Abstract imagery of data in waves to illustrate data management plan for maritime

Remotely Control Your Onboard Data Management Plan and Optimise Data Usage

13/7/23 | 4 minute read

Data has become the lifeblood of many industries, and maritime is no different. From vessel performance monitoring to crew welfare and safety, the collection and analysis of data plays a crucial role in optimising operations. However, with vessels often operating in remote locations, and limited connectivity options, managing data uploads and controlling data usage poses significant challenges.

To overcome these hurdles and ensure seamless data transmission, a well-structured data management plan is essential. In this article, we will delve into the importance of data management plans in the maritime industry and provide actionable tips for effective data control, bandwidth and usage management.

1. Understanding the Significance of Data Management Plans:


Managing vessel data is very important to ensure connectivity is available for all sorts of comms – including business-critical communications with the shoreside and other vessels, as well as data for crew to access onboard for welfare and safety purposes. In the maritime industry, where vessels operate in diverse environments and face connectivity limitations, a data management plan becomes a critical tool for optimising data transfer and controlling costs.

By establishing guidelines and best practices for data usage, organisations can enhance operational efficiency, improve decision-making, and ensure compliance with relevant regulations.

2. Optimising Data Transfer:

Maritime vessel leaving the docks on an overcast day with cranes in the background

Efficient data transfer is vital for maintaining real-time communication, enabling remote monitoring, and supporting data-driven decision-making. To control remote onboard data uploads, consider implementing the following strategies:

a. Prioritise Data: Identify the critical data that requires real-time or frequent transmission and prioritise its transfer. This approach helps reduce unnecessary data usage and optimise bandwidth allocation.

b. Compression Techniques: Utilise data compression techniques to minimise the size of transmitted data without compromising essential information. Compressed data requires less bandwidth and facilitates faster uploads.

c. Data Synchronisation: Implement automated data synchronisation processes to ensure consistent and accurate data uploads when connectivity is available. This approach reduces the risk of data loss and improves data reliability.

Managing Data Usage:

Person using a laptop in the dark with data management software on screen 

Controlling data usage is crucial for cost management, maintaining data for critical communications and preventing excessive data consumption. Consider the following strategies to effectively manage data usage:

  • a. Bandwidth Monitoring: Employ robust monitoring tools to track data consumption and identify areas of high usage. By analysing patterns, you can implement measures to minimise data consumption and allocate resources more efficiently.

  • b. Data Caps and Alerts: Set data caps and configure real-time alerts to notify users when they approach or exceed predefined data limits. This empowers crew members to make informed decisions regarding data usage and encourages responsible consumption.

  • c. Crew Training and Awareness: Conduct training sessions to educate the crew about the importance of data management and the impact of data usage on operational costs. Foster a culture of responsible data usage to ensure collective efforts in managing data effectively.

3. Implementing a Data Management Plan:

 Image of woman on phone and laptop with overlay of visualisation of data

Developing a robust data management plan requires careful consideration of the unique needs and challenges faced by your organisation or vessel. Here are some essential steps to follow:

  • a. Assess Current Data Practices: Evaluate existing data collection, storage, and transmission processes. Identify areas of improvement and understand the specific requirements of your organisation.

  • b. Establish Clear Objectives: Define your data management goals, whether it's optimising data transfer, reducing costs, enhancing data security, or meeting regulatory compliance. Establish specific objectives to guide the development of your plan.

  • c. Design Policies and Procedures: Create policies and procedures that outline data collection, storage, transmission, access control, and data backup protocols. Ensure these policies align with industry standards and regulations.

  • d. Regular Evaluation and Improvement: Continuously monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of your data management plan. Incorporate feedback from stakeholders and make necessary adjustments to optimise your data management processes.


Aerial photo of cargo ship in the sea with another smaller maritime vessel next to it

In the maritime industry, where remote onboard data uploads and data usage management are critical, implementing a well-designed data management plan is essential. By prioritising data, optimising data transfer, and controlling usage, organisations can enhance operational efficiency, reduce costs, and improve decision-making capabilities.

Embracing robust data management practices ensures seamless data transmission, empowers crew with access to data for comms with the shoreside and ensures operational and critical comms always has bandwidth should a problem arise. Software to support bandwidth management is empowering the maritime industry to thrive in an increasingly data-driven world.

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