Data as Infrastructure

When you want to understand the fundamentals of developing a Data Infrastructure

The world’s oceans, seas and coastal zones host a growing number of overlapping and at times competing uses and activities, including commercial, recreational, cultural, energy, scientific, conservation, defence and security interests. Associated with all these uses and activities is a myriad of data and information.

Businesses are relying more and more on data and information but fundamental data management expertise is often lacking

For most businesses, the data and information they hold is one of their most important assets. Why then does the attention and governance applied to data and information often fall short of that applied to other parts of their business, such as health, safety, environment and quality (HSEQ).

Getting a handle on your data and information means treating it with the importance and respect it deserves, and can bring many benefits, such as efficiency gains, risk reduction and adding value to the bottom line. In order to do this requires policies, procedures, and information systems and architectures to be established, in short it requires the development of an information or data infrastructure.

What is Data Infrastructure?

A data infrastructure is not just an IT function. To explain it fully, data Infrastructure is a term used to describe the collection of technologies, policies and institutional arrangements that facilitate the availability and access to data and information. Where this data includes a spatial or geographical reference, which is the case with most data – everything happens somewhere – then it is often referred to as a spatial data infrastructure or SDI (GSDI Association) and where there is a marine or maritime component then a Marine SDI (MSDI).

Did you know SDI and MSDI can be described succinctly in terms of the ‘Four Pillars of MSDI‘?

Data infrastructures can operate at many levels, within departments, across an enterprise, nationally, regionally and globally. In ALL cases, the underlying principles of good data management apply equally. These principles break down barriers between systems and people, so that ALL users where authorised can access the data they need, where and how they need it.

Big data, machine learning, artificial intelligence and ‘smart’ working ALL rely on a foundation of sound data management principles.

Want to know more (download or request a hard copy of our white paper).

OceanWise has trained hundreds of marine and maritime professional all over the world in the science and art of good data management, to organisations individually and via IMarEST and the IHO’s Capacity Building Programme and the IOC’s OceanTeacher.

Furthermore, all our products and services – and the training courses that support them – help our customers implement good data management practices and expertise that form essential building blocks in them developing a data infrastructure with all the resulting benefits.

If you want to know more about data infrastructure at any level and how it can help you whatever the type and size of your organisation, then please contact us. We would be pleased to hear about your challenges and ambitions and discuss how we can help, without commitment of course.

Many of the organisations we help start their data infrastructures by a data champion attending an OceanWise training course or implementing one of OceanWise’s products and services. This then spreads throughout the organisation, as other departments and personnel see the benefits that are realised. See examples here.

Our world-class tutors provide training courses and mentoring programmes for public and private sector organisations all over the world, including national hydrographic offices, central and government institutions, energy and shipping companies.

If you would like a without commitment discussion on data management, have any questions on MSDI or data management, or would like help planning the best way forward then please do contact us.