Case study - A marine geospatial information provider


The context

Our client is recognised globally as one of the most authoritative global sources of marine geospatial information. Their core services support global shipping - a large and stable market that, with our client's leadership, had successfully transitioned to the use of digital marine geospatial information over the last decade.

Having built a global repository of marine geospatial information, our client wanted to support a wider range of customers within the maritime sector and help them face today's challenges with better information about their environment and the activities taking place within it.

Maritime information products can be rapidly created for specific customer groups if the right information types are held in the right format.

Whilst many customer groups appear to share common needs for certain information types, each group can use that information in different ways, and they place a different emphasis on how it should be delivered to support their requirements.

Fish farms and wind farms both need information on the weather but they each need different levels of detail to support operational decision making.

Finding a way to simplify and understand this complexity is critical to being able to serve and support multiple markets cost effectively.

Client objectives

To find new product opportunities for their marine geospatial information

The market intelligence problem

There are few existing sources of intelligence on marine geospatial information needs across all maritime sectors and sub-sectors.

There are many different marine geospatial data types and organisations that gather this. Significant innovations, such as satellite observation and autonomous vessels are reducing the costs of the data and increasing the quality and coverage.

The challenge was to identify the different marine geospatial data types, and to map the end-to-end value chain from the different primary marine data generators through the different aggregators to the end users be they the public or business.  This was necessary to be able to identify all of the significant businesses and user groups and to understand the value of the data to the users.

The Marketvista Dataset and Research

The Marketvista Dataset and Research was delivered to directors and senior managers in product development, innovation and marketing.  The data was delivered in different formats: as a database, and also as an Microsoft Excel-based decision support tool. The key findings and conclusions were summarised in a report and executive level presentation.

The intelligence we delivered:

  • Confirmed the existence and sizes of new markets
  • Identified potential new product opportunities for their existing marine information which could be developed as "quick wins"
  • Prioritised the creation or gathering of new geospatial source information on these wider markets to support long-term growth
  • Identified an optimal range of maritime geospatial information products that could reach the widest groups of new customers as fast as possible

Overcoming the market intelligence problem

Foundation dataset

A foundation of data was extracted from the extensive and detailed data we have gathered on the marine and maritime sectors. Built from thousands of sources giving intelligence on:

  • ports, vessels, vessel operators and their suppliers
  • maritime safety organisations, international bodies, government departments , defense, universities and research laboratories
  • coastal, offshore and leisure based industries

Primary research

Primary research was needed to add additional detail to existing Marketvista Datasets and to validate specific information needs.

Depth interviews with users and potential buyers from the five largest markets were conducted to determine the importance of marine geospatial information to them and their organisation. Each interview was done by telephone and lasted approximately 30 minutes.

We identified 100s of potential interviewees as part of the systematic research we continuously conduct to create and maintain Marketvista Datasets, capturing their contact details as part of our data-mining process.

Adding further detail

Information had to be gathered from automated scraping and classification of thousands of websites of users and competitors and the products and information needs they described.

Profiling and classifying the key players

The number and types of organisation were so varied that extensive manual assessments had to be undertaken to identify the key profiles of those that were relevant and of interest.

The Marketvista Dataset

The Marketvista Dataset clearly identified new product opportunities for the client's marine geospatial information and went even further.


Defined and sized the current markets in each maritime sector and the main sub-sectors within them.

Customer needs

Distinct customer groups within each market and their information requirements and service needs showing any commonality in requirements.


Existing providers of competing information products including the information products they offered, the types of marine information within those products, other information domains they offered such as terrestrial or meteorological information, the geographic extent of their offer, their commercial propositions and indicators of their competitive strength.

Channels to market

Details on each competitor’s established channels to market and the functionality of any online delivery portals they offered.

Primary marine data producers

Publishers of original marine geospatial information who could be potential sources of intelligence for new products.

Value chains

Value chain maps showing how marine geospatial information flowed from creation to final use and where value was added, and by whom, for each customer group.


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