Construction Innovation Conference – MEP2024

Last week, I was lucky to attend the annual MEP2024 conference. Since I am new to the industry, it was a chance to see what technology solutions are put in place at some of the biggest players in the market. There were a few big takeaways.

The industry is hungry for data solutions.

There were 4 sessions that were around data and each one was packed. People are wanting to use data. It is a trend we are seeing more and more across all industries and construction is no different. In an industry dominated by cash flow and services, it’s even more critical to understand and leverage data to build efficiencies both in the back office as well as the field.

Still searching for the “faster horse”.

The ingenuity is unbelievable. The solutions were great, but they were still mostly focused on making current processes faster using people. This is normal evolution but there are so many better ways to leverage technology in this industry. I saw project managers spending tons of times to connect platforms manually instead of using tools designed to do this. Like I said, I was blown away by the get it done attitude, it’s just a lack of experience. It doesn’t have to cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, you just have to know how to do it.

Ex: Connecting Procore APIs to a backend system directly to create PowerBI reports. In spirit, this was great but was 100x more complicated than it has to be and was not a scalable solution. If you have to engineer every single report, you are not doing it right. But you have to applaud the effort.

Excel is still king.

I can’t even go here. The number of companies still using excel as a reporting tool is staggering. Excel is great as a one-off tool to help day to day operations but not as a way to report. There is a better way. Its a huge lift to get the companies to leverage something more effective and full of insights.

No leveraging of standard analytics platforms.

I was surprised that there was no one talking about data warehouses. Everything was embedded analytics into traditional construction apps. Data should be free to flow into a cloud warehouse and leveraged to deliver holistic reports across the business. You shouldn’t have to login to 6 different apps to see how the business is doing. And everyone uses Power BI like there is nothing else out there. Im not a fan of using something because everyone is, you should choose the platform that works for the business.

After the discussions, I can really feel that here at Gallo, we are building one of the most advanced, efficient and effective platforms in the industry. Coming from the big data world, I can see that there are not many people who have the knowledge to set these solutions up. I never once heard the term “data warehouse” or “ETL” in any of the data sessions. It was eye opening.


No direct snowflake shares or GCP connections.

Few business APIs.

Few leading the charge for change.

I met with and saw a few companies that are jumping into the future. Companies like Dewalt, known for tools, is building out a data team and infrastructure and looking for partners. It’s a smart play to diversify and be in the front with combatting the challenges. It will serve them well. We have the ability to pull data from MSuite (manufacturing equipment). It’s pretty basic, but at least we can get to the data and they want to push into better things. Great support team over there.

A couple of other major players are still lagging behind. Trimble, to their credit, have APIs for their VISTA modules, but these are developer APIs and take lots of work to make business value from them.

Primed for new businesses

There are so many opportunities for new companies to come in and really assist these organizations.

One major idea being a turnkey solution for taking data from these platforms and driving that into a data warehouse and slapping BI in front of it.

Another would be data sharing between contractors and subcontractors on safety and operational workflows. There is so much money lost industry wide and I think focusing on these would be unbelievable.

At Gallo, we are building something special that has the potential to really set the example of how to capture, store and report data at the macro and micro levels. I didn’t see anything close to what we are doing. I hope we get a chance soon to present to the industry what we are doing in a way that can lead the charge for change. Such great people in this industry and I could see the passion for what they do and boy are they smart.

More to come soon! If you want to reach out to me for any information on this or my other posts, you can get me at