Dodge Data & Analytics and the Blue Book Building & Construction Network on Oct. 5 released a new, unified platform for contractors to source materials, bids from subcontractors and other services. The Dodge Construction Network combines the strengths and more than 100-year-old histories of both companies, which merged in April, and their data services.

Dodge Data and Analytics CEO Daniel McCarthy, who leads the combined company, said that combining Dodge's database of project information with the Blue Book Network's list of subcontractor contacts positions the the Construction Network for growth.

"That's what blue book has done for a hundred years," McCarthy said. "Being responsive to and having that expertise in contacts and firms."

The Blue Book Network evolved out of the 1913 "Subcontractors Register for the Allied Building Trades," which was a directory of subcontractors for the New York City area. It expanded over the years to act as a subcontractors' directory in most big cities and released its business communication app Engage in 2019, which allows contractors to quickly contact and receive bids from subs.

Founded in 1891, Dodge brings its directory of more than 100,000 construction products and materials in its Sweets network, plus its construction data, analytics and project information. Both companies' databases have been combined for the new Dodge Construction Network.

McCarthy said Dodge Data and Analytics already had a strategy of creating one central data source to drive customer relationships on them which was being managed by Reltio, a cloud software firm that specializes in master data management, as a master data management project. That was well underway when the Blue Book merger happened, and bringing its data into that cloud data environment has been added to the project.

The combined company conducted a survey from among its nearly 150,000 customers to investigate how contractors are embracing digital transformation, and how it drives data and projects in the industry. The results revealed a positive attitude towards digital transformation, but with a significant disconnect. Construction personnel at all levels are embracing digital transformation, but the implementation is fragmented, making the already complex nature of construction projects even more hard to navigate. 84% of field workers say digital transformation has impacted the way they work. 23% said digital transformation has failed to reach their jobsite.

"The ability to search out subcontractors, that's one of the things that has been quite challenging recently is just finding people to bid the jobs," says Nathan Hansen, a project executive at Darrell W. Anderson Construction in Logan, Utah, who used the new combined-database tool. "You can narrow it down to the work area as well."

Note: Dodge Data and Analytics provides data for ENR's Pulse listings and other construction project information.