Big Data ‘Key’ to Maritime Industry

 16 Jun 2015 10.06am

The future competitiveness of the maritime industry will be affected by how rapidly shipping operators take advantage of Big Data, according to Martin Kits van Heyningen, CEO of KVH Industries, Inc., one of the world’s leading suppliers of satellite communications to the maritime industry.

van Heyningen spoke recently at the Maritime CIO Forum at Nor-Shipping in Oslo, addressing technology issues faced by maritime leaders, stating: “Probably the most important thing for maritime managers to do is make Big Data a priority.

“It’s important to adopt a Big Data mindset, even if you don’t think of yourself as a data company. Data is becoming a resource in its own right, and offers incredible possibilities for understanding every aspect of your business better.”

During his presentation, entitled “Turning Big Data into Big Value,” Mr. Kits van Heyningen noted that the maritime industry has been slow to adopt Big Data even though the industry faces many challenges for which data capture and analysis can provide answers – from meeting an increasing number of maritime regulations to improving the fuel efficiency of vessels underway.

“The maritime industry has spent the past 20 years trying to limit the amount of data going on and off vessels, while the rest of the world has been doing the exact opposite in adopting big data,” van Heyningen said.

Computer analysis of Big Data goes far beyond human capacity in providing information that can make a maritime operation more efficient. For example, with real-time analysis of such data as engine monitoring, consumption rates for various fuel types, the fixed running costs of a ship, and weather data, a maritime operation can optimise a voyage for financial performance rather than just time or distance.

“This is not a calculation that can be done by a human, no matter how much experience with a given route the people onboard may have,” concluded Mr. Kits van Heyningen.

The business benefit of utilising Big Data is widely known; a study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) found that data-driven firms perform 5%-6% better each year.

For more information on how Big Data is influencing the port industry, click here

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