4 Steps to become a Data-driven Capital Portfolio Management Expert

Government spending on infrastructure is increasing tremendously to keep up with the pace of urbanisation, making capital portfolio management a more complicated and laborious task than ever.

One way to help portfolio managers to minimise risks is to collect and analyse past data to ensure decisions are less subjective and more data driven. Meanwhile, starting to embrace technology from the top down, especially in capital portfolios where moving parts, resources, and contractors may keep changing over years is not an easy task. But first, here are steps you can take to move from a position of uncertainty to one of confidence and control when managing significant capital portfolios.

1. Treat project data as asset

Every capital portfolio contains data related to cost, timeline, quality, and risk. Unlocking this data provides new, never before possible levels of project information which is enabling the transformation of capital projects in many ways. The ability to analyse data within and across projects to discover trends, predict outcomes, and improve decision-making in a portfolio is driving the complete re-framing of capital project and portfolio business models. However, this is currently not widely adopted across the industry. Why? Many data systems used are inadequate (e.g. stored in Excel), as well as a lack of technology understanding on how to unlock data insights for better capital portfolio management.

2. Select the right tool to help your organisation manage capital portfolio

Just as important to the capital portfolio management process is selecting a suitable software tool for your use case. Depending on the scope and type of your project, there are numerous software solutions on the market that can get you on the right track, save time and prevent issues in the right areas. There is a mix of solutions in the market: from the legacy use of Microsoft Excel spreadsheets to standardised one-size-fit-all solutions, to custom-built software just for the construction industry. If you belong to a capital portfolio management team that delivers large, multi-layered capital programs and portfolios, you might want to start looking for specialised solutions that are easy to use, rather than rely on legacy tools ill-equipped for your specific project delivery needs.

3. Start tracking changes in real time

Instead of waiting for a report 30–60 days after an event has occurred, a capital portfolio management system should allow reporting across individual projects and programs in real-time. Replacing static and confusing data in spreadsheets with real-time responsiveness is so important, we predict it will soon be a mandatory requirement for virtually all capital portfolio management organisations.

4. See the future with predictive analysis

Given the quantity of data that large-scale projects involve, a new method of predicting, rather than reacting to, changes in data is the next step in turning your capital and construction portfolio teams into an efficient data-driven machine. Anomaly Detection is a powerful AI service that will help capital works portfolios quickly analyse their entire volume of organisational information in real-time. Put simply, the Machine Learning engine receives project and user data points in the millions and identifies patterns and benchmarks for what the engine has determined to be a successful project. The global first Anomaly Detection could be found in Mastt, a boutique capital portfolio management system that is currently help deliver over $10 billion of capital works.