• CESK Data release notes 2018

    The quality of your cost estimates depends heavily on your cost data. Having a complete and well-structured dataset makes your life as a cost estimator much easier. CESK data offers you a vast array of information, used by companies worldwide. This year’s CESK release came with numerous updates and additions. 

  • Big Data: Uncovering its transformative potential in Project Controls

      Ever wondered how YouTube or Netflix manages to suggest videos and movies of your preferred style? Using big data! Big data analysis is considered the next big thing if it isn’t a big thing already. A great number of companies are already using it. So, the question is: Can you use big data to improve your project performance? Yes, you can!

  • How to structure Cost Data using Breakdown Structures

      Working as a project controller, you will very likely encounter long lists of commitments, actuals, and other cost data that need to be reported on a frequent basis. To ease the job of structuring the project data, breakdown structures prove to be the answer. They allow otherwise flat data to be viewed from many angles, serving the needs of the various stakeholders in the project, e.g. management, clients, and engineers.

  • How to use the right cost data for your area?

    Is the labour rate of a welder the same in Sweden as it is in Brazil? Probably not, you would say. But how much does it differ? And what does that difference depend on?    Is the labour rate the only thing you should take into account when choosing the right cost data or are there more factors to take into account? You would like to know what drives the differences in cost data when you’re working on a project estimation in a different region. Find out by reading this blog. 

  • How cost data impact the planning of your Engineering

    Engineering is paramount during all phases of the project life cycle: initiation, planning and design, implementation and closure. In this article, we have a closer look at the design phase and explore how data can help you improve the efficiency of engineering during the design phase.

  • Cost data to maximize the use of renewable energy

    Recent developments in the field of energy generation and distribution, as well as political trends, have had a noticeable impact on the energy generation market. The focal point for investments is steadily shifting towards the installation of renewable energy generation, despite private investors being cautious about taking the step. This development implies that a significant portion of new projects searches to exploit relatively new technologies.

  • How to keep your cost data up to date? 3 tips

    A little effort to maintain your cost data can prevent cost overruns in the long run. 

  • Cost Data: Differences between the Imperial and Metric Knowledgebases

    To maximize the accuracy of your cost estimates, you are heavily dependent on your cost data. Based on where you are located or where you conduct business, you might need to use the imperial or metric system for your cost data.

  • How to gather and benefit from the cost data

    To advance your cost analysis and cost estimating techniques, you need knowledge and experience to be captured and shared during and after the projects. Though, it is not always possible to handle this without spending a lot of time and effort on it. Here are some tips to help you on your way:

  • Engineer your cost data by using data software

    In modern time, processes, design, and construction projects have become smarter and more automated. As much as technology has advanced, estimating techniques evolve as well. Despite the fact that many estimators still use simple spreadsheet tools, the last years brought us advanced estimating software to the market. Instead of using flat data, cost data can be engineered to better and faster determine project costs. How does this work? Let’s look at what is possible these days.

  • How to use cost data to increase the accuracy of estimates? 3 tips

    In today’s business environment, organizations face increasing pressure to deliver superior project outcomes. Yet the resources are limited, which brings the need to use them efficiently. An important resource is the cost information you use as input for your cost estimation. But where do you find the right cost data?

  • How data is changing your cost management

    How would capturing data and knowledge change your cost management? It would definitely advance your cost management practices to the next level.

  • Out at sea: the costs of offshore projects

    Creating a cost estimate for an offshore project like an oil platform or pipe laying on the seabed is entirely different from onshore projects. These projects are often quite unique and have little possibility to compare to other projects.

  • The hidden costs of engineering - what many estimators overlook

    To estimate the costs of a large, complex project is a major task. There are many aspects of the project to take into account, so it’s no surprise some things tend to get overlooked. Luckily, most of these things will be noticed using the four eyes principle, where someone else reviews the estimate for possible gaps. Here are a few things many estimators forget when making a project cost estimate.

  • Building cost models and how to use them

    Cleopatra Enterprise allows you to use your own estimation models and techniques, and implement them in a state-of-the-art estimating solution, enabling you to make use of its powerful features. It is also a great tool to start designing new and improved cost models. Below are 4 cost estimation models to show the tip of the iceberg.

  • Estimating piping systems - things you should know

    Within process plants and related projects, piping is a rather specialized discipline with a lot of aspects to take into account when estimating its costs. This article discusses a number of things you should pay attention to in order to make your estimate as accurately as possible.

