By HiLo Maritime Risk Management | March 27th, 2022
Manit Chander, the CEO of HiLo, spoke at Asia Pacific Maritime on March 16, 2022.
Thank you to the Asia Pacific Maritime conference for hosting HiLo’s CEO to deliver a speech on the power of data to improve safety in the industry.
Manit Chander looks at data in the maritime industry
Manit started his speech by explaining how maritime safety is personal for him. Many years ago, he was involved in a lifeboat accident. He suffered multiple injuries, including having his hand damaged so badly that his wrist was only held on by skin. He had a great deal of shrapnel in his arm.
He asked around with other sailors to discover if this kind of injury was a “freak incident.” His company thought so, but he found out that it was anything but. The same type of accident had happened on many ships over many years, but the information was never shared. There was nothing in place to learn from others’ mistakes.
“Data is the new oil,” is a popular phrase, but it’s also the best way to save maritime lives and assets.
Proactive vs. reactive
He points out that the aviation and medical industries are reactive. Both industries make significant changes only after something has gone wrong.
The good news is that both industries are doing something about it.
Manit points out in his speech that the aviation industry is gathering tons of data now, using analytics to figure out what went wrong and fixing it.
The medical industry is gathering data on incorrect medicine dispensing, as well as many other issues. It’s saving lives.
He points out that there’s a lot of data to be had in most industries, but not enough resources to analyse it all.
The maritime industry struggles
There is a lot of data in the maritime industry. Mountains of data is being produced every day, but there is not enough power on the analysis side to figure out what happened and how to avoid it in the future.
In every shipping company, there are multiple departments, each a “data owner.” Each department is producing a lot of data. Traditionally, with safety, the company looks at their incident management system.
If a company has seen a significant number of failures in a single system onboard a ship that results in a high-impact collision, the company would take action. They would make any physical changes, retrain staff, advise other crews of the problems, and so on.
If the information isn’t being updated or shared, the staff isn’t being trained, or other areas aren’t being handled properly, that data is never entered into the incident management system.
“The reason is that nothing has gone wrong,” Manit said. “Also, this data will never come up in your incident management system because the seafarer has to raise his or her hand and say, ‘Look, I’m not doing my job.’”
This lack of proper care is a major indicator of high-impact events, but it’s not included in the one place it needs to be to be actionable: the incident management system.
Instead, the data is captured in internal audits and inspections.
Another happy problem is that high-impact events are rare. No one company experiences enough high impact incidents for effective analysis, and they wouldn’t want to. This means that no one company has a huge amount of data on how high-impact events are occurring.
The “silver bullet,” as Manit calls it, is putting all the information together from many different shipping companies to create one big picture.
The goal he set for HiLo, and for the entire industry, is to create standardised datasets that are vast enough to encompass all the events, all the precursors, all the flaps of butterfly wings that led up to events across the entire industry, not a single company.
The Decision Support System
A decision support system (DSS) gathers the full spectrum of data. All data has a lot of “noise.” The most important function of the DSS is to get rid of the noise to give room for real insights.
The next step is data analytics.
The final step is to provide very simple, clear directions to the end user to make objective decisions.
An effective DSS in the marine sector needs to include all the internal data collected by the ships. It will include qualitative (substantive information) and quantitative data. This can be paired with the data that is produced internally within the company.
There’s also a lot of data that’s public. It’s available to anyone who wants to subscribe to the services that gather it.
The HiLo solution
HiLo has created a system that takes the internal data from audits, inspections, reporting from departments, and more.
This is all entered into a decision support system that has the singular purpose of helping humans to make better decisions.
What makes HiLo’s system different from everyone else in the world is that HiLo is using internal data from thousands of ships. That data is anonymized, so no one knows who might have had an incident or is experiencing issues.
The HiLo system gathers all of this information, eliminates the noise, prioritizes the biggest concerns, and delivers actionable decision-making data for maritime leaders to use to improve their company’s safety.
Why is this type of system necessary?
All the technology in the world won’t replace the human side of the industry. It will be a long time before any company will take a billion-dollar vessel and allow it to be driven exclusively by a computer. There will always be humans there to make sure everything goes well.
The computer can only deal with the things it’s been taught exist and that it’s been shown how to handle. If something truly novel happens, the AI is unlikely to understand how to deal with it.
Humans can get tired, lose focus, or simply make poor decisions.
By pairing technological objectivity with human expertise, we create an unbeatable team. We can use the strengths of each to improve safety for all.
The HiLo Maritime Risk Management system is perfect for making everyone and everything safer by using massive, cross-company data sets to discover potential areas of concern.
See Manit Chander’s speech at: https://youtu.be/fU8g7FUSmck.