The effectiveness of web-based technology platforms in facilitating construction project collaboration: A qualitative analysis of 1,152 user reviews

Mahmuda Chowdhury, M. Reza Hosseini, Igor Martek, David John Edwards, Jun Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

The construction industry accounts for 9% of global GDP. Efforts at addressing construction's inherent inefficiencies have over the last decade increasingly involved the deployment of web-based collaborative tools. Consequently, much research has been devoted to assessing these platforms; including interoperability, workflow management and technological limits. What has not been considered to date are the views of web-based tool users themselves as to the functionality, potency and usability of the various platforms available on the market. Currently, there are 5,300,000 documented users of web-based collaborative tools. If web-based collaboration is to be further enhanced, the views of users must be known. This study explores this dimension. Financeonline's top six tools were considered: CoCostruct, PlanGrid, Autodesk BIM 360, Procore, e-builder and Aconex. Around 200 reviews for each tool were collected from 'Business Software Reviews from Software Advice,' resulting in a total dataset of 1,152 complete reviews. Text-mining analysis was applied to this dataset, using RapidMiner Studio 7.5. Thirty key terms with a frequency of over 100 occurrences were retrieved; terms such as software, manage, inform, support, easy use, function, track and friendly. These constitute the subject of the reviews. These terms were then analyzed for sentiment qualifiers; either positive or negative. A total of 804 sentiments were positive, 322 negative and 26 neutral. This study thus highlights that while 70% of user reviews of web-based collaborative tools are positive, there remains much room for improvement. Areas for improvement are also indicated by this study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)953-973
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Information Technology in Construction
Volume26
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Collaboration technology
  • Construction
  • Sentiment analysis
  • Text mining
  • Web-based collaboration tools

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Computer Science Applications

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