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DATuM, powered by ViewPro, is a communal tool used to capture (input), store (cloud) and manage (report) construction data. It uses an Android app with a web-based interface to capture construction activities, photos and documents in real time.

Background

ViewPro provides custom software solutions to the construction industry. The company was founded by two engineers with experience in the mining and construction industry.

Having worked extensively with Digital Bridge in the past, ViewPro asked us to help develop their latest custom software - DATuM (Data Analysis & Tunnel Management Software).

The broad aim of DATuM was to gather, record and track progress on complex construction projects. The main function was to provide an online and offline platform for users to record daily activities on a tunnel construction site, thereby reducing the workload of site engineers and increasing the quality of data captured. 

Methods

With two engineers of our own on our lead development team, Digital Bridge was well-matched to understand the engineering principles underlying the DATuM project.

We worked from traditional spreadsheet models to understand how large construction projects are tracked, including worker shifts, area activities, materials and man hours. We then translated these spreadsheet tracking systems into data capturing software that is robust, reliable, and can incorporate changes and features requests based on real-life situations. Third-party accounting and project management software can also connect to it. 

DATuM is a complex development project based on a foundation of work that has evolved over many years. The original system was developed in Java but more recently rewritten in PHP Laravel with an API to connect the software to a native mobile app built by The App Factory.

To build software like this requires engineering knowledge and strong communication in software development tools, in this case Trello and LOTS of testing.

 

Result

Using DATuM's native Android app, workers and site engineers can now easily record data as it happens, any time, any place - even underground. Activities are documented in detail with images attached for a full transparent record of the construction project. 

This collaborative data is reviewed and cleared by site inspectors, then fed to a central database for access by contractors, clients, third parties and any other stakeholders with a specific login. For instance, project managers and investors can use it to assess how a project is tracking in real time, instead of waiting for retrospective or monthly reports. 

The resulting data is more accurate, of a higher quality, easier to access, and more secure than data stored in multiple Excel spreadsheets. 

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