UK construction firm Kier, also known as the Kier Group, has started using artificial intelligence provided by software organization nPlan to support its new work offerings. The technology is supposed to analyze the programs to identify where problems and delays are likely to occur and areas where savings could be made.
While other entrepreneurs have tested nPlan’s technology, Kier is considered the first organization in the UK to use it commercially as a way to increase its chances of bidding for new jobs.
Adam Jones, project manager at Kier Infrastructure, said working with nPlan has helped the company optimize its pre-construction programs using active risk identification. “His innovative methods give us increased confidence in our ability to meet client completion dates,” he said.
NPlan’s AI technology
By using machine learning to analyze and compare new projects with previous ones, nPlan’s technology is able to increase the efficiency of the tendering process, by identifying problems, which allows clients to adjust their programs to improve their delivery.
Previously, the technology was used by companies like Network Rail, where it claimed to identify ways to reduce the costs of investment projects valued at £ 3bn, resulting in a total savings of up to £ 30m. of pounds sterling.
Other projects that have used this technology include the joint venture between Skanska, Strabag and Costain for the construction of the HS2.
What other initiatives played a role in the construction data analysis and tendering process?
Recently, other initiatives have been launched to better monitor construction project data with the aim of improving delivery of future projects. For example, in July 2020, the UK government launched the Living Lab transport infrastructure efficiency strategy construction data collection and analysis initiative. Costain and Kier participated in the project.
In 2019, there was also the Confidence in construction data, set up by the construction and engineering company, Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd. This involved 25 contractors who shared their construction data which was analyzed for effectiveness and to identify any potential issues.
Founded in 2017 by former Project Manager of Capital Works for Shell, Dev Amratia, and financial expert Alan Mosca, nPlan, is based in London. Earlier in 2021, he secured an investment of $ 18.5 million from a group including GV. Advisors for the company include current HS2 Commercial Director Beth West.
MOHALI: Oakridge International School with NINNS or North India and Nepal Schools Network) hosted the virtual session on the same work that was hosted by Oakridge International School, Mohali. Meera Chhabria represented the Oakridge School.
As the need for continuous professional development is higher than ever, Oakridge School strongly believes in collaboration and sharing best practices as part of the growth process together. The event brought together 390 participants from 25 schools in northern India and Nepal and shared ideas on assessment practices, especially in the virtual scenario.
The school organized 27 different sessions on a wide variety of topics. Sessions for early childhood facilitators included topics such as the importance of play and the power of stories, while hot topics such as digital citizenship, proof of learning and blended learning were discussed. Unique subjects such as dance, theater, library and design thinking were also highly appreciated by the participants. It was an ingenious learning retreat for teachers to understand and reflect on their practices.
During a speech, school principal Ramanjit Ghuman said schools become more impactful learning communities when they use assessment as a tool to assess the depth of their program and the effectiveness of their teaching. According to her, such sessions save teachers time and effort in finding resources and the fusion of successful practices is implemented.
Kredent InfoEdge Private Limited (KIPL), exploiting the brands StockEdge and Learning markets, raised growth capital of Rs 10 crore of Kotak Securities Limited to expand its product capabilities and increase the reach of users.
This is the first financing transaction undertaken by Kotak Securities Limited (KSL) under its recently launched start-up investment and engagement program.
The company said it plans to leverage the funds raised to expand its e-learning and analytics offerings, as well as to upgrade its data and technology.
Founders (from left to right): Vineet Patawari, Vivek Bajaj and Vinay Pagaria
Kredent currently serves over two million users and is looking to grow the user base to 10 million. The company aspires to create an ecosystem capable of offering investors a full journey – from learning (via electronic markets), research and data analysis (via StockEdge), collaboration (via StockEdge social) to the transaction. It plans to launch its social investment platform, as well as a transaction engine that will host several intermediaries.
Learning markets is a financial education platform in India with over 1 million learners and over 200 market experts who run finance courses in multiple languages. StockEdge is a stock analysis platform with over a million active users.
Vivek Bajaj, Co-Founder and Director, StockEdge and Elearnmarkets mentionned,
“We are delighted to have Kotak Securities among our investors. We share a common philosophy of empowering retail investors through in-depth knowledge. As India’s financial markets expand into the real Bharat, we are uniquely positioned to meet the global needs of the “new Indian investor”.
Co-founded by Vivek Bajaj, Patawari vine, and Vinay Pagaria, the company had previously raised capital from investors such as Ramesh Damani, IndiaMart founder Shri Dinesh Agarwal and others. Capital of Samyakth, a FinTech-focused venture capital firm and an existing investor also participated in the current round. The three co-founders are chartered accountants and two of them obtained their MBA from IIM Indore.
Following this funding, StockEdge and Elearnmarkets will look to raise Series A funds within 12-15 months to create a niche ecosystem in India’s capital markets.
Ernst & Young (EY) acted as exclusive financial advisor and Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas (CAM) as exclusive legal advisor to KIPL.
A new national report shines a light on Duval County Public Schools for their work in helping students overcome poverty, opportunity gaps and other obstacles.
The Council of the Great City Schools, a well-regarded education advocacy organization, published a study called “Mirrors or Windows? Which aimed to measure the progress cities have made over the past decade when it comes to whether scores are improving among students in urban areas with high concentrations of poverty.
“Our question in this report is simple: are urban public schools, which have the largest number and largest concentration of poor students in the country, windows or mirrors? the report explained.
