“The doctor is in” …or at least online.
For a company so young in an industry so old, it may seem a bit presumptuous for Procore Technologies Inc. to try to position itself as an AEC thought leader —or perhaps even more audaciously— as its physician. But the 14-year-old construction management software provider has never been known for its timidity.
So, move over Dodge Data, ENR, Turner Construction, even the Bureau of Labor Statistics. As of today, there’s a bold, new index in town: the Procore Construction Health Indicator (PCHI), which the company says will provide daily measures and insights on national and regional factors driving economic movement in our industry. The Carpinteria CA-based tech firm has even hired Anirban Basu, longtime chief economist at Associated Builders & Contractors, to help provide those insights. Basu now also becomes Procore’s chief economist.
And the PCHI index serves as the cornerstone of Procore’s new web portal, The Jobsite, which also launched today. “Like any jobsite, ours is loaded with opinions, best practices, leadership, and tech innovations,” says Tooey Courtemanche, Procore’s founder and CEO. “We’ve got the industry’s most up-to-date data now (PCHI) to help you understand the current economic environment, and even some water cooler-worthy articles and videos that will get your teams talking. We built our Jobsite to help you keep yours safe, productive, and profitable.”
Viewing itself as a national leader in the AEC technology space, Procore said in announcing the new initiatives that it “feels strongly about providing this level of information so that the entire construction industry can be more empowered with data that influences what we all do on a daily, monthly, and yearly basis.”
To power PCHI, Procore partnered with Graphiq, a data analytics and visualization company that dug through huge swaths of publicly available census data to develop a score based on a proprietary algorithm indicating how favorable current market conditions are for the construction industry.
“To generate this indicator score and each subsequent report, we combined information from over 50 dimensions, including total nationwide construction spending, building permits issued by state, and the price of crude oil, all of which are known indicators of the construction economy,” explains Dr. Nick Larusso, Graphiq’s director of data engineering. “We examined these values over time in each geographical region to get an idea of how things are changing for that local geographic market. This approach allows us to consider the many dimensions and enables us to confidently describe the health of the construction market,” he adds.
Specifically, Procore will be measuring and reporting across three categories:
- Labor (variables include total employees in construction, average employee wage, unemployment rates, and the percent monthly change in average weekly earnings);
- Commodities (variables include, but are not limited to production price index, concrete products, lumber, rebar, copper, and crude prices);
- Investment (variables include, but are not limited to the number of housing starts, total spending on construction, total housing completions, and number of building permits).
“We’ll be generating an overall Health Indicator composite score based on the national and regional scores for each category,” notes Bassem Hamdy, Procore EVP of Marketing. “For instance, you’d be able to see if harsh winters have a negative effect on investment in New England and New York. Or, if an increase in rebar has any correlation to a fluctuation in commodities scores in California.”
At the end of each month, Procore will be releasing a report that looks back at the aggregate score produced over the prior 30 days. “Our goal is to show trends over time as they relate to these three categories, and ultimately to provide the construction community with greater awareness of the overall economic health of the industry,” adds Hamdy. For April 20, the first official day for the PCHI index, three separate scores of 82 (Labor), 67 (Commodities), and 87 (Investments) combined to produce a composite score of 79.
For more data, analysis, and possibly even dragons, click here.