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Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Three Months with NSR!

Last week marked my third month with NSR and since the maritime market report I have been working on is now available for purchase, I thought I would take the time to discuss what I have learned during my time here.

Three months with any given company is often called the "probationary period". It is the time where a new employee is trained, and evaluated, for their role within a company. More than just skill, an employee must show an ability to adapt, recover from mistakes, and fit in with the rest of the team.

My time with NSR has been very fantastic, I must say. Early on, I was partnered with a senior analyst and together we have worked on the maritime market report. He has been both incredibly helpful and very understanding. While he has done this exact same report numerous times, this was a first for me, and I had many questions. Additionally, with my move to France, my life has been less predictable than usual, but through it all, the NSR team has been very understanding.

I have been happy to find that not only do I fit in well with the team, and the responsibilities expected of me, but I excel. Considering much of my work involves spreadsheets, this pun, as always, was fully intended. So what have I been doing?

When last I updated you, I was working on the addressable market, on understanding the potential customer base for satellite communication (satcom) services in the maritime sector both now and forecasted ahead 10 years. I finished this, breaking the data down into market segments, regions of the world, and accounting for trends and developments in the industry. I even added a new section, further analyzing the difference between the river and ocean cruise markets, and accounted for decommissioned ships in a new, and I believe, more comprehensive manner than seen in previous reports.

With guidance from the senior analyst on this report, I made modifications, accounted for variables I had not known of before, changed my style to fit NSR's, and created several pages of the report discussing the trends, drivers, and results of this addressable market forecast.

This was a very rewarding part for me. After months of study, I had finally created something, delivered content. I had been working very hard on understanding the market, its niches, its drivers and constraints, but it felt great to generate something solid. This is always the way; lots of thinking, followed by a rushed amount of doing.

Afterward, I brought my information together with the forecast model the senior analyst had been working on. Saying there was an incredible amount of data is an understatement. I have a fairly powerful personal computer and yet it took time to update the model each time changes were made.

This reflects the satellite industry as a whole; tiny variables in one region or market segment influence and are influenced by many other factors in other segments and regions. A new terrestrial service for ferries may change how radio frequencies are distributed in an area, and this may change the pricing for satcom in that region, putting pressure on other regions and other segments throughout the forecast. It is a very complicated system, but it must be, as it must account for changes big and small across the entire forecast.

Halfway through the process, I laughed to myself. I remembered science fiction stories like Back to the Future and Star Trek Voyager's "Year in Hell" two-part episode where characters make changes in the timeline which ripple out into the future. In the Voyager episode, a character deals with an incredible number of variables, and changing one completely changes the future in numerous ways. Market forecasting can be exactly like that! When I realized the connection, I laughed, thinking that somehow I had made market forecasting sound very cool. 

The last month has been a lot of detailed back and forth between myself, the senior analyst, and others in the company. The work has been analysed by the rest of the team, and their concerns and questions have been addressed. This has given me a much better understanding of the industry as I've had to know exactly what has driven or produced a certain value, and I must have supporting evidence in order to justify it. Thankfully, I enjoy this part, and have grown quite good at researching over the last decade or so.

Then, edits edits edits. Changing it from the rough model we had made to the polished NSR report was easy, but time-consuming especially as new information came into play.

The maritime report is now available for purchase. (Look, I'm even quoted in the press release!) It provides an extensive breakdown into the prices, drivers, constraints, capacity demand, trends, developments, and revenues of the maritime satcom industry for the next 10 years, and separates this information by market segment (merchant, passenger, offshore, and fishing) and region of the world (North America, Asia, Europe, and so on).

The report may not particularly interest my usual readership (few are in the maritime business, and fewer have the resources to consider purchasing such a report), but I am proud to finish and present this product to those who may benefit from it.

I have already been tasked with my next project, Earth Observation, and I look forward to working on this with the same enthusiasm and drive as I always exhibit, learning more and more about the industry along the way. 

Thanks for reading! When next I update you, it'll likely be about my recent adventures in France!

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