Managing copious amounts of data has become critical to a company’s success. Today, we address emergent themes in data centralization and suggest how you can apply best practices.
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Where’s my data coming from?
Data collection and reporting are a couple of the many tasks that are required by a ship’s crew on a daily basis. We have heard of some instances where vessels have to send noon report data in five different formats to the same number of stakeholders — owners, charterers, technical management company, weather routing company and performance management software/company.
Not only does the above approach frustrate and overwhelm crews, it also presents a number of administrative challenges on shore. Have you ever tried to reconcile data between the various sources? How do you know it’s consistent? What if there are mistakes and changes are required? How do you manage it all?
Ship owners have long been aware of these challenges and some are finally addressing it via data centralization. In this case, data centralization means single source reporting at the vessel, then automatically pushing this data to internal or third-party systems.
Centralizing your data can be a daunting task but it’s not as hard as you may think and the long-term benefits are significant. Below are some of the key benefits of data centralization:
All stakeholders in an organization rely on vessels to send reports that satisfy their unique requirements (e.g., commercial, operations, technical). In some cases, information contained in these separate reports overlap. Why not rely on a single report?
Agreeing on a standard reporting framework that cuts across the organization ensures you have one source of data that can then be accessed in a single repository. This removes the need to reconcile among various sources and also encourages greater collaboration across your organization.
As mentioned previously, vessels are more often than not required to fill out multiple reports in a day. Adding to the complexity, some owners need to hire additional resources on shore to collate, analyze and validate data coming from these various reports. This practice is inefficient and time consuming, to say the least.
Deploying a solution that captures all requisite report data in a single format and ensuring there are systems and processes in place to disseminate data to internal/external systems save time (and money) for everyone. This can also have immeasurable benefits on morale.
Increases confidence in decision-making
Data is central to making confident and effective decisions. How do you know that you have the most up-to date, reliable data from which you are making your decisions?
Centralizing your data ensures that all stakeholders are looking at and relying on the same source of information to drive decisions. This is particularly useful when there’s a lot of cross-department collaboration.
In our experience, when you layer data validations and quality analytics on top of a central database, companies are able to focus on high-impact decisions, not the minutiae of data collection and cleansing.
Tres has supported several of its forward thinking clients with data centralization by integrating with complimentary third-party reporting platforms. This consolidation of ship-based data in TVA has streamlined data collection, dissemination and analysis.
There are a handful of forward thinking companies that have begun the push to centralize data. The improvement in data quality and insights has been immediate. They are now able to make faster, more informed decisions. Crews are also happier!