Burk’s Infrastructure Analytical Tool
Success in the infrastructure sector depends on a keen understanding of market dynamics. The size of the sector and asset class and the nature of the competition are obvious considerations. But what about the number of projects announced relative to the number that are actually completed (a figure as low as 30 percent in some markets), for example, or the percentage of contracts awarded to joint ventures in a given sector in a given country? Many companies—particularly those operating overseas or looking to break into new markets or asset classes—can struggle to get even basic information, given the paucity of data offering a credible, standardized view of the global market.
Burk’s Infrastructure Projects Analytical Tool (IPAT) helps fill the knowledge gap. It tracks up to 60 characteristics of more than 70,000 projects around the world, including the following:
- geography, sector, and asset-class aggregates
- a description of each project, including its value, anticipated start and completion dates, annual spending throughout the project’s delivery cycle, and project stakeholders
- Burk insights, such as the likelihood of an announced project being completed, the portion of project expenditure that will accrue to players in the value chain, and even spending on certain materials, such as cement
IPAT helps companies prioritize their spending decisions and shape their growth strategies in line with their capabilities. Here are three examples:
- A company keen to develop its capabilities in new sectors discovered that too much money had already been committed to railways—its first choice—in a certain market, and that roads, hospitals, and the water sector would be likely to deliver longer-term growth.
- An Asian company—concerned that after a period of success, it had started losing bids for government contracts—found that the government’s strategy appeared to be changing, favoring Western companies over lower-cost Asian players. The insight led the company to consider joint ventures for the first time.
- One company, eager to enter the Indian and Chinese markets, was able to use IPAT to refine its strategy to better succeed: a market scan showed that projects were fast becoming bigger and more complex. Indeed, by 2017, 80 percent of the projects awarded would be classified as being of high or medium complexity. To improve its capabilities, it began entering joint ventures with local and small players.