Meet Philippe, Datavillage's Tech Lead

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Datavillage Jul 28, 2021
Philippe Duchesne Datavillage

Can you please introduce yourself and tell us more about your background ?

My name is Philippe Duchesne and I have degrees in software engineering and cognitive sciences. Over the past 20 years of professional experience, I have been involved mostly in geospatial interoperability, web standards related to open linked data, and machine learning, both in applied research and industrial solutions.

What is your role at Datavillage ?

My role, as technical lead at Datavillage, is to supervise the architecture of the software product line, stay aware of existing and emerging technologies, and use the right mix of these to ensure that said architecture is both coherent, and prepared for the advent of the new data ecosystem.

Give us your predictions, what do you think technology will be in the next 10 years and what are the challenges of today ?

As far as my domain of expertise goes, I think the decentralization of web and data architectures will continue its course. Decentralization in this case is not only about storage, it is about the whole lifecycle of data, including enrichment, filtering, cross-referencing and mining. Each of these facets of the data flow are likely to be performed by different, decoupled actors; in this context, decentralization means also a chain of smaller actors interacting on standardized data chunks. This happens for technical reasons (performance and scalability), but also, increasingly, for political and societal reasons when it comes to personal data: reduce the dependency on a few siloed major organisations that concentrate the control on large amounts of data, and thereby give back control to users, all the while opening a new ecosystem where smaller actors are more likely to emerge with niche added value.

Why have you chosen to work with Datavillage ?

The paradigm shift and the ensuing new ecosystem described above is - to me - both heavily disrupting and desirable. It is a bet on a certain vision of what should be the web of personal data, that implies a lot of work ahead to make it happen, exciting challenges and potential new use cases to explore. Datavillage has made that bet, and I’m glad to be part of it.

According to you, what is the number one challenge of digitized organizations today ?

The ongoing decentralization of data storage means that a lot of organizations that provide data-related services can see these services be augmented or improved by the adjunction of data sources that are increasingly external to said organizations. Furthermore, when it comes to personalized services, a large part of the added value lies in personal data that is now subject to regulations and policies, such as the GDPR in Europe.

In such an environment, it is no longer sustainable to bet on an in-house storage and curation of your customers’ data : complying with regulations will be too much of a hassle, and most of this personal data will be sourced externally anyway.

While some major organizations will be able to continue to thrive - temporarily - on their acquired user base, the core of innovation will come from those who embrace this variety of datasources, and proactively contribute to it, by returning to their users by-products of their processing

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