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Laurent Dresse

Laurent Dresse

Data Governance Evangelist & Director of Professional Services at DataGalaxy

Laurent is a seasoned professional and expert with a proven track record of successful implementation of Data Governance related projects across the world. Laurent is skilled in data management, data governance, data quality and master data management with additional capabilities such as analytical skills, coaching, customer relationship, and people management (on site or offshore).

Laurent has a strong consulting background with Prince 2 Practitioner certification and has been focused on pragmatic project management around data management. He is the perfect middleman between IT and business when it comes to federating efforts and developing a unified view of your data landscape.

In addition, his passion for food as president of a cooking club brings additional common denominators with many people.

What attracted you to data management or IT, and why did you choose to pursue this career?

In fact, I started my professional life as a hotel front office manager. I’ve always been interested in IT and decided to jump into that world by being a support engineer in a call center. From there I positioned myself as a project manager bridging the gap between IT and business. Later in my career, I had a one-time opportunity to manage an MDM program. This was my first step into the data management world. I strongly believe in opportunities in guiding your career choices.

What has been your greatest career accomplishment so far, and why has it been important to your career?

I want first to talk about failures. To me, these are the best learning opportunities. I once managed a big, transverse, MDM program driven … by IT. Guess what, it was a hard time in delivery (budget, scope, planning issues all along the line).

This was the biggest lesson for me and the foundation of future successes.

It is essential to always have all the parties involved from day one.

It made my current career successful, and I’ve proudly implemented 30+ clients’ data catalogues in two years at DataGalaxy.

What are the two or three biggest challenges you face as a data management professional / CDO and how can we address them?

There are so many but if I had to pick three, I would say:

  1. Lack of Sponsorship: I often see executive management having a vision and strategy on data management but lacking commitment to make it an enterprise-wide program with secured budget and resources.
  2. Expecting a short-term ROI: I hate getting asked the $ ROI of a Data Governance initiative. There is none to little immediate ROI. Do you calculate the ROI of your house’s concrete foundation? Nope. This is needed to build a strong house.
  3. Chasm between IT and Business: too often I see IT being in the lead of Data Governance then passing it to the business … who’s not interested. Data Governance is a business owned responsibility with support of IT.

Bonus: having no use case or identified business/operational pains when implementing data governance. How could you define the added value to the organization if you don’t know its challenges?  You can’t.

How do you see data management / the role of the CDO / IT changing in thenext 2 – 3 years?

I see artificial intelligence supporting the automation of non-added value activities in data management. Human intervention should be positioned where operational knowledge and expertise can be valued.
With more and more cloud-based and self-service solutions, the data centricity will become more and more part of people’s day to day life.

We already see concepts such as Data Mesh which allows domain driven data architecture, same will go with business use (BI, massive datasets …)

Last but not least, and I’m looking for my own interest, data catalogs will also be part of people’s productivity tools. They will know how to trace data, get their definition and transformation since you can google anything today.

Do you have any planned next steps for your career?

I want to further develop my social brand and presence and keep on sharing expertise and help communities to get acquainted with data management.

In addition, I want to spend couple of years abroad to gain another level of experience and be confronted with different cultures.

As I’m part of a startup, there is still a lot to do to develop the business and our capabilities in the Data Catalog and Data Governance world!

What is the single best piece of advice you have received in your data management / IT career so far?  Why has it been so important to you?

For many years I’ve been following a very simple piece of advice from my father “Be Intentional, Be Humble and above it all, Be Respectful”. And this is for me the only way to build a long-term trusting relationships with clients, suppliers, peers, and people in general. We are all equal and we all make mistakes!

Can you share something about yourself as a person that people wouldn’t know about you?

I own a cooking club in Belgium. Best way to relax after a long week. And by the way, food is a universal language!

If you have any questions about this interview, or if we can be of any service, please do not hesitate to contact us

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