After attending the UK BIM Alliance Infrastructure Virtual Conference last week, we came across the BIM4Water Product Data Templates. In line with other product data templates we have come across (eg. BIMHawk), we found that the Product Data Templates were created, stored and managed on excel.
However, in our experience using excel to manage construction information has several problems (eg. poor data quality, difficulty to connect data, manual and error-prone processes. You can read more here). We, therefore, set ourselves the challenge of migrating the information in these excel sheets into an open database (ie. Morta).
Using a database to manage product data templates instead of excel has the following advantages:
1) Different participants can easily collaborate with each other
2) Information can be easily organised so that you don’t have to manage 50+ sheets
3) You will avoid the risk of data inconsistencies and redundancies
4) The product data templates can be easily connected to other project or organisation information
How did we get BIM4Water PDT’s into Morta?
Step 1: We downloaded the xlsx workbooks from the website into a local folder
Step 2: We created an empty Morta table with the appropriate columns and data types
Step 3: We created an automation script (created in Python for the geeks amongst you). We used that to sift through the sheets and push the product properties and all relevant information.
Step 4: We can now easily generate different views of the data using built-in features such as grouping, sorting, filtering and much more. Organisations can open the data for editing by assigning contributors where they can collaborate to update the records accordingly. Those can be from within or outside the organisation and Morta maintains a granular audit trail providing full feasibility of all the changes in the system.
If you are interested in learning about the Morta platform, check this post.