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Transforming National Companies (Part 1) by Dmitrii Kovalchuk

Tags: management

A new series on building a data Management program in Kazakhstan


We’re delighted to introduce a new project to you here on Hub Designs Magazine, called DMFS (“Data Management From Scratch”). It’s a long-term story about building a data management program as part of a large-scale business transformation effort launched this year in Kazakhstan, a fast developing post-USSR country.

We’re going to cover that program on a monthly basis. The field reports will allow you to follow the program and explore useful information from practical case studies, applicable approaches and lessons learned.

This program is really ambitious and has many challenges. Companies such as Gartner, Deloitte, EY, McKinsey & Company, PwC and The Boston Consulting Group have been already involved, and the program leaders are planning to form a DAMA International (Data Management Association) chapter in Kazakhstan to help increase the whole country’s data management maturity level. Various data management tools will be implemented to manage fifty companies’s data across a variety of industries.

We hope you’ll stay with us, empathize with us, and grow with us as we share our experiences. We invite your comments and advice for the challenges we face and would love to hear about your experiences related to each of our reports.

Yours sincerely, Dmitrii Kovalchuk

DMFS Field Report #1 – A New Beginning

In this inaugural field report, I’m going to provide some background information about Kazakhstan, the Sovereign Wealth Fund “Samruk-Kazyna” and the Transformation Program that the fund has launched. I’ll also introduce our data management team and tell about our challenges and plans for the short and long term.


According to Wikipedia, Kazakhstan (officially the Republic of Kazakhstan) is a country in Central Asia, which shares borders with Russia, China, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan. Even though it is the ninth largest country in the world, its population is only about 17.5 million people. Kazakhstan is populated by 131 ethnicities, including Kazakhs (who make up 63 percent of the population), Russians, Uzbeks, Ukrainians, Germans, Tatars, and Uyghurs. The Kazakh language is the state language, while Russian has equal official status for all levels of administrative and institutional purposes.


Kazakhstan was the last of the Soviet republics to declare independence following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991; the current President, Nursultan Nazarbayev, has been leader of the country since then.

Nazarbayev unveiled in his 2012 State of the Nation the Kazakhstan 2050 Strategy, a long-term strategy to ensure the future growth of Kazakhstan, and to position Kazakhstan as one of the 30 most developed nations in the world.


The Joint Stock Company Sovereign Wealth Fund “Samruk-Kazyna” was founded in accordance with a decree of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, in order to enhance the competitiveness and sustainability of the national economy and to try to prevent any potential negative impact of changes in the world markets on the economic growth of the country.

The key purpose of Samruk-Kazyna is to manage shares (interests) of national development institutions, national companies, and other legal entities it owns to maximize their long-term value and competitiveness in the world markets. There are 576 subsidiaries and associated companies in the Fund’s group of companies (as of June 30, 2014).


The key objectives of Samruk-Kazyna are:

  • to increase the value of its portfolio companies,
  • to participate in the diversification of national economy of Kazakhstan, and
  • to support regional development and implementation of social projects.

The Transformation Program

To meet Kazakhstan’s ambitious objective – to enter the top 30 developed countries of the world by 2050, and to ensure the required growth in the efficiency of investment and operating activities, Samruk-Kazyna developed a program of large-scale transformation of its activities and those of its 12 portfolio companies:

  • “KazMunayGas” NC
  • “Kazakhstan Electricity Grid Operating Company” JSC
  • “Kazakhtelecom” JSC
  • “Kazpost” JSC
  • “Kazakhstan Engineering” JSC
  • “Air Astana” JSC
  • “Samruk-Energy” JSC
  • “Kazakhstan Temir Zholy” JSC (national transport and logistics operator)
  • “Kazatomprom” JSC NC
  • “United Chemical Company” LLP
  • National Mining Company “Tau-Ken Samruk” JSC
  • “Samruk-Kazyna” Real Estate Fund

The Transformation Program is being implemented in the same fashion as it was implemented by the Sovereign Wealth Funds of Malaysia Кhazanah Nasiоnal Berhad and Temasek, Singapore.

The Program covers three core directions: adding value to the portfolio companies, changing the portfolio structure and approach of Samruk-Kazyna to its investment activities, and redistribution of authority and responsibility in the management system of Samruk-Kazyna and its portfolio companies.

