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CUSTOMER STORY

Building a safer and more sustainable world

60%

Reduction in TCO

100%

Increase in new clients

Novade
CLOUD: Azure

“We are committed to supporting the digital transformation of the construction industry. Construction is one of the most dangerous industries in the world, and our clients rely on us to deliver accurate field data in real time to improve safety. With Databricks, we can now unify data at scale with lower overall costs and embark on a journey to harness the power of data and technology.”

— Denis Branthonne, CEO and Co-founder, Novade

Novade brings together the power of man and machine to help construction professionals improve safety, efficiency and productivity. By analyzing construction site data, builders are empowered to make real-time decisions, leveraging field data to predict and prevent issues before they arise.​​

Novade turned to Databricks to improve their analytics and machine learning (ML) capabilities. The strategic move has resulted in reducing the total cost of ownership (TCO) by 60%. Additionally, it has allowed Novade to expand their clientele base, efficiently accommodating a larger volume of customers. With the Databricks Data Intelligence Platform, Novade now possesses all the necessary tools to seamlessly implement AI and ML.

Creating better construction safety previously hindered by homegrown software

In the construction industry, where delivering projects on time and within budget is crucial, safety takes precedence. Novade, a forward-thinking construction management software company, recognized the opportunity to leverage the power of the field data collected (e.g., onsite issues and defects, trends, team schedules, budgets and more) to provide better safety and efficiency insights to contractors. While much of the industry still relies on manual, time-consuming and error-prone tools, Novade stands out by creating powerful visualization dashboards that help track project progress and timelines, identify root causes of issues, manage team schedules and safety, and more.

To support their vision for data analytics, Novade started off by developing a proprietary solution using open source tools such as Apache Airflow. However, as their data volumes and use cases expanded, Novade recognized the need to evolve their tech stack. The goal was to adapt the infrastructure so that they could provide even more impactful features to their customers.

Partnering with Databricks, Novade proactively unlocked the capability to deliver actionable insights and predictive alerts, and remained at the forefront in revolutionizing the construction industry.

“We wanted to empower our customers with actionable insights and even predictive alerts, but we recognized that our existing infrastructure wouldn’t allow us to reach our full potential,” said Helene Menthon, Data Analytics Manager at Novade.

Databricks enables construction innovation

Recognizing the necessity for a fully managed platform that could offer a comprehensive view of their data at scale, the Novade team turned to Databricks for a one-month proof of concept (POC) to explore its capabilities. “Databricks provided everything we expected, and the support was very good,” said Menthon. “So, we decided to take the plunge.”

Since implementing the Databricks Data Intelligence Platform, Novade has witnessed a significant transformation in how data is handled within the organization. With the introduction of Delta Lake, the company now enjoys a unified perspective of its data across different layers, structured within a medallion architecture (Bronze, Silver, Gold). This approach caters to various data requirements, from business reporting to ML model training. Additionally, the time travel feature has also proven invaluable, offering insights into data evolution of their data and the flexibility to rectify mistakes.

Novade collaboration and communication have also improved significantly — both internally and with customers. Databricks SQL empowers internal users to wield data effectively, while seamless connectivity with Power BI facilitates easy access to complete and accurate data for various project dashboards and visualizations via Delta Sharing. Additionally, Unity Catalog enables the team to securely share data, allowing for granular access control — a capability that was previously a hurdle in sharing data with customers in the old system.

Above all, the Databricks Data Intelligence Platform has unlocked Novade’s potential to harness ML to deliver innovative features. With MLflow, Novade now explores the training and deployment of ML models, and initial models — such as predicting incident risk affecting worker safety or project delivery schedules — have yielded promising results. MLflow simplifies parameter fine-tuning, model training with more data, and tracking of all versions and results.

“Thanks to Databricks, we're now working more productively and creating innovative solutions,” added Menthon. “We can delve into ML and AI in a meaningful way to further enhance safety for our customers.”

Building safer construction processes at scale

Thanks to their collaboration with Databricks, Novade has successfully overcome many of the obstacles that were previously impeding their progress. Right from the start, Databricks delivered tangible benefits, reducing Novade's overall total cost of ownership (TCO) by an impressive 20%-30%. However, this was just the beginning.

With the dedicated support of the Databricks team, Novade embarked on an optimization journey that yielded remarkable results. They achieved an outstanding 60% reduction in TCO, a threefold gain in efficiency. This significant cost-saving initiative not only freed up valuable resources but also turbocharged team productivity and innovation.

Armed with newfound resources and reduced operational costs, Novade’s team could now explore a wider array of use cases, handle larger data sets, and initiate more ambitious projects. Even with a relatively small data team, they were able to effortlessly manage their data pipeline and wholeheartedly delve into the realms of AI and ML applications.

The impact of these efficiencies and the introduction of innovative features did not go unnoticed. Novade experienced a remarkable 100% increase in the acquisition of new clients. Clients were increasingly inquiring about data-driven insights, and Novade was more than equipped to deliver the data insights necessary to create a safer and more effective environment for construction professionals.

“Databricks has been a game-changer,” stated Menthon. “We've unlocked new use cases, introduced new features and solutions, and have been able to provide significantly greater value to construction professionals worldwide.”