From Shell, BP, Exxon Mobil, Chevron Texaco, Total Fina Elf and ConocoPhillips to Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft. In the 20th century we were talking about oil giants. Today we convert to the internet ones as data are becoming the god of now; the oil of the digital era, The Economist writes. But, why are data growing in importance? Data accessibility and transparence has a lot to offer as it shows up as a major source of revenues. Indeed, according to IDC’s Digital Universe update, in 2025 the world is expected to create 180 zettabytes of data up from less than 10 zettabytes in 2015. Subsequently, big data market is estimated to top $92 billion; a 307.8% increase over the $22.61 billion that the market was worth in 2015. To this effect, data seem to run the world without closing the door to the shipping industry!
Big Data, Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning for some may be unknown, however they exist for some decades now! The rifest of data trends, IoT and AI, enable an exchange of data never available before, bringing deeper insights into analytics to users. When it comes to maritime, data may stand ship-operators in a good stead in numerous ways, such as:
• Develop vessel support network and improve operating safety levels
• Optimize both operations and energy management
• Decrease environmental impact
• Better manage the company’s performance by accessing KPI’s, graphs, reports
• Understand current & future maritime challenges
Specifically, in the maritime sphere, the three salient points of data-use are; on-board data collection, analysis and performance evaluation. In other words, vessels collect data and send them to their company’s offices for analysis in order to result in performance evaluation. Eventually, shipping industry demands improvement by many performance measures such as safety; efficiency; environment; economy and automation. Τhe EU MRV data collection system may serve as an example of the data “route” explained above evaluating vessels emission performance. Particularly, the EU MRV dataset reports data such as the actual cargo carried onboard, fuel consumed, or CO2 emitted; calculates them and then gets verification approval by an accredited verifier. EU plans to make these data publicly accessible. Therefore, it goes without saying that data are being created in a such exponential rate and even the maritime industry calls for them.
However, where’s the value in something that exists everywhere? In fact, data should not be thought of as a product in display. Maybe the tow of a ubiquitous unit that worth capitalization is a better approach. That’s why big data is a top business priority and drives enormous opportunity for business success. Big volumes of data can be sorted into different datasets with the help of big data. As mentioned above AI and machine learning can facilitate data.
Undoubtedly, we are moving towards a data dominated shipping and it’s happening in an increasingly frequent manner. In the future we are expecting energy sharable data and by the time unmanned vessels be a reality, data will be the key for examining the performance of autonomy as well. Thus, it’s all about future ship intelligence. Smart use of data is going to drive the next generation of ships heavily dependent on large volume of data.