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How to analyze your estimate history & identify patterns to take your firm to the next level

Estimating is the foundation of every profitable construction business. Accurate takeoffs are important for getting the correct material and labor quantities for your project. But if you’re submitting bids without analyzing past project data, you’re missing out on valuable insights to prepare the most accurate estimate.

Leveraging your estimate history and its rich data gives you a clear view of projects yielding high-profit margins, high-performing estimators, well-performing geographic areas and trusted client relationships. So, how do you gain insight into this valuable information? By using estimating dashboards that are connected to your takeoff and estimating software, you’ll be able to analyze data needed to make informed business decisions to drive growth. 



How Can You Get the Most From Estimating Dashboards?

Identifying patterns and trends in your data will empower you to make sustainable growth decisions. Start by looking at:

  1. Data inputs — Double-check that you finalize your estimates, enter information correctly and update statuses. Outputs are only as good as your inputs, and if you’re still using manual methods or outdated desktop software to do takeoffs and estimates, you’re setting yourself up for a huge margin of error.
  2. Your best estimator — Take a microscope to his or her processes: Why is it successful? What is the workflow? What is your best estimator focused on (or not)? By identifying top performers within your organization and mirroring their processes, you’re building the strongest estimating team.
  3. Your top markets — Better understanding your customers, regions and industries where you have the most success will help you make decisions about where to invest. 
  4. Supplier relationships — By identifying reliable suppliers, you can negotiate better deals, foster long-term partnerships and drive cost savings.
  5. Outside factors — Accurate estimates and pricing are important, but they don’t always consider things like customer relationships, approval processes, time constraints, uptime and downtime.


See Into the Future With Estimating Dashboards

Broader exploration into your data through estimating dashboards allows you to visualize information in a digestible format to make quick decisions. Spending time focusing on the past to strategize for the future is vital for your success. Dashboards provide:

  • Data monitoring — Reviewing actuals and comparing similar projects helps identify potential issues, find your geographic “sweet spot” and flag your best estimators. Dashboards are also helpful to see projects in real time so you can take proactive measures to adjust potential issues and keep projects on track.
  • Data visualization — Customizable dashboards present estimating data in intuitive and interactive visuals. This allows you to quickly grasp complex information, spot trends and make data-driven decisions. 
  • Drill-down capabilities — Explore data at various levels of granularity, taking a deep dive into specific projects, tasks or cost categories. Identify improvement opportunities, address bottlenecks, and implement targeted strategies to boost efficiency and profitability.
  • Forecasting and predictive analytics — Advanced dashboards incorporate forecasting and predictive analytics features. By leveraging historical data and machine learning algorithms, these tools can predict future costs, identify potential risks and provide insights for proactive decision-making. This empowers businesses to mitigate risks, optimize resource allocation, and deliver projects within budget and on time.




Connect the Dots: Success Through APIs

You can’t properly analyze your estimating data without seamless integration of your systems. If your estimating platform isn’t talking to your dashboards or budgeting software, you have no insight to make decisions for your future. Platforms with open application programming interfaces (APIs) create a shared informational ecosystem and allow you to connect your workflows and keep data flowing in and out automatically in the cloud.

APIs offer scalability and customization options for your business. As project complexities and requirements evolve, you can leverage APIs to integrate additional functionalities, such as regional cost data with material and labor productivity metrics or accounting software. The ability to tailor estimating software to specific project needs enhances accuracy, efficiency and the ability to adapt to changing industry trends.


Grow With Confidence

An accurate estimate should marry historical project data. And the easier that data is to consume, the more likely you and your team are to leverage it. Estimating dashboards will revolutionize the way you analyze estimating data. This approach allows for strategic decision-making and targeted business development.


By harnessing big data, you can fine-tune the estimating process and predict outcomes with greater clarity, discover relationships between seemingly disparate data sets, identify market and sales opportunities, and learn the larger hidden patterns that govern the fate of your business.