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From Descriptive to Predictive to Prescriptive Cost Analytics!



Good Quantity Surveyors and Cost Managers must provide their Clients with three levels of analytics👇


1. Descriptive (what happened in the past and why?)


2. Predictive (what could happen in the future?)


3. Prescriptive (what to do in the future?)



Descriptive Analytics 📊🔬


An example of descriptive analytics is providing a monthly cost report stating that the committed amount is $195M vs a budget of $200M vs actual paid of $190M, then quantifying the variance and explaining its reasons.


This form of reporting provides insights into the past (what happened). I call this ‘raw reporting’ since it answers the ‘what’ but it doesn’t provide the ‘so what?’



Predictive Analytics 📈📉


An example of Predictive analytics would be analysis of current project risks, potential change orders, market conditions, etc. then quantifying and forecasting the financial and schedule impact on the project.


Predictive analytics help us understand the future, through analyzing historical data, trends and patterns so that we could answer “what could happen in the future”.



Prescriptive Analytics 📕📝


This is the highest level of analytics, and represents the true essence of being a Quantity Surveyor or Cost Manager.


Prescriptive Analytics is about giving your client the highest level of service, through advising on the possible outcomes, and most importantly, answering the question “what do we do?” through identifying opportunities, risks, and advising on best course of action and providing actionable advice.


A good example would be advising your Clients on how to minimize the current risk of escalation for their future projects.


In summary, you need to navigate the different levels of analytics effectively, and progress your analysis from descriptive to predictive to prescriptive. 🛤


Skipping one level and jumping into conclusions based on opinions, not facts and data, will lead to inaccurate analysis and bad recommendations. 🚨



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