY

Choosing the right software can be tricky, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be. It’s important to make a clear distinction between applications and features that make your processes more efficient and ones that make your processes more effective. Best case scenario is finding a software solution that can do both.

Don’t hesitate to ask about data analysis and how that is represented in potential solutions. Faster doesn’t always mean better. You want to find a solution that can streamline workflows, but also help you make informed decisions regarding your workforce. Some criteria to keep in mind when evaluating workforce intelligence software include:

  • Forecasting reports
  • Workforce utilization rates
  • Pursuit tracking
  • Scenario running
  • Skills/experience and project history

Most importantly, how all of that information is displayed. Could you send a report over to your HR team and have them easily digest the information to create a recruitment strategy?

DON’T FORGET THE HUMAN (NON-AI) ELEMENTS OF WORKFORCE MANAGEMENT

Using artificial intelligence in the workforce planning process can certainly help create an optimal strategy, but there’s still the human elements of workforce management. After all, at the end of the day it’s still going to be a person making the final decision, and real people that will be impacted. 

It’s important to take this into consideration when creating a workforce strategy. Have any of your team members expressed an interest in experiential learning on a new project? Does your optimal workforce strategy take into consideration the travel time and distance for your team members? Having your A-team on a priority project may seem like the perfect fit, but if they’re all needing to drive 3 hours to get to the job you may find your team disengaged with the work.

Considering the human element of workforce management can help keep your team informed, engaged, and help improve retention rates. Which is critical given the ongoing labor shortage in the industry.

USE CLOUD-BASED TOOLS

Cloud-based solutions should almost be the top priority when evaluating potential solutions. It’s growing increasingly important for construction software to speak the same language as the existing tech stack. Cloud-based tools are more likely to be fully-integrated and allow for a seamless flow of information.

Cloud-based tools also help ensure that everyone is looking at the most up-to-date information regarding their projects and respective allocations. When a construction date gets shifted, everyone has instant visibility on what that means for the rest of the project pipeline. 

Why workforce intelligence is important

Construction is getting more competitive on a daily basis. Small to medium sized contractors are looking to grow their companies, and large companies are looking to maintain their status in the industry.

Workforce intelligence helps transform your workforce into a competitive advantage. With actionable insight and accurate forecasting, contractors are better suited to manage company growth and ensure they’re ‘right-sized’ and the right time. That means not only are you able to reduce project risk, you’re also better equipped to provide your team with engaging work and improve retention rates.

Frequently asked questions about workforce intelligence

WHAT IS WORKFORCE INTELLIGENCE PLANNING?

Workforce intelligence planning is becoming a critical piece in business planning. It involves an in-depth understanding of your workforce, including:

  • Skills and experience
  • Skills gaps
  • Forecasting project demand

It can even go one step further to better understand external impacts, which can include:

  • The size of the available talent pool
  • What skills are currently lacking across the industry

Taking these factors into consideration can help inform career development and why recruiting strategies are successful or coming up short.

WHAT IS INTERACTIVE INTELLIGENCE WORKFORCE MANAGEMENT?

Interactive intelligence workforce management concerns how data intelligence and analytics interact with a human component. While it would be nice to have software and machines making informed decisions, when it comes to processes like workforce planning including the human element is crucial for a winning strategy. After all, workforce planning is all about people, giving them engaging work, and addressing their needs. Something technology alone cannot do.

WHAT IS WORKFORCE RISK?

Workforce risk is the human element of risk management and can include (but is not limited to)

  • Team members health and safety incidents
  • Compensation
  • Errors in pay
  • Compliance issue
  • Issues with overtime

WHAT IS THE BEST WORKFORCE INTELLIGENCE SOFTWARE FOR CONSTRUCTION?

Bridgit is the leader for construction workforce intelligence. Our flagship solution, Bridgit Bench, was created to help contractors streamline their workforce planning process and leverage their workforce more effectively. Leading contractors are using Bridgit Bench to better forecast project demand, optimize utilization rates, and identify opportunities for career advancement and experiential learning.

Conclusion

While workforce intelligence is still relatively new, it has certainly found its place in the construction industry. Contractors leveraging workforce intelligence are able to provide visibility across the organization, improve collaboration, and leverage their data in a meaningful way. For an industry that tends to make workforce decisions based on ‘gut-feel’, using accurate data to drive decision making is a sure fire way to create some distance between your firm and the rest of the pack.

For more information about workforce intelligence, visit our blog. To book a demo of Bridgit Bench, click here.