Sponsor Spotlight Column: Stan Christiaens of Collibra on Data Governance

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edw2013-sponsor-spotlightby Charles Roe

In an effort to leverage the knowledge of several of the top minds in the Data Management industry, DATAVERSITY™ has been conducting a series of interviews on some of the most relevant topics in the field today. Recently, we interviewed Collibra the designers of Business Semantics Glossary, a web-based collaborative workspace, where both business and technical users define and manage their business context.

Collibra is a Gold Sponsor at the Enterprise Data World 2013 Conference in San Diego, CA from April 28-May 2, 2013.

The Sponsor Spotlight Column (and its parallel venture the Speaker Spotlight Column) is an ongoing project that focuses on highlighting several of the central issues represented at the many Data Management conferences produced by DATAVERSITY.

The primary emphasis of the interview was to question Stan Christiaens and Collibra on their current work and history within the industry, with particular importance on the products and/or services being highlighted at the upcoming conference:

DATAVERSITY (DV): Please tell us a little about yourself and your history in the industry e.g role at company (as opposed to job title), past experience and how you got started in the data profession?

Collibra: I am Stan Christiaens, one of the founders of Collibra, the data governance software company. We started Collibra as a spinoff mid 2008 from STARLab at the Free University of Brussels. I am originally trained as an engineer and relational databases were one of the subjects at that time. I continued in Artificial Intelligence where data came back in different forms (knowledge representation, logic programming, machine learning, etc.). Part of the motivation of starting Collibra was the realization that data was extremely valuable, but poorly treated.

DV: What’s the focus of the work do you currently do within your organization?

Collibra: I am currently focused on pre- and post sales activities with the occasional involvement in product management and marketing. At Collibra, we know what Data Governance means and how you can make it practical. So a lot of my time is spent out in the trenches: talking to prospects, customers and partners. I won’t stop that until the fog has cleared on the category of Data Governance.

DV: What is the biggest change going on in your particular area of the industry at this time?

Collibra: We see a macro-shift: from processes to data. The realization that data is important is growing, and we see a lot of people in stages of “doing” Data Governance, as opposed to the “preparing” in the previous years. Although regulation has its effects, the strongest driver is still the added business value. Organizations seem to realize that they cannot survive in the data age if they consider data as an afterthought.

DV: How does such a change affect your job?

Collibra: It makes it a busy job :-).

DV: What will you be highlighting or showcasing at EDW? Are you planning any product releases or announcements this year at Enterprise Data World?

Collibra: I’ll talk about the very exciting new release of our Data Governance platform. The audience will learn how to make Data Governance and stewardship practical and sustainable through examples from our early adopters.

DV: How has your job, and/or the work you’re doing at your organization, changed in the past 12 months?  How do you expect it to change in the next 1-2 years?

Collibra: Ever busier.

DV: More broadly speaking, what do you believe is the most significant change happening in Enterprise Data at this time?

Collibra: The shift to business control over data.

DV: How is Big Data going to affect your job (in your organization) in future?

Collibra: The hype will follow its course, as they always do. When organizations mature out of their big data experimental phase, they’ll need Data Governance to gain structural value from Big Data. You’ve guessed it: it will make my job more busier.

DV: What is something noteworthy about yourself that you would like to tell the conference attendees and our readers that they may not know?

Collibra: I enjoy reading comic books and graphic novels.


If you are interested in more information about sponsors and exhibitors at EDW2013 see the full listing at: http://edw2013.dataversity.net/sponsors.cfm

About Enterprise Data World:

Enterprise Data World is the business world’s most comprehensive educational event about data and information management. Over five days, EDW presents a diverse schedule of programming that addresses every level of proficiency, including keynotes, workshops, tutorials, case studies, and discussions.

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