Suffolk partners with Northeastern Univ. to launch “Digital Analytics, Technology and Automation” (DATA) Initiative

November 16, 2018 - Construction Design & Engineering

Boston, MA Suffolk, one of the most innovative and successful privately held building contractors in the country, has announced it is leading the sponsorship of a Digital, Analytics, Technology and Automation (DATA) Initiative with Northeastern University. Hosted by the D’Amore-McKim School of Business (DMSB) at Northeastern and supported by Suffolk, the DATA Initiative will establish a cross-disciplinary, innovative hub of thought leadership committed to researching, developing and sharing new knowledge and approaches for transforming organizations into digital and data-driven businesses. 

According to a recent McKinsey& Co. executive briefing, “Rapid technological advances in digitization and data and analytics have been reshaping the business landscape, supercharging performance, and enabling the emergence of new business innovations and new forms of competition. At the same time, the technology itself continues to evolve, bringing new waves of advances in robotics, analytics, and artificial intelligence (AI), and especially machine learning.” This new Northeastern DATA Initiative addresses the need to better understand how digital transformation will impact the global business world.

“In a world inhabited by humans and machines, seamless transition between the physical and digital is key, as we desire integration in our lives,” said Koen Pauwels, distinguished professor of marketing at D’Amore-McKim. “Because machines need people as much as people need machines, we aim to equip people with the skills and perspective to leverage this relationship. We look forward to partnering with Suffolk to gain a better understanding of how real-world businesses transform themselves to embrace the potential these new techniques bring to their organizations and for businesses in every industry.” 

“As the world moves towards digital convergence, the construction industry has entered a new era of profound and enhanced data and technology sophistication,” said Jit Kee Chin, chief data officer at Suffolk. “At Suffolk, we are seeing quantifiable improvement in business outcomes by using digital tools and capturing real-time data for measurement and analysis. Our partnership with Northeastern will allow us to work closely with renowned academic leaders across all business functions, including human resources, marketing, business development, finance and construction operations, to better understand how to drive effective digital transformations throughout our organization.”

“Our partnership with Northeastern will allow us to leverage the power of innovation and data analytics to transform the construction experience, increase our talent pipeline and revolutionize our industry. But most importantly, this DATA Initiative will enlighten data-driven organizations throughout the world and will help business organizations from all industries prepare for the digital economy and the future,” said John Fish, chairman and CEO, Suffolk. 

As a global leader in experiential education, data analytics and network science, Northeastern is well-positioned to train individuals and teams to create, manage and lead digital convergence efforts. Suffolk, one of the most innovative companies in the construction industry, has been a pioneer in leveraging streamlined digital workflows, innovation technologies and data analytics to drive continuous improvement in the ways it manages projects and its business. As part of the DATA Initiative, Northeastern and Suffolk will apply their joint strengths to benefit business stakeholders and students, increase the pipeline of data talent for construction and other industries, and expand curriculum programming at the university.

For more information about the DATA Initiative and how to get involved, visit


Add Comment

More from the New England Real Estate Journal