Kapernikov’s data governance team is growing

Published on: June 18, 2019

Introducing five new Kapernikov team members.

The success of maintenance digitization projects at large infrastructure companies totally depends on the availability of up-to-date master data. However, more often than not, projects like these lack sufficient information about their technical installations. Kapernikov has been helping asset intensive companies with data management for many years. Recently, the company expanded its data quality & data governance team with five new members, all of whom are deployed at Infrabel, Belgium’s railway infrastructure manager.

Infrabel maintains and modernizes the rail network and controls the trains from its signal cabins. In order to plan and organize its everyday work, Infrabel needs reliable data about all of its assets, including its railway lines, catenaries, switches, signals and crossings. Kapernikov has been helping Infrabel to achieve that goal since 2012. In this article, we introduce five new Kapernikov team members that have helped Infrabel ensure data readiness.

The team takes care of correcting the Infrabel asset data, but it also works at embedding all changes in the Infrabel organization by means of change management. The team offers a complementary mix of people skills, accurate technical know-how, and bilingual communication skills. Let’s get to know them a little better.

Simon Gerretzen, data consultant

Good work organization starts with reliable geographical data. Data consultant Simon Gerretzen is instrumental in improving Infrabel’s data quality. Working in QGIS to view, edit, and analyze geospatial data is the order of the day for Simon.

Simon started at Infrabel in March 2019 and has since found his way in Infrabel’s extensive databases. “Data management is an interesting way to get to know a company from the inside out,” says Simon. “And it’s always interesting to work for such a big company like Infrabel.”

What Simon appreciates most about his job? “The good team vibes, our involvement in the company and the fact that I can learn something new every day.” Kapernikov even inspired Simon to improve his Python programming skills through self-study.

Judith Salo, data consultant

“Analyzing data includes research, working with people and making data valuable as a resource. That combination of technology, communication and organization is quite stimulating,” says Judith.

For Infrabel, Judith verifies and corrects data about materials, as well as geographical data about electrical voltage transformers, isolation and stabilization devices.

The California Gold Rush transformed the “forty-niners”, but also many people after them. It also changed California and the USA. How? In order to deal with problems related to the gold extraction, science and industry came up with new methods and technologies to extract as much gold as possible.

“It is my personal challenge to face problems and to solve them. That is why I was immediately attracted to the catchphrase on the Kapernikov website: ‘Challenge us, we are problem solvers.’ I like to analyze problems and see how we can offer digital and process models solutions to those problems.”

Dean Kamen, an American inventor and businessman, said: “Every once in a while, a new technology, an old problem and a big idea turn to an innovation.” According to Judith, Kapernikov addresses old problems, and tries to solve them with new technology and a big idea. This is how innovation is born.

Every once in a while, a new technology, an old problem and a big idea turn to an innovation.

“The data that we manage for Infrabel contribute to an optimized infrastructure and more effective maintenance. It’s good to know that by managing data, we improve Belgium’s railway service,” says Judith. “We enable Infrabel to detect and solve issues in time in order to prevent further problems. As such, we contribute to the punctuality of our Belgian railways.”

“Infrabel’s traditional company culture is completely different compared to the young, dynamic, and self-organizing atmosphere at Kapernikov, but that does not prevent us from enthusiastically working together and contributing to a smarter and more effective railway.”

Razvan Bouros, ETL developer

Programming is Razvan Bouros’ bread and butter. For Infrabel, Razvan developed a tool to make it much easier for people at Infrabel to look for information.

“Sometimes, employees need to look at three different databases at the same time to find information. In order to let them search more efficiently, I developed a dedicated software interface that makes differences between databases more visible and automates part of the search work.”

Razvan recently demoed his search tool at Infrabel, with good results. But before launching it across Infrabel, the tool will need to be tested in depth and extra features will have to be added.

Also, when Razvan is not at Infrabel, he is in front of a computer screen: “I am currently developing a game as a side project, and I am also trying to further increase my C++, C# and Python skills.”

I am currently developing a game as a side project.

Sophie Vincken, change management consultant

In contrast to her Kapernikov colleagues, who are mostly technical experts, Sophie Vincken is more focused on the human side of work. Sophie is an expert in coaching and in transitions.

“Infrabel is currently in the middle of a change process towards more digitization. I am supporting that process.”

Sophie joined Kapernikov in February 2019 on a freelance basis, and she had already worked with our company on other projects. “I like the open communication at Kapernikov. You can always say what you think and you have a lot of flexibility in your work. I like the fact that I am learning new things all the time, as well as the variety in my work.”

Jean Claude Shyirambere, GIS

Data has always been part of Jean Claude Shyirambere’s experience, be it in his work as a teacher, or during his time at the Belgian Ministry of Environment. But it was probably never as relevant as with Kapernikov.

Jean Claude joined Kapernikov in March 2019. “During my job search, I got intrigued by Kapernikov and by the work they are doing. Now, I’m glad I was finally selected as data manager for Infrabel.”

Jean Claude is responsible for maintaining data quality, deploying data cleaning campaigns, data correction, and much more. “Kapernikov is a very dynamic company, but what I especially appreciate is the flat management structure. Our superiors are really advisors. And you are allowed to develop yourself through training.”

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