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

Chowdhury, Mahmuda and Hosseini, M. Reza and Martek, Igor and Edwards, D.J. and Wang, Jun (2021) The effectiveness of web-based technology platforms in facilitating construction project collaboration: A qualitative analysis of 1,152 user reviews. Journal of Information Technology in Construction, 26. pp. 953-973. ISSN 1874-4753

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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.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding Information: This is a substantially extended and enhanced version of the paper presented at The 20th International Conference on Construction Applications of Virtual Reality (CONVR 2020). We would like to acknowledge the editorial contributions of Professor Nashwan Dawood and Dr. Farzad Rahimian of Teesside University in the publication of this paper. Publisher Copyright: COPYRIGHT: © 2021 The author(s). This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Identification Number:
1 April 2021Accepted
1 November 2021Published Online
Uncontrolled Keywords: Collaboration technology, Construction, Sentiment analysis, Text mining, Web-based collaboration tools
Subjects: CAH13 - architecture, building and planning > CAH13-01 - architecture, building and planning > CAH13-01-02 - building
Divisions: Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment > School of Engineering and the Built Environment
Depositing User: David Edwards
Date Deposited: 08 Apr 2022 10:44
Last Modified: 08 Apr 2022 10:44

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