IHS FAIRPLAY

Danish Maritime Days 2016

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8 | October 2016 | Fairplay.IHS.com Why big data is not enough on its own ↘ Most shipping people attend several conferences over the course of a year. Almost everything you hear is predictable: questions rather than answers – in modern parlance, challenges rather than solutions. You can tell when an audience is hearing something extraordinary not only by a heightened level of applause but also by the enthusiasm of the conversations afterwards. This happened at IHS Maritime & Trade's recent Freight Rate Forum. SessionmoderatorPatrickThomson,fromIHS's advancedanalyticsteam,revealedhisinexperiencein therolebydoingwhatfewchairs–letalonespeakers –actuallydo:heansweredthequestionsIhadwritten asguidanceforthepanellists.Thiswasarevelationin itself,butoverthecourseofanhourThomsonandhis threeguestschangedthewayshippingshould approachbigdata,industryinsight,anddecision- making.Itwasrevelatoryenoughtomakemelistento therecordingseveraltimes. InThomson'sowncomments,heshowedhowdata onitsown"leadstoparalysisrather thantoinformedaction";makingsense ofdataandconnectingdisparatepieces ofdatawillenablewhathecalls "actionableinsight".However, decision-makersarestrugglingtobuy intonewformsofinsight,whichiswhy theyfailtoincorporateitintobroader decisions.Traditionally,industryexpertisehasonly madeuseofdatawhenitsupportsanacceptedview, butthat'snolongergoodenough.Thedataisthereto informandchallengethatview,sodecisionsare supportedbyacollaborationofanalyticsandexpertise inequalmeasure. Thomson spoke of the need for a new role, a maritime analytics leader, "combining detailed experience on the quantitative side with detailed expertise on the industry side". Until that role is defined and its responsibilities understood, we will continue to make decisions on the basis that the flaws and discontinuities are routinely ignored, that the paucity of data is unfailingly accepted, and that the research and forecasts we cling to are biased and opinionated. Thisistoughstuff.HoweverHenrietteBrent- Petersen,managingdirectoratDVBBank,wasn't pullingherpunches.Sherecalledbeingconfrontedby aGreekshipownerwhoreadastudysayingthat80% ofresearchdoneinshippingwaswrong.Surely,she countered,thatshouldbe80%oftheresearchhewas presentedwithwaswrong. Agreatdealoftheresearchcurrentlybeingoffered toapunch-drunkmaritimeindustryisathinly disguisedsalesopportunity.Byyourobjectivity,or lackofit,shallyoubeknown!It'snottheroleofthe dataanalystortheindustry-experiencedwriterof marketinsighttotellthecustomerexactlywhatwill happeninacoupleofyears'time."Don'tunder- estimateyourcustomer,"shewarned.Further,we assumeforecastsarecarriedoutinavacuum,butthe actorsarepartoftheprocess.Ifshipownerscallfor researchandbenefitfromthatresearchbyordering ships,shouldtheybesurprisedifthemarketgoesinto free-fallwhenthoseshipsaredelivered? Therateatwhichricherdataandimprovedanalysis 'Data on its own leads to paralysis rather than informed action' 80% of research was wrong, a Greek owner believed. Or was the fault elsewhere? FAIRPLAY Industry insight

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