Digitise your data: 4site innovates with data-driven survey and design
By Liz Edwards, Head of Marketing & Comms
4site Digitise your Data with 4DigiSite
The explosion of data has left many companies wanting to digitise their data. They are scrambling to uncover insights about their business from what has been described as ‘the new oil’, the mass of digital information that’s piling up on their systems. The importance of data has long been understood in our industry, not least because of past frustrations at being unable to access it in meaningful ways.
When rolling out new networks there’s a benefit from knowing what’s already in the ground, but working on national projects we’ve seen how schematics of existing infrastructure can be incomplete and inaccurate. Having to fill in the gaps taught us early on to maintain the integrity of our digital assets – drawings and maps as well as processes.
For a number of years now we’ve been on a digital transformation journey, streamlining processes to create digital workflows that facilitate better access and management of data. This has come to the attention of our industry.
Client benefits of data digitisation
We work with forward-thinking operators and communication service providers who challenge old modes of operation and aspire to be more data-driven. They want to manage and sanitise their infrastructure data, at speed and with greater accuracy, because it provides a level of intelligence that is needed to manage, maintain and scale their networks in as cost-effective a way as possible without compromising performance.
We pride ourselves on a data-driven approach that delivers a range of benefits to our clients:
- Desktop assessments reduce operational expenditure
- Swapping structures out virtually identifies compliance issues earlier
- Aerial drone footage reduces physical site surveys, tower climbs and mitigates Health & Safety risks
- Providing a single data source of site designs enhances asset management
- Access to centralised data improves decision-making
- Remote access to data speeds up survey and build processes
We work on behalf of service providers so it’s incumbent on us to identify the data that matters most to them. Principally it’s used as an input to design maps for feeder and distribution routes as well as the overall network shape.
Digital workflows start early with us – out in the field. Our engineers are using handheld devices that are picking up data at source, interrogating assets live onsite, the information from which can be immediately relayed to the office and processed digitally, whether it’s a drone capturing aerial footage of a cellsite, an engineer with a tablet taking pictures of a duct, surveyors mapping locations with our ‘4survey’ app, or a resistograph recording rot in a telegraph pole. This processed information can then in turn can be re-relayed to site for digital assimilation and cross checking. Design turnaround along with site maintenance as a result is hugely improved.
Back in the office there are a host of software tools that use and generate more data: UAV drone software, mapping systems, BIM (Building Information Management), 3D laser scanners. Our work is all about converting the information they generate into actionable data and optimised workflows.
With more data comes more responsibility. [Read our blog about the importance of smart data collections] We are an advocate for better data at all project stages and are always exploring new ways to keep it up to date and accurate with an auditable record of different iterations and version control. This ensures the integrity of the data is not compromised nor modified without a clear record of any changes – important for best practice governance, meeting regulatory responsibilities and ticking boxes around ISO standards.
We are constantly exploring new ways of working with data, facilitating workflows that enable us to collaborate and solve problems more quickly. The exciting part, however, is that it’s still early days. Having reinvented 4site as a data-driven business, we are in prime position to leverage new technologies as they emerge.
Find out how 4site can help build the infrastructure of tomorrow.