The first results of the Transformation Program are going to be seen in 2017-2018. In general, the first stage of the Transformation Program will be completed before the end of 2018. Then Samruk-Kazyna will launch a process of continuous improvement in all 12 portfolio companies.

Upon completing the active stage of implementing the program activities, improvement of the activity on regular basis will become a corporate standard.

Our Team

The Core Transformation Team (CTT) was created to develop the methodology of the Transformation Program and to support local transformation teams, which have been created in each portfolio company according to the strategy and scope of the program.

CTT acts under the supervision of the Chief Business Transformation Officer. CTT consists of business and IT experts who have strong backgrounds in the following areas: Business Transformation Management, Program and Project Management, Change Management, Communications, Technology and IT Infrastructure Transformation, Data Management, Business Profits Realization, Financial Business Integration, Operations, Logistics, Transpiration, Procurement and Sales, etc.

Let me introduce three of them to you – the data management professionals who are the characters of our DMFS story.

Dmitrii Kovalchuk

Dmitrii Kovalchuk, your correspondent. I’ve been working as a data management consultant for more than ten years and have experience in Data Governance and Stewardship, Data Architecture, Data Development, Master Data Management and Data Quality Management.

In this Transformation Program, I act as the data management team leader and am responsible for enterprise data governance establishment, creating a data management competency center, developing methodology regarding enterprise data architecture, data management processes and supervising data management tools implementation (such as MDM, ECM, BI, DWH, ILM, and so on) by local transformation teams.

In addition to my keen interest in Data Management, spending quality time with my family is an important priority. My interests also include jogging, hiking and paragliding.

Erlan Kadraliyev

Erlan Kadraliyev is an enterprise data architect. He’s in charge of creating methodologies in data architecture using best practices and standards (TOGAF, DMBOK, etc.) and guiding portfolio companies to establishing sound data architecture practices.

Erlan’s previous experience includes projects such as Consolidated Financial Reports, Management Information Systems (including Treasury, Corporate Finance, Risk, Human Resources and Economic Planning reports), and Business Intelligence projects.

Erlan earned a Bachelor and Master of Information Systems from the Kazakh-British Technical University.

Gizat Makhanov

Gizat Makhanov is an enterprise data manager. His responsibilities include adopting and implementing data governance and data management processes, creating methodologies for data governance and data management using best practices and standards, and guiding portfolio companies to establishing effective data management culture.

Gizat previously worked as an IT process manager at Kazakhstan Railways Company to develop and implement IT governance and management processes.

He earned a Bachelor of Computer Information Systems from the University of the Fraser Valley in Abbotsford, BC, Canada. Gizat enjoys programming, mixed martial arts and studying urban street design.

Our Challenges

  • Businesses are not currently interested in managing data efficiently
  • There’s widespread misunderstanding of what data and data management are
  • In general, there’s a low level of data management maturity
  • There are no regional institutions or professional associations to support progress in data management and associated initiatives
  • There are no experienced consulting companies, which could suggest data management services (MDM implementation, data cleansing and so on)
  • No books in Kazakh or Russian about data quality, master data management, data governance and so on. This is a challenge because the majority of people do not speak or read English.
  • Educational programs don’t have the appropriate classes and teachers, and there are no events like Enterprise Data World or the MDM Summit.

Immediate Steps

  • Design a reference model for data management processes using standards, methodologies and best practices
  • Identify the roles required for data management, and identify the KPIs and metrics to measure data management effectiveness
  • Approve the methodology which will be used to design the Enterprise Data Architecture
  • Compare Russian consulting companies that offer MDM implementation services (to create a short list of potential contractors)
  • Establish a DAMA (Data Management Association) Chapter in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan

Next Month’s Report

Our next installment will focus on Enterprise Data Architecture, particularly to find the optimal approach to design and maintain EDA in each company. Stay with us and read about this in the next DMFS Field Report. Click here to read Part 2.

Filed under: Architecture Frameworks, Best Practices, Data Governance, Data Quality, Enterprise Architecture, Master Data Management, MDM, Politics, Strategy Tagged: Best Practices, data governance, data integration, data management, Data Quality, enterprise architecture, featured, Information Management, Master Data Management, MDM, Reference Architecture

This post first appeared on Hub Designs Magazine |, please read the originial post: here

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Transforming National Companies (Part 1) by Dmitrii Kovalchuk


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