Kjald vd Schaaf KxA
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KXA Data Solutions saw Big Data become commonplace

Effectiveness is the product of quality and acceptance. That's what KXA stands for. The company is a specialist in Big Data Management software. What that means? KXA's experts help customers improve their production process by using knowledge from data. KXA also develops software, the engine block, for data-driven Smart Factories. In doing so, they play a central role in NOM's Region of Smart Factories.

"The two of us started out," says Kjeld van der Schaaf, owner of KXA. "That was twelve years ago, still under a different company name. Everything was different then, little was known about big data. We spent a lot of time explaining it over and over again. And technically there was very little available."

Meanwhile, the field has taken off. "The pioneering is completely off. It's nice to see how fast that development has gone. We even notice that people now sometimes have too high expectations. They think big data can solve everything, but we are not that far yet."

Empathize with the customer
No matter how technical your field, you always need people. Van der Schaaf: "When we started, we had a mission to build sensors and gain insights that elude you as humans. But it's always people who have to do the analysis, with the help of the computer.

That is why empathy with the customer and his or her question or goal is so terribly important. It is a technical analysis, but to benefit from it, it must be read properly. The A of KXA stands for acceptance for a reason; everything has to connect with the customer."

Major players
And those customers are spread throughout the Netherlands. With a team of ten, KXA works from Visvliet on their software. "In the past, customers often only came knocking when a problem was identified, now it's often when a new product is introduced or when management plans to take a different path. However diverse they are, the clients are almost always relatively large players. After all, a pathway is costly and a company only benefits greatly when it operates on a large scale."

'The Region of Smart Factories is a remarkably close-knit club'

KXA Data Solutions plays a central role in NOM's Region of Smart Factories. "It's a consortium. We try to act together, under the coordination of the NOM. It's a remarkably close club, which is nice to see. Actually, you only know after a first project whether you can cooperate with another party, but within the Region we already know each other." KXA took a big leap in the development of Smart Factories by founding Drys. A sales company for a system called Historian; it stores and processes data from production lines. And so KXA Data Solutions is playing a central role as an architect of software systems, on the way to the factory of the future.