I was born in Ireland where I spent my childhood fishing with my dad and building things in his work shed, I was always fascinated by how things worked, so becoming an engineer was not a major surprise. I played rugby, lots of XBox and golf.
I started Construct Agility in 2014, but the methodology behind the business had been bubbling for years, through academia and my professional career. I studied Electrical & Electronic Engineering in Ireland, where I developed a fire-seeking, fire fighting robot with room mapping capabilities. I went on the work for a global engineering firm in Building Services, but was drawn to solving everyday problems in the office with practical solutions. I built bespoke tools to automate the printing of drawings for projects as well as creating software to check the designs of projects. In 2010 I returned to University and studies a Masters of Engineering. My thesis was based on the operation and energy output of wind farms. I relocated to Australia in 2012 and arrived in Brisbane.
I started working on the gas projects in Central Queensland, and found that the construction delivery was hampered by onerous reporting requirements as well as poor communications, challenging milestones and scope changes. Most of the reporting, scope changes, progress updates and cost management were completed manually, preventing the project delivery team from having real-time updates to allow them to make data-driven decisions in a project environment.
And so, I had found the solution I wanted to develop and bring to the market. For me the critical elements are:
- Bespoke, we develop the tool you need, no extra frills or lack of functionality and integrate it into your existing systems
- Extracting commercial value from data - everyone is gathering data and are analysing it in a historical sense, if you start analysing in real time, that will have a direct impact on productivity and profitability
- Bringing big data solutions to the project environment.
I have been in Brisbane for 4 years, my business has been set up for 12 months and I am delighted with my progress to date. I am excited to see what the next 12 months will bring.
Stay tuned for more blogs on my approach, latest trends in big data and updates on my current projects.
James O'Driscoll is the founder of Construct Agility, golf fanatic and big data enthusiast.