7th February 2019


Knowledge Campaign

Demystifying Big Data


This knowledge campaign page is designed to build on and support the ideas and insights generated at the Major Projects Association Seminar “Will access to Big Data Change the Way We Deliver Major Projects?” on 13th February 2019. Please absorb, share and adopt these resources in whatever way is useful.

Introducing Big Data

What role does Big Data have in shaping the future of Project Management?

Big Data revolution is at our door steps and expected to drive ‘Big Changes’ in the way businesses and societies go about their day-to-day chores. From health, education, finance, technology to defense, to name a few, no single sector of economy is spared from Big Data analytics and its implications. These implications, if exploited in a right manner, can bring about far reaching changes for improved decision making, customer experience improvements, profitability and overall economic development of societies.

Project Eco-system: Designing Future Developments through Big Data Analytics

The fast pace of technological and business dynamics require organizations to develop what can be called TALK capabilities (T= Technology readiness, A=Awareness, L=Leadership competence, K =Knowledge). Data analytics and associated technologies are expected to play a key role in helping organizations doing exactly that, Talk.

In a project-savvy business world, achieving project management efficiencies through use of Big Data analytics could be a game-changer. What role does Big Data have in shaping the future developments of broader project eco-systems?

Resources highlighted during the seminar

Data for the Public Good

The National Infrastructure Commission’s report examines the opportunities that these new innovations present – and makes recommendations to increase open data sharing to make the most of them.

The Gemini Principles

Digital twins of physical assets are helping organisations to make better-informed decisions, leading to improved outcomes. Creating an ecosystem of connected digital twins – a national digital twin – opens the opportunity to release even greater value, using data for the public good. This paper sets out proposed principles to guide the national digital twin and the information management framwork that will enable it.

Industrial Sector Construction Sector Deal

The Farmer Review, published in 2016, highlighted a combination of factors behind this problem, including the cyclical nature of the sector, the unpredictability of future work and a lack of collaboration across the sector. It concluded that transforming the industry would require shared leadership by the industry, its clients and the government. This Sector Deal meets that goal, bringing together a coalition of businesses from across the sector, its clients, the government and research institutions to set out a strategy to improve the industry’s performance and help it fulfil its potential to deliver wide-reaching social benefits.

Industrial Strategy Building a Britain Fit for the Future

The Industrial Strategy sets out how we are building a Britain fit for the future – how we will help businesses create better, higher-paying jobs in every part of the United Kingdom with investment in the skills, industries and infrastructure of the future. It ensures that our country and its citizens can embrace and benefit from the opportunity of technological change.

How Can Smart Contracts be Useful for Business

The latest set of emerging technologies that have been mooted as having the potential to play a role are distributed ledgers and, in particular, smart contracts. In this report, the Open Data Institute examines the potential of distributed ledger technologies to inform trust, focusing on the role of smart contracts.

Made Smarter Review

The review covers multiple industrial sectors and, while this has increased its complexity, it has made our analysis comprehensive. The business community believes the recommendations offer a once-in-a-generation opportunity to boost productivity, create new and exciting businesses, generate new jobs, support rising wages, and increase exports.In the review, we have focused on the following strategic challenges: the increased pace of adoption of industrial digital technologies, the faster innovation of these technologies, and a need for stronger and more ambitious leadership to transform UK industry.

Major Projects Knowledge Hub Resources

A collection of perspectives drawn from the Hub that explore data design and applications on Major Projects.

Data Structure and Quality

Approach to Master Data Management at Crossrail

When a new data warehouse was implemented to improve programme reporting, the inconsistent master data in the source systems became apparent. The master data in the source systems were aligned, a new master data system was made the’single source of the truth’ and all data was placed under change control. The result was improved data quality and reporting.

Archiving Crossrail’s Data

This micro-report outlines the innovative approach adopted by Crossrail for archiving its data at the end of the project.

Supply Chain Data Management and Control

Effective and accurate monitoring of the risk profile of a huge and diverse supply chain on a complex project requires the ability to collect data and store it in a safe and reliable place. For many people an Excel spreadsheet is the first, and only, choice. The Crossrail supply chain team question whether that really is the best option and suggest a better solution for future projects. This micro-report will be of interest to supply chain managers in projects of all scales.

Data Architecture Strategy

Data architecture can be defined as the set of rules, policies, standards and models that govern and define the type of data collected and how it is used, stored, managed and integrated within an organization and its database systems. This paper addresses the challenges of applying a data architecture strategy to a major project organisation lifecycle.

Data Visualisation

Data Management, Analysis and Visualisation on Crossrail Drive X Western Tunnels

Crossrail Drive X Western Tunnels extend from Westbourne Park to Farringdon Station. With the TBM and SCL contracts working under the most expensive real estate in the world, the safeguarding of assets is paramount for safety and stakeholders assurance. The management of instrumentation data from geotechnical works, instrumentation and surveying methods has to be accurate, readily available and innovative. This paper describes methods used to provide data in formats that are used for review groups, tracking TBM and SCL face positions, compensation grouting works and value engineering.

Web-based Spatial Data Viewer

A web-based geographical information system (GIS) browser tool was developed to manage and distribute geographical information (GI) and related documentation to project delivery partners working on the Olympic Park. This improved efficiency, assurance and reliability of data. However, greater benefits could have been achieved by providing the tool earlier in the project.

Will Augmented Reality in Construction Deliver on its Promise?

It was not until 1990 until the term ‘Augmented Reality’ was coined by Thomas P. Caudell from Boeing. Augmented reality (AR) is defined as a live direct or indirect view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented (or supplemented) by virtual computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data. This paper will outline the current landscape of AR technology and will argue that the blockers holding back adoption of the technology are quickly eroding. Outline lessons learnt from trial implementations by Bechtel Infrastructure and Crossrail the paper will also identify use cases for the Construction industry which hold the promise for improved productivity and health and safety on site.

3D Geological Model of the Completed Farringdon Underground Railway Station

The complexity and the unknowns of the geology at Farringdon, primarily associated with the Lambeth Group, required a state-of-the-art geotechnical approach in order to manage the risks related to the open face, sprayed concrete lining (SCL) tunnelling. This was aided by the 3D geological model developed by the British Geological Survey (BGS) in 2009 for the proposed Farringdon underground railway station and which was provided to the contractor’s team in 2013, in order to continue the revision of the model.

Data Handover

Data Handover from Project Delivery into Operations

High quality information is important for the safe and sustainable operation of infrastructure. On the Olympic Park, and its associated off-Park venues, information about venues and infrastructure is important for operation during and after the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Information Handover Principles

Previous examples of large railway infrastructure projects have been handed over to the infrastructure managers with supporting information presented in paper and CD-ROM format. This paper will describe the innovative approach that Crossrail took to creating a Digital Railway while the Physical Railway was constructed.

Video Resources

Nekkil Mishra of IPA Global on Big Data
Nekkil Mishra

Nekkhil Mishra of IPA Global provides a wonderful masterclass on project data and sharing. If you are not an expert in this area, this is an excellent root and branch introduction to the whole subject.


Martin Paver of Project Success on Data Analytics

Martin Paver

Martin Paver of Projecting Success explains what data analytics means in practice and what it looks like; the importance of use cases; data sharing; data ownership and security; how to get started and how to achieve senior management buy-in.


David Dunning explains the idea behind the groundbreaking P3M Data Club

P3M Data ClubProjects generate information from a variety of sources and systems, much of it ignored or difficult to apply. What if there were some design behind all this activity so that different organizations generated consistent data, aimed specifically at driving insight, decisions and governance? The P3M Data Club is trying to define how it might work in practice.