Automatic Identification Systems (AIS) data provides benefits to many types of businesses, from maritime and shipping to commodity trading and investment analysis. While there are several options for AIS tracking data for most applications, here are 6 simple steps to determine the best solution for your needs.
1 – Understand What You Are Buying
Learning the basics will help you to qualify your need when preparing to buy AIS tracking data and comparing different offerings. Here are some fundamentals to help get you started.
2 – Decide Exactly Why You Need It
It is important to get clear on what exactly you’ll be doing with the data and keep in mind potential future uses. What gets the job done today may not be sufficient for tomorrow, so it can help to choose a provider that offers a broader functionality than you need at this moment.
3 – Create a Budget
You may not require a budget but if you do, this may be a good time to think about it. After getting clear on how you’ll be using AIS, and how important you think it is to your business, this can be a good time to think about what you’d be willing to spend.
4 – Conduct Preliminary Research on Providers
Create a pros and cons list of all the companies you view as potential providers. One quick differentiator is the two types of AIS data providers: direct providers of satellite AIS tracking, and resellers of data.
When it comes to the pros and cons of these two providers: direct data providers generally provide value because you’re closer to the data source and insight into the product roadmap, while resellers of data can provide add-on value, such as packaging the data for specific industry audiences or providing specialized APIs.
5 – Make Contact, Ask Questions, and Set Up a Trial
When you’ve narrowed your list down to three or four companies, set up a trial. This is an important step in your research as it will allow you to see if the data meets your needs quickly. They’ll ask you a lot of questions and tend to steer the conversation, so you’ll want to make sure you cover the topics you know are important.
6 – Hold Meetings and Make Your Decision as a Team
Take time to review your findings with all shareholders who have a stake in this solution. Share your notes and talk about the pros and cons.
Choosing the right AIS data solution and provider is important and Spire’s Buyer’s Guide may provide more useful insights into Vessel Tracking and AIS data in choosing the right service provider for you.