Trends: Revit, ArchiCAD, Microstation, BIM
The Google Trends tool can provide an interesting insight into the changes and constants in user search patterns. I have plugged in three of the main BIM solutions (that come to mind) to see the results:
What useful information can we gather from this graph?
While most of what we can extrapolate from this graph is subjective; it is fairly coarse, there are no numerical values associated with the y-axis (search volume); we can see a steady increase in the number of people searching for Revit. The other two solutions have been established in the industry for some time before Revit entered the market, and we see a fairly consistent search volume, with a slight decline for Microstation.
What do Search Volumes Mean?
A user may search for â€˜I donâ€™t like Revitâ€™ or â€˜ArchiCAD is broken, help!â€™ Both of these searches would (assumingly) be added to the search volumes for Revit and ArchiCAD respectively. Another user may just type in â€˜Microstationâ€™, because s/he has no idea what it is. So what we are really measuring here is the amount of â€˜Interestâ€™ in information whether it is positive, negative or indifferent.
A recent article (found from the trend search above) stated that users prefer the Bentley BIM approach to Revit.
How can this be so, if â€˜interestâ€™ in it, according to Trends, is declining? One theory is that a company with strong set standards and systems in place, has probably been using the software for a significant time period, and probably has already established a list of information sources and is less likely to use a Search Engine. Also, the â€˜Microstationâ€™ search would not take into account other packages in the Bentley suite, however plugging, say â€˜Bentley Architectureâ€™ into Trends seems to produce no results. The term â€˜Bentleyâ€™ contains irrelevant data, as it is associated with information not pertaining to BIM software packages.
People who are on a quest for information about Revit, as it is relatively new, may intrinsically also search for ArchiCAD and BIM.
Whatâ€™s certain is the increased interest in BIM in general. It almost seems to incline parallel with Revit, with a significant spike in late 2007. Perhaps this is because a big player such as Autodesk has certain influences to be able to set the common association of a term (BIM) to a certain product.
Subjectively and personally, the increased â€˜interestâ€™ in Revit means more content, community and readily available help, further affirming our company decision to take on the software.
What do you think?