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News & opinion

25 JUN 2019

Improving the quality of historical data is key to better cost estimates

The amount of data being generated is growing at an astounding rate but if we're not verifying the accuracy and compatibility of the data, can we rely on it?

This is a core question to be discussed by a panel assembled by RICS Director of the Infrastructure Sector, Anil Sawhney FRICS at the 2019 CIQS Congress in Quebec City on July 25-28.

The panel will highlight how organizations can enhance the overall estimation process and its accuracy by using historical cost data coupled with analytics. Implementing standards, such as RICS' International Construction Measurement Standards (ICMS), can play a role in the enhancement process as a tool to compare costs across projects for more accurate historical data.

Joining Sawhney on the panel are Susan Neil MRICS, PQS(F), Executive Vice President of Hanscomb, Scott Wilkinson MRICS, PMP, PQS, Director BTY and Glenn Hultzer MRICS, BSc. (QS), PQS, Partner at AW Hooker.

The panelists will debate issues related to harnessing the power of cost data that sits idly in an organization's estimating systems, cost management systems, and procurement systems. Before the panel discussion, a technical presentation on the second edition of ICMS by Roy Howes, PQS(F) Director Estimating at Fluor, Mining & Metals is also planned. The second edition of ICMS is currently available for public consultation.

"Analytics tools, including artificial intelligence tools (AI), can inform early-stage cost advice for new projects, provide accurate and precise cost estimates, help in monitoring and controlling project costs, and at times, assist in forensic cost analysis," explains Sawhney.

"Market conditions and economic factors such as commodity prices can also be brought into the mix to allow estimators to consider an outside view. This, in turn, can help cost professionals conduct important analysis such as value-for-money, life cycle costing, and performance benchmarking."

RICS and CIQS work together closely on a number of priorities and events in Canada, including CIQS Congress 2019.