Information systems to support decision-making in construction owner organizations : a data warehousing approach

Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Civil Engineering

First Advisor's Name

Irtishad Ahmad

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Syed M. Ahmed

Third Advisor's Name

Ronald Giachetti

Fourth Advisor's Name

Luis Prieto-Portar

Fifth Advisor's Name

L. David Shen

Date of Defense



Construction organizations typically deal with large volumes of project data containing valuable information. It is found that these organizations do not use these data effectively for planning and decision-making. There are two reasons. First, the information systems in construction organizations are designed to support day-to-day construction operations. The data stored in these systems are often non-validated, nonintegrated and are available in a format that makes it difficult for decision makers to use in order to make timely decisions. Second, the organizational structure and the IT infrastructure are often not compatible with the information systems thereby resulting in higher operational costs and lower productivity. These two issues have been investigated in this research with the objective of developing systems that are structured for effective decision-making.

A framework was developed to guide storage and retrieval of validated and integrated data for timely decision-making and to enable construction organizations to redesign their organizational structure and IT infrastructure matched with information system capabilities. The research was focused on construction owner organizations that were continuously involved in multiple construction projects. Action research and Data warehousing techniques were used to develop the framework.

One hundred and sixty-three construction owner organizations were surveyed in order to assess their data needs, data management practices and extent of use of information systems in planning and decision-making. For in-depth analysis, Miami-Dade Transit (MDT) was selected which is in-charge of all transportation-related construction projects in the Miami-Dade county. A functional model and a prototype system were developed to test the framework. The results revealed significant improvements in data management and decision-support operations that were examined through various qualitative (ease in data access, data quality, response time, productivity improvement, etc.) and quantitative (time savings and operational cost savings) measures. The research results were first validated by MDT and then by a representative group of twenty construction owner organizations involved in various types of construction projects.



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