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BIM 360 Dashboards and Reporting

This post provides a first look at a topic that has been requested by many BIM 360 enthusiasts - Project Dashboards and Reporting in BIM 360 Glue.

If you are a VDC/BIM manager, there is every chance that you are asked by project executives or owner to provide daily or weekly reports of project progress.  During Design Coordination and Review stages there is a need to monitor the progress closely in order to accelerate the resolution of major issues. Once the project reaches Construction Coordination it is even more important not just to identify the clashes or issues but also to make sure the trades are fixing these in a timely manner. For a VDC/BIM manager this usually involves spending countless hours exporting information from a federated Navisworks model and manually sorting through this data in an excel spreadsheet.

BIM 360TM cloud platform brings complete transparency and transaction control to the VDC processes and with that opens up reporting and dashboarding capabilities that were not available before. BIM 360 Glue provides some high level insight across projects within the software itself. Enterprise account Administrators can now monitor collaborative activities and model iterations across projects, for improved insight into project status. Cross-project activities can be viewed by weekly, monthly or total activities. As well as, all host administrators can visually review project member status across projects and monitor role and permission allocation. 

BIM_360_Enterprise_Dashboard
BIM 360 Enterprise Dashboard

The new Admin Overview metrics pages can be reviewed anytime with just a browser! Use Glue web access at http://b2.autodesk.com/. To view the Activities and Members dashboards, as a host administrator, click main menu > Admin Overview. 

Custom Dashboards and Reports

BIM 360 not just improves collaboration during the coordination process, but also introduces the concept of activities and notifications similar to social network apps to BIM/Construction. There is a record for each and every activity that is performed in the project.  This rich data set coupled with the web APIs allows detailed cloud-based and cross platform analytics to be performed to analyze project performance. And the good news is these are fully customizable to suit specific end user requirements. You can leverage BIM 360 APIs to extract the data and feed to your own business intelligence or reporting application or use an HTML5 or flash based charting toolkit available in market to visualize this data.    

BIM_360_Project_Activities
BIM 360 Project Activities

How are BIM 360 Dashboards useful? There are multiple use-cases:

  • VDC /BIM Managers - monitoring project performance, sub contractor/trade productivity, etc.
  • BIM Users – incentive to perform, transparency, etc.
  • Project Executives  - cross platform usage and statistics, reporting

Now let us take a look at creating our own custom Dashboards using the APIs. It can be as simple as tracking all the activities being performed in a project on a weekly basis as shown here. Or a combination of parameters combined together to help users make an informed decision.

Weekly activities

The example shown here is of a custom web application that periodically takes a snapshot of the project parameters (these can be customized based on end-user requirements) and stores in an external data store. This data store is queried to build a custom web dashboard application that helps authorised users to get a quick overview. All the data collected for this dashboard is through the BIM 360 Glue REST APIs

Bim_360_dashboard

Some of the sample parameters used in creating these custom dashboards include the Last activity timestamp, Number of active users relative to total users, Diversity of activities, Average time spent in application, RFIs with open status, Creation of merged model, Clash burn downs, Sub-contractor productivity data, etc. The REST API returns data in both json and xml formats and a custom web page has been created to visualize the information. The charting toolkit used in this example is a trial version of FusionCharts for demo purposes.

Analytics REST API methods: An with any analytics platform the core of the approach is easy and user friendly API methods to infer data. BIM 360 Glue has embarked on a mission to create custom API methods that help harvest the rich datasets already available. Here is an example of a specialized API method created for analytics purpose. You can also use any of the existing /model or /project as well as /action services to extract Glue data and analyze the info.

URL Structure:

https://b4.autodesk.com/api/analytics/v1/project.{format}?
company_id={company_id}
&api_key={api_key}
&auth_token={auth_token}
&timestamp={timestamp}
&sig={sig}
&metrics={metrics}
&metric_company={metric_company}
&start_date={start_date}
&end_date={end_date}
&pretty={pretty}
&no_http_status={no_http_status}

Example json response:

{
  "info":
  {
    "action_id":"The action identifier used with the Display Component to view this particular action",
    "project_id":"The Project identifier for the Action",
    "model_id":"The master Model identifier for the Action. If this ID is all ZEROS, then the model has been deleted from the system",
    "version_id":"The Model specific version identifier for the Action. If this ID is all ZEROS, then the model has been deleted from the system",
    "model_name":"The Model name for the Action",
    "subject":"A description of the action",
    "type":"A type identifier for the action (model, mergedmodel, view, markup, rfi, clashreport, attachment, animation, submittal, clashtestversion, clashtestdelete)",
    "type_object_id":"This is the identifier for the particular object type being described by this action. For example, the ID of a saved view",
    "type_object_name":"This is the name for the object specified by type_object_id",
    "created_by":"The login_name of the person generating the Action",
    "created_date":"The creation date for the Action in the following format: YYYY-MM-DD hh:mm:ss.fff"
  }
}

In the coming weeks we will be exploring additional possibilities using the APIs and how to extract intelligence from the huge amounts of data that is available. Please feel free to provide your valuable feedback. These are still early stages but if you are interested in samples you can reach us by emailing to the360view@autodesk.com 

Next stop construction intelligence!

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