Why, What, How

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Implementing a common digital language
based on standards

Why use Define?

Define is a data dictionary that enables organisations to implement a common digital language based on standards. Here are some of the benefits that a common language can bring to the construction industry:

• elimintate information silos and break away from poor information practices and analogue processes
• improve productivity
• a key step towards industrialisation
• a prerequisite for the adoption of modern digital technologies, such as machine learning, internet of
things, artificial intelligence, etc.
• improve decision making
• enable more efficient management of complex environmental requirements, reduce waste and become
more circular

By implementing all relevant international standards for managing construction data, organisations can ensure that the information that they digitise today is also compatible with future technologies and will be readily available in the years to come.

How to implement a common digital language?

A common digital language can be achieved by developing common standards-based data models for capturing and sharing information about construction materials, products, systems and spaces. These data models are called data templates.

For its user, the data template is a common data structure describing the characteristics (called ‘properties’) of a construction object, and its physical qualities and performance, according to a credible source of information – be it a standard or a regulation. On the other hand, for any software, the data template structure is a set of concepts that are connected to each other with different relationships through unique pieces of code. By establishing such logic for machines, we create a common technological language, which helps any software convey meaning consistently regardless of format or the language used in a particular country.

Common standardised data models are central to implementing robust digital transformation strategies.
By establishing common data structures, associations and government bodies can:
• provide guidelines on how data should be structured, captured and exchanged
• develop standardised information requirements to improve / automate certification and processing of
legal documents
• streamline data collection for carbon footprint calculations, reuse and recycling, etc.

How to develop common data models?

To ensure the interoperability of the data, common data models are developed by applying all relevant international standards for managing construction data in a standards-based data dictionary, such as Define. Here you can find some suggestions from our data experts on how to organise your data standardisation project.

Would you like to learn more about Define
& get advise on how to standardise your data?

Book a meeting with our data management experts.