Seaports Magazine - Fall 2015 - (Page 8)

» FROM THE PRESIDENT'S DESK Data, Data, Everywhere By Kurt J. Nagle President & CEO American Association of Port Authorities "Water, water, every where, And all the boards did shrink; Water, water, every where, Nor any drop to drink." - Samuel Coleridge, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner T his famous line from this famous poem talks literally about water - sailors stranded in the midst of a seemingly endless sea, yet parched from thirst. The irony is pronounced and painful. While the stakes are not life or death, many organizations can identify with the Ancient Mariner when it comes to data. It's everywhere they look, and yet, they can't figure out how it can meet their needs. Sometimes, there's just too much of it to make sense, sometimes there's something about it that makes it unusable, and sometimes the data they are looking for is obscured by all the data that's irrelevant. This struggle certainly rings true for AAPA. We have a great deal of information at our fingertips - about and from AAPA members, maritime industry partners, service providers, relevant government agencies and economists - but it can be challenging to figure out how to most effectively use it sometimes. But we are persevering, mixing quantitative and qualitative data from a variety of sources to inform our decision-making and guide our strategic plan implementation so we can continue to meet the needs of the hemispheric seaport industry and serve as the unified and collective voice of the seaport industry in the Americas. Seaports magazine this month explores the relationship between ports and data in its many forms and uses. While ports have always been focused on the efficiency of their operations, working 8 AAPA SEAPORTS MAGAZINE to ensure that they are using their resources and making investments for the maximum benefit of the communities and customers they serve, there is increasing pressure on ports to measure and report information that pertains to terminal production and on-time performance. Stakeholders can have differing opinions regarding which data sets to use, and some entities want all ports to measure and report on efficiency in the same way so terminals can be compared. Sharing data among organizations can be challenging as well. In and around ports, information - like equipment - is often owned by a number of different entities. There must be a high level of trust and a shared common purpose for meaningful third-party data sharing to occur. The goal for both individual ports and the industry as a whole is to optimize the supply chain, and measuring productivity appropriately through data sharing could be a significant driver towards that end. Washington, D.C., certainly seems to think so, and port productivity has been a hot topic this year for the U.S. members of AAPA. While the legislative process has had ups and downs for ports, AAPA has capitalized on the attention Congress and federal agencies are paying to ports to emphasize the need for infrastructure investments on both the landside and waterside to enhance efficiencies. But data related to port productivity is not the only kind of information ports use or encounter. Ports are using environmental metrics to measure progress and highlight achievements with outside stakeholders. Whether air- or water-related, environmental data can be a powerful storytelling tool for ports with their communities, legislators and regulators. Many ports are sharing this - and other information - visually, taking advantage of sophisticated graphic designers to produce high-quality infographics. Being able to convey information through graphics, photos and maps is beneficial in reaching audiences across a wide array of platforms, including digital and social media. I hope the information in this issue of Seaports inspires and assists you and your organization as you tackle the challenges and seize the opportunities that data presents our industry. ● While the legislative process has had ups and downs for ports, AAPA has capitalized on the attention Congress and federal agencies are paying to ports to emphasize the need for infrastructure investments on both the land and waterside to enhance efficiencies.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Seaports Magazine - Fall 2015

AAPA Headquarters
From the President's Desk
Big Data, Big Possibilities
Greenlight on Green Metrics
An Eye on Data
Trusting Third-Party Data
Data in Latin America
Washington Zeroes in on Port Performance
Improving and Expanding Our Nation's Seaports
Navigating the Waves of Transportation Data
Big, Bad Big Data
Data Strategies to Avoid Trouble Ahead, Trouble Behind
Leveraging Regional Freight Data to Improve Port Connectivity and Boost Trade

Seaports Magazine - Fall 2015

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