2021: The year of common visualisation, collaboration and decarbonisation states Sensat 

January 5th 2021

Civil infrastructure will continue data-led digital transformation but move towards smarter visualisation, collaboration and decision-making for decarbonisation, all from one platform.

London, UK - 5th January, 2021: Sensat, a leading provider of drone data capture and visualisation software for civil infrastructure, shares its predictions for 2021. Highlighting some of the trends and themes it expects to see across civil infrastructure over the coming year, common visualisation, collaboration and decarbonisation come out top of mind for an industry focused on resetting, recovering, rebuilding and reimagining a better-built future. 


“While what would happen in 2020 was largely unpredictable, more certainty is anticipated for the year ahead, as the civil infrastructure industry confronts what's next with more courage and conviction,” said James Dean, CEO at Sensat. “Having adjusted to more digital ways of working and stabilising after a tumultuous twelve months, the outlook is much brighter. Brexit is expected to present some obstacles to UK industry as businesses decipher the deal agreed, but new and reactivated investments, the acceleration of major UK infrastructure projects, as well as a continued buoyant housing market, will all contribute to an uplift in construction output and a more predictable year.”


As many aspects of civil infrastructure continue to be digitised and strategies start to come to fruition, a data-led approach will only become more important in 2021. We predict the industry will focus on faster and more accurate data capture, visualisation, collaboration and greater data understanding through advancements in artificial intelligence. This, alongside the industry’s desire to reduce carbon emissions and build sustainable infrastructure, will mean that what is done with data today will be key to making decisions tomorrow. Sensat therefore sees three key trends that will prevail in 2021: common visualisation, collaboration/consolidation, and decarbonisation.


Data hosted in Sensat's visualisation platform

1. Common Visualisation


Being able to visualise data in a common platform will be fundamental to civil infrastructure in 2021, not only for centralising all infrastructure data in one place, but making it more usable and understandable. By bringing the physical world online and translating it into a digital language that provides an accurate representation of a live site or project, a visualisation platform will surface the right data at the right time. This enables greater analysis of data that drives data-led decisions, as well as greater visibility into the management of business, operations and processes across all stakeholders. 


“The next wave of visualisation platforms will be what underpins data-led transformation,” Dean said. By aggregating and integrating data in one place from across infrastructure systems, a platform will enable one digital representation of the real world that drives smarter decisions, greater efficiencies, cost control and increased revenues while laying the foundation for a sustainable built environment.”


There is a compelling economic benefit to adopting a visualisation platform and Sensat expects to see many companies moving in this direction in 2021. Not only does this type of platform have the ability to remove data barriers and help companies better use the information at its fingertips, but also help users navigate a project or site in real time through a digital replica making decisions easier and more effective.


“Visualising and communicating data is an incredibly important aspect of civil infrastructure work. A visualisation platform, paired with engineering-grade data, has the power to unlock tremendous project efficiency and sustainability when applied at scale, at every stage of the asset lifecycle,” continued Dean.

2. Collaboration and Consolidation 


Forced primarily by the pandemic, but a huge positive to emerge from 2020, has been joint ventures, collaboration and a greater willingness to work together to get things done. Sensat believes that this collaboration will continue into 2021 as companies assess best practices and innovation to improve built infrastructure. With the ability for in-platform collaboration and consolidation, it has never been easier to share, overlay, annotate and analyse data to tackle challenges and make decisions.


Further evidence that collaboration will be big in 2021 comes from the UK Government's Construction Playbook, which reinforces the importance of collaboration in public work projects in terms of how they are procured, delivered, and assessed.


When it comes to industry consolidation, in what is still a highly fragmented industry with a high number of competing companies, consolidation is ripe for the picking as businesses work together to create solutions, tender bids and come together to complement each other and create supply chain resilience. 

3. Decarbonisation


As part of the UK Government’s commitment to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, the civil infrastructure industry will be more focused on reducing its environmental impact to build towards a circular economy that minimises wasted materials, reduces one-time data usage, while also reducing the destruction of our natural environment.


“The best way to go about a move towards a more sustainable built environment is to understand our data in order to make effective planning decisions. With a data-led focus, a visualisation platform and a more collaborative mindset, together as an industry we can be more in balance with our natural world, and we see this influencing infrastructure direction next year,” said Dean.


“While the pandemic has helped shape construction and our working practices in 2020, it also accelerated the next wave of civil infrastructure driving a shift towards data-led transformation, visualisation, collaboration and decarbonisation that we will see take hold in coming year. 2021 will be the start of things to come,” concluded Dean.

About Sensat: 
Leading the data capture and visualisation market in civil infrastructure, Sensat is building technology that translates the real world into a digital version, to help physical industries analyse and understand their built environments and make smarter decisions. Sensat does this by capturing real-world data using drone technology and creating digital representations which can be visualised in Sensat's SaaS platform.


Today, Sensat's solutions are being used by leading infrastructure companies, such as Aecom, Connect Plus, Heathrow, Kier, Morgan Sindall, Network Rail and WSP. The company has raised $14.5M in venture funding to date, including a $10M Series A round in 2019 led by internet giant Tencent.