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Quality counts: a guide to getting optimal data for compliance, efficiency and performance

Portrait of Jacob Clausen, Director of Performance for NAVTOR
You have to build your insights and improvements upon a solid foundation. Ensuring data quality, integrity, and consistency is of utmost importance, says Jacob Clausen, Performance Director at NAVTOR.

With the advent of CII, the upcoming EU Emissions Trading System (ETS), and the challenge of remaining competitive in an ever more complex, demanding maritime industry, harnessing the power of data has never been so crucial. But, argues Jacob Clausen, Performance Director, NAVTOR, to unlock the true potential of data you need to ensure it’s of the utmost quality. Fail to do that, and your business could pay a heavy price...

The maritime industry has never been so accountable. And it needs to be.

To have any chance of meeting our most ambitious climate goals we must collect, manage and utilise vessel and fleet performance data with transparency – ensuring compliance and securing the future; for our businesses, as well as the environment.

But you can only manage what you can measure. And if those measurements (namely, the data) aren’t high quality then you can wave goodbye to effective management.

That’s why data quality and integrity is absolutely fundamental to our individual and collective progress as an industry. With the optimal quality you can unlock the best actionable insights, leading to the most transformative operational and business improvements.

With poor quality data, well… your decision making will be of an equal standard. And nobody wants that.

From commitment to control

Let’s start with the challenges.

CII ratings are now a reality, with every vessel measured on a scale of A to E. C is the target, with a failure to achieve that leading to implications for your vessel’s Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP), its asset value, your reputation and access to customers, financing, and much more. In addition to the current reporting requirements, such as EU MRV and UK MRV, the regulatory landscape is constantly evolving leading to new demands, such as the EU Emission Trading Scheme (carbon tax), expected to come into force next year.

And on top of this are your individual business interests, with (no doubt) ambitions to trim OPEX, reduce fuel consumption and emissions, satisfy charter party agreements, and ensure the best services and results for all stakeholders.

Achieving all these aims takes a commitment which goes far beyond mere ‘box ticking’. Companies need advanced performance monitoring, management and optimisation solutions for their fleets if they are to have any hope of achieving the sense of awareness and control needed to prosper today, and tomorrow.

So, robust data collection of key reports – such as noon reports; capturing a vessel’s complete operation, including specific performance areas – is essential. The greater the automation of this process, with prefilled fields to reduce administration and sidestep human error, the better.

But this is really just the start of the process, not the end.

Building on solid foundations

Once you have the data it’s time to ensure its quality, integrity and consistency. Remember the data is the foundation you’ll be building any insights and improvements upon – so get it wrong and everything that follows could be crooked.

Firstly, data should be validated at the point of entry – as its submitted/typed in. This will ensure corrections are made at the point of entry and you don’t have to filter out incorrect data (potentially losing valuable information/insights), or delay actions to address sub-optimal operation.

However, most systems utilise simple, if not rather basic, machine validations, and I’d argue that that is insufficient for such absolutely business-critical information.

That’s why I’d recommend a dual validation process.

For example, at NAVTOR we offer services whereby data (manually submitted or automated) isn’t just checked by specialist software, but also by teams of subject matter experts, ensuring that any reporting errors or instrument calibrations are immediately rectifie


This elevates basic monitoring and data collection to a new level. Not only do you get accurate data, but you also access the means (and expert advice) to achieve actionable insights and kick start a process of driving continual improvements – for vessels and across entire fleets.

Plotting the path forwards

So, rather than ticking those regulatory boxes, you can calculate the best hull cleaning intervals to unlock optimal performance, conduct engine performance analysis and address potential faults, benchmark vessels, and get the data you need for all CII correction factors and adjustments.

You can also determine the consequences of what will happen if you don’t act, weighing up any potential impact of intervention against eventual operational outcomes.

With the best quality data, you can begin a journey where you know you’re heading in the right direction; understanding not just vessel performance, but how to refine results with adjustments to, for example, speed, idling times and vessel utilisation, and the best ways to meaningfully drive down emissions and realise powerful business benefits.

Easy does it

At face value, the demands and complexities inherent in today’s operating environment are immense, but with the right approach – and especially one with a high degree of integration and automation – owners and operators can turn challenge into opportunity. And with the right solution, that can be a comparatively ‘simple’ process.

But remember, first and foremost, quality counts.

You, your business, your stakeholders, and society itself deserve the very best results, and that’s only possible with the very best data.

This can be the foundation we build our industry’s decarbonisation upon.

Let’s make it as solid as possible.


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