Following the launch of Windward API Insights Lab, which offers the insights customers want directly into their existing workflows, we sat down with Ori Adijes. As a star architect and the leader of Windward’s Application Group, he was critical to the success of this project. During this interview, he offers a behind-the-scenes look at how Insights Lab was conceived and designed. Ori sheds light on why Windward felt this offering was so critical for customers, explains technical decisions that were made, and details how this new insights-as-a-service approach will help organizations “find the needle in the haystack.”
Q1: What has your role been in helping to develop Windward API Insights Lab?
Ori: I was responsible for the migration and figuring out how to expose the API to customers. As part of the architectural planning, I decided which parts needed to be implemented. My role is like assembling a puzzle, our team built each part and then got them to fit together as a cohesive whole.
Q2: What drove the need for this new offering, Windward API Insights Lab?
A: Many Windward users prefer their own user interfaces (UIs) and do not want to toggle between screens. They don’t want their employees working with multiple software platforms at the same time. It’s easier and more convenient to obtain all the benefits of Windward’s Maritime AITM solutions, integrated with their organizations’ software. The requests for insights-as-a-service were multiplying, and we always strive to satisfy our customers and meet their demands.
Q3: Why is Windward incorporating GraphQL technology? What are its advantages over other types of API technology?
A: GraphQL makes it simpler for users to request what they want. Once we understood that customers wanted our APIs, we just had to figure out the best way to expose them and offer greater flexibility, instead of developing ad hoc solutions for every client. This significantly shortened time to market. It depends on the data complexity, but integration can happen in just a few hours.
With GraphQL, the user can specify everything he or she wants, without multiple requests. There’s a simplicity that empowers users to “play” with the API. You develop an API, it is automatically documented, and you can experiment with it. The APIs are strongly typed, which prevents errors by showing type details and blocking incorrect type choices.
Q4: Why can’t maritime ecosystem players just build their own APIs?
A: They could try, but it can be time-consuming and take key personnel away from their core IT and business activities. Also, Windward has found that our customers and potential customers want actionable, refined insights from industry experts and AI technology, as opposed to a sea of raw data.
Q5: What are the differences between raw data and actual insights? What role does AI play?
A: Simple data is something that anyone can provide or export. Organizations can buy it from a vendor or take it from a public source. The data is almost infinite in the maritime world. Every vessel produces endless amounts of information (properties and characteristics) and it’s easy to get lost in this sea of data.
Insights are much more sophisticated than raw data and require a lot of experience to provide real value. We’re talking about static data vs. talented and experienced data scientists training innovative artificial intelligence (AI) models to understand the risk of each vessel, company, area, etc. using knowledge and data points accumulated around the globe for over a decade. It’s a world of difference. And the end result is much more actionable.
Q6: What are the major technology benefits of using Windward API Insights Lab?
A: The main advantage is the simplicity of integrating this API. Organizations can now quickly integrate Windward solutions into their own product and specify the insights they want. They will reduce “noise” by eliminating insights that are irrelevant to their needs. This enabler will speed the process and ensure users are notified about the things they care about in real-time. It will be like finding the proverbial needle in the haystack, over and over again.
And with one platform, there is no need to toggle back and forth between screens or train employees on another system.
Q7: In terms of receiving the insights, is this a “push” or “pull” method?
A: Both. Users can choose whether they want to proactively search for insights (“pull”), or automatically receive them as “push” notifications (webhooks). It’s all about making things as comfortable and convenient as possible for our customers, freeing them up to concentrate on their core tasks.
With this caliber of architects and data scientists on our team, you can imagine the quality of our insights. Get the most advanced Maritime AI™ models, built by the best maritime experts. For more information on Windward API Insights Lab, click here.