Tue Sep 15 2020

Xpert Insights: How Jelle became an Analytics Translator

From entrepreneurial activities as a student to being an IT business analyst and now one of our analytics translators at Xomnia, there is one common denominator in the journey of Jelle Stienen and that’s uncovering challenges, and finding the real underlying issues that can be solved.

I'm used to taking opportunities when they arise, especially when there's a lot to learn.

Jelle, next to his study in business, worked as an IT assistant, where he connected users' questions to IT problems. There, he knew he would continue pursuing a career in technology.

"Getting to the heart of the matter and coming up with solutions truly sparked my interest in this field."

During his studies, Jelle was involved in a range of entrepreneurial activities. These ranged from organising dance parties and festivals, to running a self-service solar panel company for a year. During his entrepreneurial ventures, he noticed that starting from scratch with a team and collectively bringing together multiple components in a way that works made him tick.

"I enjoy the process of creating. Doing things for the first time, putting in the work, and making it a success gives me a lot of energy."

After graduating, Jelle applied for an IT management traineeship, got a position as an IT business analyst, and completed a one-year program, his main focus and interest was in  bridging the gap between business needs and technology.

"Doing a program with intense weekly training and coaching while finding my way in a corporate environment helped me grow and develop my skill set. Being able to tackle any questions or uncertainties you have right on the spot is something, I think, everyone would benefit from greatly in their first (full-time) job."

As an IT business analyst, the projects that involved an analytics as well as a data component were the most interesting. This is still the case for him.

"What really attracts me in data is that when you use it to enforce your decision making, you are not solely acting upon a hunch but have a solid ground to base your decisions on. When you start using data to let it inform you, it changes the way you operate completely throughout all business processes."

Jelle joined us a year ago as an Analytics Translator, where he can utilise his passion for translating business needs to data solutions for clients.

"To work at the forefront of Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning while being surrounded by like-minded people and with lots of fun and learning really drew me towards Xomnia."

He hit the ground running by working on a long-term fraud detection project for the Municipality of Amsterdam. After the project, he took on a new role as project lead for an international client. Currently, Jelle and his team are working on setting up a complete robust and scalable data infrastructure in Amazon Web Services with data ingestion, scheduling and transformations on the data. They have used tools like Apache Airflow and Spark. On top of that, they are working closely with the business and internal technical teams of the client where they implement  multiple machine learning models for fraud detection and advanced product mapping.

"I like to dive into an organisation that is entirely new for me, uncover the challenges they face, and find the real underlying issues that can be solved with data. It is motivating to see how quickly you can create a clear view and deliver results that matter, even in complex, political or bureaucratic organisations and domains."

In addition to consultancy, Jelle assists the marketing team of Xomnia and works as a trainer in Xomnia’s Junior Development Program and the Xomnia Academy giving dashboarding training.

"At Xomnia, everything is possible, and no career path is set in stone. If you are motivated and willing to do the work, there is always room to shift and grow. Xomnia is the perfect place if you’re eager to learn. I learn something new every day from my peers. From learning new technologies and tools to tasting wine and cooking. It all came together at Xomnia."

His advice: Knowledge is always subordinate to motivation and personality. Don't let the lack of knowledge get in your way of trying.