The report highlighted Duval County as one of 17 areas out of 27 cities measured that showed “statistically significant positive district effects in 2019”.
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Other cities and regions also highlighted included Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, the District of Columbia, and Miami-Dade County.
“The report reaffirms what is clear from the visit to our classrooms. The quality of the educational experience in our schools is exemplary, ”said Duval School Superintendent Diana Greene. “There are a lot of social ingredients in a test result or a school grade, and when you break it down like this report does, you see the work of our teachers, principals and support staff is another reason. for which Duval is a great place to learn and live. “
According to the Council of the Great City Schools, the study uses statistical methods to compare the nation’s largest and most diverse school districts.
Factors considered included free or discounted lunch eligibility rates, percentage of family income below $ 15,000 per year by school zip code (6.8% in Duval County), ethnicity and race demographics, English language learner status, and parental education.
As noted by Education Week, the report also considered changes that would impact an urban community over time, such as changing demographics, as a way to exclude outside factors that are typically credited for earnings. and school losses – such as gentrification, rising poverty rates and homelessness or the changing proportions of children learning English.
“We allocated credit to schools based on the population they serve,” Ray Hart, executive director of the Council of the Great City Schools, told Education Week. “What we haven’t done is credit schools for the education they give to the people they serve.”
Yet there are limits. For example, the study is limited to data from the National Education Progress Assessment, which was last administered in 2019. For this reason, declines triggered by the coronavirus pandemic are not included.
Results are also based only on cities and school districts participating in the urban district trial assessment. Duval County Public Schools began participating in 2015, meaning results from 2009 to 2014 could not be compared apples to apples like other school districts.
The report used data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress for reading and math scores in fourth and eighth grades and used statistical methods to predict the performance of students in each demographic group. These projected numbers were compared to actual student performance and the difference between the two results gave estimates of the impact of a school district.
“In other words, we created a measure of ‘value added’ or ‘district effect’ using data from the National Education Progress Assessment to determine whether urban school districts are producing enough “Educational couple” to alleviate poverty and other variables to any degree know how they were doing it, “the report says. “We’re also looking at neighborhoods that weren’t making as much progress and discussing what they have in common. In this way, we try to discern whether public schools, and urban public education in particular, are a force for upward social mobility or whether they simply reflect and perpetuate the inequalities that society creates. ”
The group says this study could help educators revamp their game plans as the coronavirus pandemic subsides in the years to come.
Duval schools perform well in reading in fourth and eighth grades
The performance of Duval County public schools warranted some thanks throughout the 84-page report.
Specifically, the district was praised for “significant positive effects on the district in 2019” for fourth grade reading and eighth grade reading.
District was also highlighted for having “considerably greater district effects” in three combinations of levels or subjects. Duval County was one of nine cities and districts including Dallas, Cleveland, New York and the District of Columbia.
Yet other areas were not as strong.
In eighth grade math, for example, Duval County schools had a “district effect” of 2.35 in 2019. In comparison, Miami scored 6.65 for the same grade and category. , which has been hailed as significant growth.
“This report reminds us that we still have work to do to ensure success for every student,” said Rachael Tutwiler Fortune, president of the Jacksonville Public Education Fund. “We remain focused on partnering with DCPS to achieve excellent and fair results for every student. “
Education Week noted that studies of data on the National Assessment of Educational Progress have previously shown that the opportunity gaps are narrowing in large urban areas – which are typically the product of unequal access to resources. . However, what is important about the Council of the Great City Schools report is that it clearly shows how school districts are improving despite challenges, taking into account a common starting point and facilitating ‘identification of effective strategies.
As part of the study, the City Council of Grandes Ecoles visited the areas to determine if there were any commonalities in teaching methods and approaches that could inform the work of other major school systems. urban.
“Although urban school districts have not fully overcome or alleviated the barriers that stood before them, it is clear from the data in this study that schools in large cities can better mitigate the effects of poverty, discrimination, language and other barriers than others. schools across the country, ”said Council Executive Director Michael Casserly.
“We know there is still work to be done, but by examining how well urban schools are ‘overcoming the barriers’, we know that with the right strategies and practices, schools in major cities across the country can succeed. improve and improve, but they can significantly increase the number of students. achievement and deliver results that defy expectations, ”added Casserly.
According to the Council, the visits revealed “several common practices” among successful school districts, including:
strong and stable leadership focused on student instruction
high academic standards and well-defined educational support
strong professional development and support structures in schools
responsibility and a culture of collaboration
resilience and resourcefulness in the face of adversity
support for schools and pupils in difficulty
community investments and engagement efforts
“Research has shown that socioeconomic status is – unfortunately – a major predictor of student success, and therefore the real test of our public schools is how well they help all students thrive, what whatever the obstacles, ”said Tutwiler Fortune. “It is a major achievement that Duval County Public Schools are featured in this report. Our schools are windows of opportunity. “
Superintendent Greene said partnerships, such as with the Jacksonville Public Education Fund and other groups, also help fill gaps in opportunity.
“The contributions of many community partners also make a big difference in student outcomes,” she said. “The results of this research are a reflection of a community that has come together in incredible ways to support teaching and learning in our schools. “
Below is a complete copy of the report of the City Council of Grandes Ecoles:
Emily Bloch is an education reporter for the Florida Times-Union. Follow her on Twitter or send him an email.