Managing and analysing data is a skillset that is still emerging within maritime, despite the industry generating vast amounts of data from different sources every day, with even short voyages producing billions of data points. Knowing how to use that information to identify efficiencies or improve performance is still beyond the capabilities of most organisations. This results in businesses sitting on a gold mine of information that could make a real difference to their operations, without the ability to make these benefits a reality.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Through intelligent, software-based solutions, we can untangle this complex web and generate tangible and actionable insights—and ultimately create the foundation for a wider cultural shift towards data-driven decision making within shipping.

Realising the true value of the data that your organisation collects opens the door to decision-making that combines traditional principles grounded in behavioural science, human expertise and intuition, with real-time, data‑driven insight.

Much has been written about the principles of decision-making over the years, and whilst these pillars haven’t necessarily changed, the tools that we can use to power up decision-making are changing at pace.

Navigating an evolving regulatory landscape, mounting fuel costs and complex people management are very real challenges for ship managers, owners and operators today. Shipping has survived—even thrived—on manual processes and procedures for more than a century. But data‑based decision‑making now gives the sector and its players the ability to chart compliant, efficient, and responsible futures for their fleet based on the full picture, spanning vessel, sea, and supply chain. Organisations can also create feedback loops by sharing and exporting data to other tools that simulate potential future scenarios. Crews can learn from past experiences and apply that knowledge to make better, more informed decisions in the future.

On a purely theoretical level, decision-making is based on the following steps:

  • Identify your purpose and goal
  • Gather all the relevant information
  • Consider the consequences, impacts and pros and cons
  • Make the decision
  • Review/evaluate your decision

But life isn’t always experienced in perfect order, and whilst these principles provide guidance, data-based decision-making must augment every step of the process to reduce the considerable time and capital investments associated with making choices during the day to day of ship operations.

In simple terms, today’s software solutions provide insights into multiple aspects of your organisation that can be used to make better-informed decisions. The volume, depth and quality of the data that these software solutions collate helps you to weigh up consequences and set a clear path for implementation.

This enables the user to make informed decisions rapidly, accountably, and in full alignment with business objectives.