Everything You Need To Know About Big Data

April 4, 2019
How to use big data to deliver more efficient rail projects...

There’s a lot of noise out there at the moment about ‘big data’.

But what exactly is it?

We’ve put together a simple explanation of big data and what it means for you. Think of it as a starting block for your first launch into the world of data analysis and insight.

What do we mean by the term ‘BIG DATA’?

In essence it refers to the vast amount of information we receive, on a daily basis, from a multitude of sources.  

We use data to make decisions every single day, such as:

  • Where should I buy my morning cup of coffee?
  • Where should I visit on my holidays?
  • Which business products should I buy or sell?
  • Which investments should I choose?

We look at reviews, ratings, features, performance metrics… You name it, it’s based in data.

In the rail construction industry, for example, you might look at shift locations, labour and plant allocations and material requirements to estimate the cost and length of a project. This type of data-driven forecasting creates more informed evaluations, with clear evidence to back it up.

The mainstream concept of big data can be defined as the three ‘V’s:


Data, Data, Data!  We collect data from everywhere.  Social media, personal interaction, business transactions, digital data collectors such as sensors and cameras.  Storing such vast amounts of data used to be a significant challenge, however, improvements in technology have dramatically improved our storage capability.


It’s not just the amount or volume of data that is overwhelming. The speed at which this data streams is incredible.

Just imagine, in our world of rail construction, how much better would your decision making be if you had access to real-data in real-time?


So we have lots (and lots) of data and it comes in faster than we can process it.

Now let’s make it even more challenging by having the data of different types, and subjects, for example, times, dates, quantities of resources, events and audit logs, the list goes on...

In the construction industry, this can make your payment application, or claims resolution process difficult. You need to be able to keep all of this data in one place, no matter what format it comes in, and quickly gain insightful, business critical knowledge from it there and then, and in the future.

So Where Do We Come Into it?

Raildiary provide a web and mobile application for the consistent capture and analysis of railway construction data in accordance with industry standards (RMM), partnering you with real-time information to facilitate data driven project management.

It is designed for the rail sector by experienced rail professionals, with specific industry fields for ELR/LOR and allowances for common project issues to be easily tagged and analysed.

Information can be easily exported and analysed with bespoke reports and dashboards to cater specifically for your project needs.

Everything You Need To Know About Big Data

Will Doyle


I am an experienced RICS chartered Quantity Surveyor​ with first-hand experience of how the consistent capture and analysis of data can transform global project delivery.

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