Sven (41) is a Business Intelligence consultant and focuses mainly on data science and visualisation. At ALTEN Sven was given the opportunity to build up a relatively new competence: Data Analysis. Furthermore, Sven is a passionate road cyclist and used to be part of the Dutch National Team. Despite being partially paralysed, this has never been an impediment for Sven to reach the top.
Looking ahead and predicting what will happen…
Sven has been working at ALTEN since 2008 and is especially interested in Information Analysis. “The world of BI is very dynamic. At the moment a change in business is taking place. Until recently BI had a more traditional nature which means reporting mainly on historical data, ie. looking back. Today the trend is more about looking ahead and predicting what will happen based on available data. This will enable predictive and even prescriptive data usage. The information coming from the data will tell management what’s going to happen and what they should do.”
Insights and reporting on data science and visualisation
While working on projects for his customers, Sven is responsible for the visualisation of reports. He doesn’t just give insight into the data to support management in their decisions, he also reports on the data itself. What information is there, which reports are there, how many and how often they are used. And the visual design of reporting is important too. Do you use a graph or a table? which colours are best to present the results? etc etc.
The benefits of cycling!
During a conference Sven came into contact with his current client, one of the biggest manufacturers of bicycle parts in the world. Being a professional cyclist for many years this appealed greatly to Sven and meant that there was plenty to talk about from both sides!
Cycling is an important part of Sven’s life. A few years ago, he was advised to exercise more due to RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury) in his left arm. Since he is partially paralysed on his right side and therefore needed optimal functionality on his left side, he had no choice but to choose a sport that would help him exercise more. Sven decided to take up cycling. At first he spent his leisure time cycling casually with good friends. When it turned out that he was talented he was very pleased to see how he measured up against people without a disability.
So Sven had to find out if there was more for him to gain in the field of road cycling and after a test he proved good enough for the ‘amateur class’. Although … during his first amateur race, against well trained cyclists, it proved to be more challenging than he expected. Not wanting to give up, Sven came into contact with the national coach of the para cycling team. He offered to take him on a training weekend and then later to a training camp. This resulted in a spot on the Dutch national team. Sven subsequently went to Canada to compete against the best of the world where he came 9th at the track cycling World Championship!
Constantly looking for opportunities to combine careers
For years, his life revolved around working, training and traveling. In addition to prizes, this way of living was very rewarding. Besides being extremely disciplined, it also appealed to his time management and organisational skills. His employer sponsored him in terms of paid leave, specifically intended for training, to help reach his goal: the Paralympics in London.
“You need to be creative and constantly look for opportunities to successfully combine two professional careers. It has become a big part of my life. I spend my time as best as I can, without having to cut corners. I take the time to hypothesise, experiment and evaluate in the field of Data science.” In the process, he designed a predictive model based on his own training data. It reads and analyses the data, which helps him improve his training for better results. In addition, he continuously develops and updates the training tool called Visualization, that he offers on behalf of ALTEN to colleagues and customers.