Indexer, equation control and programme management
What does the profession of indexer involve?
At Jouy-en-Josas, the Genetic Information Processing Centre (CTIG in French) receives millions of new pieces of information every year. If the indexation is genomic these indications concerning pedigree, performance or genotyping enrich the indices for the evaluated animals using the base’s powerful computers. These are managed by men and women whose task is to run and monitor this constantly moving information chain, a sort of perpetual motion clock for the genetic status of the livestock.
The indexers, who have a programme manager profile rather than that of a time-keeper, drive programmes capable of processing millions of items of data. It is, in fact, the machine that ingests and digests this information, which is updated every year. These processing ranges, launched by a click on the mouse, can last for several hours. “In a routine situation we process big data, we don't see the animals dealt with individually. This may well be for later, when we enter the validation phase and anomalies may appear in some precise cases”, explained Aurelia Baur, responsible for indexation in the same department. Of course, indexers must ensure that the information is consistent.
How do you become an indexer?
The indexers who work for Allice have graduated from an engineering school and joined Allice after a genomics course on QTL detection.
ANFEIA (Association Nationale de Formation pour l'Elevage et l'Insémination Animale - National Training Association for Farming and Animal Insemination) also offers French genomic indexation training for technicians working in breeding schemes, breed technicians and insemination technicians. The aim of this training is to understand and learn about recent developments in genomic selection and to make it possible to anticipate indexation changes.