From Data Noose to Data Intelligence

Image courtesy Shipbuilder

Published Sep 10, 2018 6:17 PM by Geert Schouten

Maritime newbuild projects, conversions and maintenance projects have at least one thing in common: millions are lost in search for the right information. About 30 percent of all work within maritime projects consist of unnecessary searching, searching and more searching for data. The right data. This of course has a cause and luckily there is also a solution.

First of all the cause. I visit many maritime companies that have heard of digital transformation, but are unable to give it any real interpretation. For most of them it remains a big cloud. Some companies do want to go further and start searching for software. They go to work diligently with often large, expensive software packages that seem to be a safe choice. However, these parties have little to no affinity with the maritime sector, while at the same time, the software is being used for highly complex newbuild projects, conversions and maintenance projects. In short: a recipe for disaster. It is often clear on shop floor that it should be different, but how?

Google: Data-waste

Even a search in Google, one of the largest data companies in the world, yields a huge data-waste. Information that is of no use to you. What strikes me is that large data processing software companies copy this search system one-on-one. It's often searching for a needle in a haystack. All maritime companies have a gigantic database. For many this data is placed in Word, Excel, PDF and other non-suitable data processors. Searching for the right data is then a needlessly complex activity and how can you know for certain that your Word document is the latest version?

Real maritime digital transformation

One search to get the data you need immediately. That's what you want! And the solution is so simple: let the computer rock! What could be better than a program with which all - often linked - data is directly available, in real time per project? And a program with a wealth of basic information pre-programmed for complex maritime projects? And a program in which all explicit and implicit knowledge is retained for the future?

At the beginning of my career I wondered exactly the same and programmed the solution.

Geert Schouten is director at Shipbuilder.

The opinions expressed herein are the author's and not necessarily those of The Maritime Executive.