Key research to support digital business performance

Research by Digital Frontier Partners staff


Five Schools of thought reflect shipping executives’ current thinking on critical maritime issues

Acting purely on the ‘average’ perspective will likely disenchant some critical stakeholders. Instead, decision-makers should surface the various schools of thought and take a consensus action based on the different priorities. A pool of maritime experts was asked sort a list of important maritime issues into five piles based on their level of agreement. This forced them to identify their priorities, which rating systems don’t. This analysis published in the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) newsletter identifies five schools of thought.

Assessing digital responsibility in a digital-first world: Revisiting the U-commerce framework

Over 20 years ago, the U-commerce framework was introduced. This article shows that the four U concepts continue to drive the development of information technology to meet our four fundamental information drives: ubiquity (e.g., Starlink), uniqueness (e.g., global legal identifier), unison (e.g., cloud computing), and universality (e.g., Google translate).

Urban resilience through cognitive computing systems

Global urbanization and heat-related fatalities are rapidly increasing, while the full potential of advanced information technologies to mitigate urban heat has not yet been used by city planners and policymakers. Cognitive computing systems (CCSs), which mimic human information processing and reasoning abilities, can transform how cities strategize and operate.

How digital twins can help navigate supply chain disruption

This World Economic Forum blog advocates that the shipping industry’s ability to act cohesively can be enhanced with a high-fidelity digital model of the maritime sector. Such a digital twin would be continually recalibrated using dynamic, real-time flows of automatic identification system (AIS) data (AIS data comes from automatic tracking systems on ships) and other data.

Collaboration – an indispensable capability in the digital age

This UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) newsletter introduces a framework for analysing the four combinations of ecosystem turbulence and levels of interdependencies. It is supported by examples from the shipping industry, though the framework is applicable for all companies operating in an integrated ecosystem.

Digitized knowledge-based literature reviewing: A tutorial on coding causal and process models as graphs

This article describes a method for digitizing knowledge as a graph to support causal. knowledge analytics.

Extending the Foresight of Phillip Ein-Dor: Causal Knowledge Analytics

Much of human knowledge is based on causal explanations (e.g., advertising → revenue) and the mental models we create to make sense of reality. Business success requires skills in understanding cause and effect and predicting the impact of interventions. This article introduces a method for creating a graph database of digitised causal knowledge. It identifies five types of causal analytics.


Successful Collaboration by Managing Dependencies in the Shipping Ecosystem

Successful collaboration requires managing dependencies. This UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) article reports on three fundamental forms of dependencies: sequential, pooled, and reciprocal. Complexity arises when (1) sequential chains are long, (2) pooled projects rely on many partners to deliver on budget, on time, and to specified functionality, and (3) partners in a reciprocal project fail to collaborate closely and continually. Complexity is further increased because many projects are hybrids of all three dependencies.

Does (Customer Data) Size Matter? Generating Valuable Customer Insights with Less Customer Relationship Risk

Customer surveillance practices risk damaging customer relationships by potentially activating privacy and data security concerns. This research explores customer insight strategies that focus customer surveillance by assessing the insight value of data sources to avoid unnecessary data collection and capture.

A theory of Information Compression: When judgments are costly

Information compression occurs when a process intended to inform decision making generates information that has little variation. This can reduce decision quality and market efficiency. Information compression is observed in decision making in medicine, energy pricing, auditing, and financial analytics. Many common rating systems exhibit information compression, and thus are not useful for discriminating among options, such as with restaurants.

The Handbook of Information Systems and the Environment

Leading academics report on applying information systems to reduce carbon emissions, raise energy efficiency, and mitigate the effects of global climate change.

Capital Asymmetry: A Lens For Strategic Analysis (Working Paper available on request)

Generals seek to create a battlefield asymmetry that gives them a strategic advantage. Similarly, organisational leaders can establish a capital asymmetry to create a competitive advantage. This article traces the emergence of various forms of capital asymmetry in the automotive industry that have had or are having a profound effect on market share. The analysis covers Ford to BYD.

Regulating Connected Vehicles in Cities: Lessons From Free-Floating E-Scooters (Working Paper available on request)

Connected vehicles, such as e-scooters, can change the regulatory framework because they can be tracked in real-time and controlled remotely. Regulators can dynamically change, for example, permissible usage zones and maximum speeds. The regulation of e-scooters in several US and European cities is analysed.

How Experts in Shipping Perceive the Mid-Term Future – Three Schools of Thought

Recent disruptions have shaped key shipping industry observers’ views and expectations for the next three years. Three schools of thought have emerged, with decarbonization being a primary concern, followed by sustainability and maritime informatics concerns.

Knowledge Monopolies and the Innovation Divide: A Governance Perspective

The rise of digital platforms creates knowledge monopolies that threaten innovation. Their power derives from the imposition of data obligations and persistent coupling on platform participation and their usurpation of the rights to data created by other participants to facilitate information asymmetries. Knowledge monopolies can use machine learning to develop competitive insights unavailable to other platform participants.

Rick Watson

Research Director

Digital Frontier Partners

Regents Professor & J. Rex Fuqua

Distinguished Chair for Internet Strategy

Emeritus, University of Georgia


Comments and conversations are welcome.