3 Invaluable Lessons from Jit Kee Chin
- Data helps us predict what’s coming and analyze what’s already happened.
- Adoption of technology could have barriers and be slow but the time and financial investment will be worth it.
- Standing on facts instead of feelings will create a stronger team.
This week, host Sue Dyer speaks with Jit Kee Chin about Big Data in the construction industry and why it’s important for companies to adopt new technology to improve processes and make informed decisions.
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The following show notes are a transcription from the Construction Dream Team Podcast episode 17 audio interview between Sue and Jit Kee Chin. Join the Construction Dream Team LinkedIn Group, CDTLinkedin.com! We will continue the dialogue we started on the podcast and share our knowledge with one another. CDT Guests will also join us for discussion live.
About Guest Jit Kee Chin (1:13)
Jit is the Executive Vice President and Chief Data Officer for Suffolk, a national building contractor that does $4 billion in annual revenue. Jit leverages the power of modern techniques in data and analytics to help Suffolk build better and she implements Suffolk’s data strategy end to end.
Jit’s Journey to Becoming Executive Vice President and Chief Data Officer for Suffolk (2:46)
- Her father instilled in her a love of numbers and algorithms (3:03)
- She obtained her undergraduate and graduate degrees from CalTech and MIT (3:17)
- She shifted her career and worked with McKinsey and Company for the next decade where she was exposed to the construction industry (3:40)
- She saw how all of the industries were being impacted by the advances in digital data and technology over the last five to ten years when it moved from just tech companies to all industries (4:22)
How Jit is Leading Her Company Into the New Millennium (8:08)
- She’s feeling her way through it all (8:15)
- She asks what the industry ecosystem looks like today, what the big problems are that need to be solved, how do we think about the different players in the industry and what part of the problem can they solve, and then how can she and Suffolk play a part (8:55)
- The best thing she can do as a leader is to leverage her background and think of where things could go, then share those ideas (9:30)
What’s Needed to Come Together as an Industry in a Meaningful Way (10:28)
Jit explains the formation of a Predictive Analytic Strategic Council made up of primarily contractors, but also other members of the value chain. They predict risks before they happen to take action to mitigate risk. Using shared imaging and safety information, the AI algorithms adapt and make better predictions.
How Big Data Can Become Something Meaningful in Construction (12:55)
- Look forward instead of looking back (13:20)
- Leverage all the information that comes through, don’t allow silos (13:45)
- Understanding information from all systems allows the data to become meaningful (14:14)
- Real-time information will allow people to react faster (14:33)
What Jit is Hoping to Achieve for the Company and the Industry (16:30)
For Suffolk – she would like to see every decision based on data and a better experience for everyone they work with inside and outside the company.
For the industry – to play a part to shape the industry towards the implementation of these new technologies.
Specific Tools Jit is Developing That Will Help Teams Be More Effective (23:18)
- A Project Dashboard – to help reveal information in real time (24:00)
- The dashboard creates transparency in the project and allows data to be delivered in real time (25:15)
- The concept of the dashboard is simple, but the implementation and adoption process is difficult (27:20)
Barriers to Creating Strong Teams That Adopt Technology and Create Results (27:48)
- Structural – what projects look like when it comes to size, complexity, and owner preferences
- Project Lifecycles – they tend to be long, but the technology changes on a monthly basis. How do you implement mid-stream changes?
- Geographic Dispersion
- Talent or Generational Change – Reverse mentorship can help both generations learn from each other
- Labor Shortage
- Financial – to make some of these technologies work you need to invest
The Worst Challenges Jit Has Faced (32:00)
A career shift Jit took when she went from London to Boston and switched companies. She wanted to be nearer to her family, so she deliberately took a step back. She had to switch what she did and rebuild.
The Best Advice Jit Has Ever Gotten (35:15)
A mathematical Venn Diagram that helps her find her way in life – find out what you are good at, figure out what you are passionate about, find the intersecting piece and go do that.
Resources for Listeners
- McKinsey Podcast on the Ethics of AI
Jit Kee Chin LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/jitkeechin/
Sufflolk Construction https://www.suffolk.com/
Jit’s Parting Advice (41:10)
Make sure you’re standing on the solid footing of facts when you’re making important decisions and participate in the conversation about more information and better analytics.
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