How to transform Data into Opportunities: 6 testimonials from entrepreneurs and experts

Data management and enhancement are key issues for many companies and institutions. To meet these challenges, many questions need to be answered: 

  • How can you transform your data into a strategic lever for innovation?
  • What steps can be taken to make data accessible within an organization?
  • How can we anticipate the financial challenges posed by the exponential growth in data volumes?

To discuss these questions, Anais Digital and JEMS have brought together professionals and entrepreneurs to share their views and experiences. 

In this article, discover the perspectives of players from diverse sectors such as public transport, media, real estate and energy. Each highlights his or her views on data’s potential and how it can be strategically exploited to achieve significant competitive advantage and sustainable growth.

1. Alexandra Leunen, Head of Digital & Customer Experience at STIB-MIVB

For Alexandra Leunen, Head of Digital & Customer Experience at STIB-MIVB, data is at the heart of all discussions, whether in public or private companies.

She shares the vision of JEMS and Anais Digital experts for the need to evolve from a data-driven approach to a truly data-centric one. 

The main challenge, especially in a large company with 10,000 employees? Governance. 

Strict adherence to governance can facilitate the achievement of cross-functional objectives.

Finally, Alexandra also highlights the crucial need for change management because it’s not just a question of adapting to data, but also of profoundly transforming the corporate culture so that it collaborates effectively with this data and makes the most of it.

Data must become a true partner. To succeed, data must be made useful, used and usable.  

Alexandra Leunen emphasizes that data is at the heart of all discussions, whether in public or private companies. She stresses the importance of data governance within a large company to achieve cross-functional objectives and adapt to this new reality. She also highlights the importance of “making it a partner of this data, making it useful, used and usable.”

2. Marc Wahba, Co-Founder and CTO of Infobel

Marc Wahba is co-founder and CTO of Infobel, a leading provider of online directories and data solutions since 1995. According to Marc, Infobel has adopted a resolutely data-centric approach. 

Its major challenges concern : 

  • The maturity of users and the need to respond as quickly as possible to their requests
  • The ability to make data immediately available in all possible environments

In addition, Marc Wahba emphasizes the importance of educating customers about the type of data they have and the products they can offer to maximize its use.

3. Philippe Dautrebande, Consultant at IPM Group

IPM Group is one of the leading players in print and online media in the French-speaking Belgian market. The group integrates various media domains, from daily press to magazines, internet, mobile media and radio. Its flagship media include La Libre Belgique, La Dernière Heure – