Big Data: Top 5 Priorities for the Maritime Industry

Image: Shipbuilder

Posted by Eric Haun

Many maritime organizations are already working with "Big Data"
or are preparing to start working with it as part of the
so-called digital transformation. Dutch ICT company Shipbuilder
presents its top five priorities for the uptake of big data in
the maritime sector.

1. Set a goal

It sounds so logical but often organizations don't define a goal
when they start working with big data. This makes it impossible
to determine whether the outcome is successful. Set a clear goal.
Decide for example to specify, design, build and maintain ships
'right the first time'. This makes it easier to follow a clear
path to your goal, because you make every decision based on
whether it brings you closer to the goal. Big data can be a great
help when following the 'right the first time' principle. How
that works is explained below.

2. Let the computer rock!

You think you're working with single documents? Wrong! You're
already working with big data, and so are your colleagues,
suppliers, clients etcetera. A lot of information is placed into
specification overviews, drawings, calculations and planning
files. There is one small issue, but it can be fixed easily. That
information is put in the wrong place, in the exact place a
computer can't do anything smart with it. Think about Word, a
PDF, an email or Excel. But then where should this information
go? Ask everyone involved in the project to use a smart data
management tool to insert data. Doing so helps you in the
following ways. First of all you now have the data in a place
where the computer really can rock. And secondly, this way you
can truly leverage the data. Data management tools are made to
intelligently connect data, so a computer can really add value
here. Let the computer rock!

3. Want success? Work with data in real time

It is not unheard of to have 20 different maritime organizations
around the globe all involved in the same project. Sharing
documents via email simply isn't going to cut it. Why not, you
might ask. How do you know the drawings and specs you received
yesterday via email are still relevant? Perhaps your colleague
has changed things in the meantime, and before you know you're
working with old data which opens the door to lots of trouble. An
inbox simply isn't a reliable data management tool, so you really
shouldn't use it as such anymore! Choose a data management tool
that analyses and applies algorithms real time, so you can
improve the way you work. Shipbuilder allows you to work with
data in real time. If a drawing changes you see that change
across the world in real time. This is a tremendous improvement
in terms of data reliability. Connectivity is a necessity!

4. Visualize big data

Just like a bunch of emails and single documents big data can be
a mess. Ships and offshore constructions really are complex sets
of data. This is why it is advised to present big data in a way
people understand best: visually. Shipbuilder uses virtual
reality (VR) to visualize data in full 3D. It's a piece of cake
now to study a ship's compartment in 3D, with access to real time
data relevant to this specific compartment. Besides this,
dashboards are a tried-and-tested method to successfully use big
data. A dashboard can show you all relevant information, such as
project progress, budget, parts that have been used etcetera.
Dashboards offer endless possibilities. They make projects easier
to oversee and offer all the data needed in real time. Choosing a
data management tool that includes virtual reality and dashboards
is a no-brainer.

5. Invest in the first steps!

Let's give it a go then! But where to start? Shipbuilder's advice
to clients is to first change your mindset. Stop working with
single documents, and start working with connected data. Of
course this is not an easy process to start, and everybody can
use some help with the digital transformation. A workshop with
maritime IT experts help you kick-start the process. They will
eventually help you plan the next step; working with an
intelligent data management tool. From our experience we know
input from experts is crucial when you start working with big
data. Shipbuilder has years of experience in guiding
organizations when they start working with the online Shipbuilder
data management tool. Our goal: making "right-the-first-time" a
reality for every maritime organization.

Feb 21, 2017

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