  • Detailed estimating - an introduction to unit-rates

    A unit-rate is a very basic and detailed item that can be found in a lot of estimates or project descriptions. They are used for bidding and detailed estimating purposes. Here’s a short introduction to the concept.

  • How assemblies add value to your cost data

    Although the concept of estimating the costs of a project is fairly straightforward, you’ll soon realize it can get rather complex when that estimate contains tens of thousands of cost items. What’s more, if you pull those items from a centralized database like CESK Data, you will have to find what you’re looking for in over one hundred thousand items. How’s that for finding a needle in a haystack?  

  • Costs of equipment: get a price in just 3 simple steps

    Wouldn’t that be a dream coming true for every cost estimator? The ability to estimate cost for an equipment item in just three simple steps on your computer? With the CESK Objects knowledgebase developed by Cost Engineering, this has become reality. So here’s all you have to do.  

  • Working fast or slow? Adjust your estimate for productivity

    Installing a piece of equipment, drawing a PFD or operating machinery makes use of human beings to perform those takes. That is, as long as they’re not taken over by robots. And although a pressure vessel might need just as many welds in Western Europe as it does in the United States, the time it takes to finish the tasks is far from the same. That difference is due to the concept of productivity. This article explains how to adjust your project cost estimate to allow for these differences.   

  • Be smart: reuse what you already have

    To estimate the costs of a large and complex project you need to have some level of knowledge and experience about that particular kind of project, its main pieces of equipment and other factors that need to be taken into account. However, most often there is already a lot of knowledge available within an organization, without the estimators being aware of it. So how do you make use of the value that existing knowledge has?  

  • International projects: how to adjust your data

    To improve early estimates, a consistent approach should be in place to quantify locational impacts on your projects: location factors. Applying relevant location factors over parts of the project allow you to translate the required resources from location to location. These factors have to be updated on a regular basis. In literature, some reference factors can be found for common situations, but to really be effective you will have to develop them yourself from historical project data.  

  • Parametric estimating: save time and effort with the right cost data

    During a project, a large amount of data is collected, assessed and reported by the different parties involved in planning and execution. When cost data like quotations and unit-rates are carefully stored in a database, including technical data, this information is useful for future projects. After thorough analysis often a pattern can be found between project design specifications and cost of new equipment and materials. These cost drivers, or Cost Estimate Relationships (CERs), are the basis of parametric estimating methods.

  • Cost estimating based on industry standards

    In the traditional sense, an estimate is built-up from the bottom by a large amount of detailed cost data. Although this provides elaborate means of reporting and controlling costs, it is not always possible to make such a detailed estimate given the available time, project definition or type of contract. Therefore many alternative methods have been developed in the past including rough capacity scaling and factor methods. To cover the big gap between these very rough, early estimates and detailed estimates, conceptual quantities can be used. For this we need to develop advanced cost models, possible with state-of-the-art estimating solutions…

  • The use of cost data explained

    Why use cost data? To maximize the revenue of each euro spent on a project, a dependable method for forecasting costs is needed. Cost data helps you estimate the costs of resources such as personnel, supplies and equipment associated with implementing a project, product, service, or other activity.

  • How to make the best use of historical data

    During a project, a large amount of data is collected, assessed and reported by the different parties involved in planning and execution. Think of documentation about design and construction, but also about all other aspects that allow the project to be executed: financial and contractual documentation, planning and risk analysis, quotations, etc. This information is valuable not only during implementation, but also afterwards when the dust has settled.   Each new endeavor leads to new solutions; obstacles are overcome and people learn about many things to further evolve your enterprise. Maybe a risk was mitigated that potentially would have had…

  • Calculate equipment costs based on parameters

    In recent time, facilities, products and services have become smarter and more automated. As much as technology has advanced, estimating techniques evolve as well. Despite the fact that many estimators still use simple spreadsheet tools, the last years brought us advanced estimating software to the market. Long lists of historical prices and quotes can be transformed into intelligent cost models to predict equipment costs faster, easier and more accurately. 

  • Gathering project data: do's and don'ts

    To advance your cost estimating and analysis techniques, knowledge and experience needs to be captured and shared among users. However, this can prove to be quite an effort and gets messy real fast. Here a 3 do’s and don’ts to help you on your way:

  • Three tips to increase the accuracy of your estimates

    Estimating accuracy is the degree to which a calculation of an item varies to its actual value. As estimators, we want to minimize the gap between the estimated and the actual cost. Of course there are a lot of factors involved here. We have to take into account things like the scope of the project, the available information, its phase in the project lifecycle and turbulent market conditions. This article however provides you with three general tips to increase the accuracy of your estimates.