Founder at 7wData
Yves is a Data strategist, specialised in Data Integration. He has a wide focus on business performance and is a domain expert in Data Management. Yves helps companies build their vision, strategy and roadmap to data Walhalla. Yves is recognised as a top10 influencer in Bigdata, AI, Cloud and digital transformation and brings all his knowledge on emerging technologies and capabilities into the game on both client side and on B2B marketing strategy for Data Brands.
How did you get to become an expert in your key topics?
I graduated as a chemical engineer and worked in production plants. I taught myself to program back in the day which actually came from another passion. I like to DJ and I have a huge vinyl record collection which I needed to keep track of. I’m a child of the Commodore 64 and I taught myself to create a listing for my record collection in there. However very soon my record collection didn’t fit in one listing so it had to be three listings, which meant I couldn’t sort everything in one go. So I taught myself FoxPro and from FoxPro I moved onto SQL Server and that is when I got into the data space.
I was doing lots of data integration and learning how build data warehouses. It was frustrating because it took so much effort to integrate the data. So, I explored how to become a bigger expert in analysis and learnt the techniques you need for that to discuss it with the business and visualize everything. The challenge was trying to find out what can help me go faster with less effort.
What topic areas are you most passionate about?
Data management is a big part of everything I do. Artificial intelligence is also a passion, I’m really interested in self learning mechanisms that support what we are doing. In a very broad way, I am also very passionate in creating a better way of working and a better way of life, including our planet and the environment. all those help topics. Within that there is also politics. I’m a citizen, and I’m very frustrated by the services I’m getting, so I’m looking into how we can help governments to become better in their services to us, so our lives will improve.
Which influencers influence you within those key topics?
Outside of key topics, who else influences you?
I don’t have anybody really on top of mind that really inspires me, it goes from week to week or month to month. Just recently I stumbled on a Belgian guy called Michael Humblet, who is talking about a new way of selling that includes the influencer side of things. People like that inspire me as they get it right and communicate it well. That can be somebody in the sales, but can also be somebody talking about mental spirit as well that can help make me a better person.
How would you describe your offline influence?
I have been networking for years, it’s has become a kind of habit for me. If I see somebody that has something interesting to say I’ll reach out and start a conversation. That has enabled me to talk to several CEOs. People also approach me to discuss the challenges they are facing at a business level. I’ve been networking on a virtual and physical level. If I’m at a conference, I meet up with people that I know from online conversations and try to build that relationship.
Consulting with clients is another one. I’m trying to get away from the traditional consultancy nine to five type of jobs. I have a broad network around me with agencies, and that’s my safety net. That’s something I’m teaching people as well is to build that safety net. If I need to I can call up 100 agencies and I know I will have a job within a month. So that’s something that goes along with the networking.
If a brand wanted to work with you, which activities would you be most interested in collaborating on?
I’m always interested in talking to people to exchange ideas and I really like video interviews and podcasts where we are just Informally chatting. There’s so much valuable information that comes out of this type of content, and it’s easy to repurpose. I mostly want to talk to customers of the brands as well as the experts, because they know the challenges and can explain to me how they solved those challenges.
What’s your best source of information for getting ahead of a story?
Google is always a very good friend, I just type in keywords and the top ranked articles on the first page already gave me some good information. So if I’m looking for something around artificial intelligence, I can find very on topic content related to artificial intelligence, and find the domains that host the most relevant content.
What brands have you worked with?
I’m currently working with Huawei, Siemens, SAP, Oracle, IBM to name a few.
Which non-paid activities would you be keen to take part in if the opportunity raised your profile or delivered value to your audience?
Engagements such as providing a quote for content is something I’m open to. Sometimes I will take part in a podcast if I’m helping somebody I know to start out and launch their podcast. I will try to build these engagements with a brand and I often say, it can’t be a one off, it needs to be on a longer term basis. If I’m working with a brand and I see some of their articles, I will retweet them and give them some extra visibility. I see that as part of the relationship building. I believe more in a longer term relationship where you start to know the people. That’s the kind of relationship I have with IBM, Belgium. I’ve been to their conference in San Francisco and I know a lot of the tech experts in Belgium. I know the CTO personally. So, you start creating that personal relationship with good people and that’s something we, as influencers, need to build on, and that’s something that some brands still need to learn.
What are your passions outside of work?
I’m very passionate about music. I still have in mind writing an article on the digital transformation that the music industry went through. When I was a DJ I it used to take me sometimes three months to find a unique record, and then I was the only one that had that special record. Now you can open up Spotify and have everything so you need to be creative in a different way. As well with the artists, their business model has changed, so everything around that has changed. So for me, it’s a big example of being disrupted as an industry. Music for me is still a big passion because it’s something that connects people, a bit like how data connects people as well. That’s what I’m trying to bring to people, if you can get that type of energy we get from festivals and concerts into how we work, then everybody is happy and producing good quality work. We need to change the world so that work becomes a fun experience rather than something we have to do to pay the bills at the end of the month.
What would be the best way for a brand to contact you?