December 4, 2019

ELECTRI International commissioned and funded a pioneering research project, Improving RFI Efficiency and Insights through a Common Data Exchange (CDX), to identify how a Common Data Exchange can help electrical contractors improve efficiency and reduce risk when sharing Request For Information (RFI) data with their client’s project management (PM) system — whether that client be the general contractor (GC) or project owner.

This research was conducted for the electrical construction industry by SpectrumAEC. The researcher, Nathan Wood, reported that project owners, general contractors, architects, engineers, and specialty trade contractors produce over $15.8 Billion in combined waste every year due to inadequate interoperability. His work details how Electrical Contractors can reduce overhead and risk related to project Request For Information (RFI) data by taking advantage of Open API capabilities between integration stakeholders.

This report is presented in four sections:

  • Digest combines industry research data, ELECTRI survey results, and subject matter expert (SME) interviews to bring consensus on why change is necessary to capture the full potential of the digital age.
  • Debate examines five “shared pains” as identified through the survey responses and SME interviews.
  • Decide focuses on the critical questions that must be answered at both the corporate and project level to define how success is measured. This produces the new baseline metrics and standard data fields necessary to unlock the future potential of machine learning and predictive analytics…and justify its cost.
  • Deliver introduces the CDX Playbook — a visual communication tool used by integration stakeholders to define specific data exchange requirements. After highlighting several key opportunities for RFI interoperability using the CDX Playbook as a reference, this section concludes with a walk-through of the three-step process of CDX Validation.

CDX itself is not a software, per se, but rather a framework for communicating integration requirements between project delivery stakeholders. As a result of this project, contractors now have access to the report’s Common Data Exchange (CDX) playbook that defines RFI interoperability standards and validates the capabilities of each company’s technology “stack”.


The full report is now available at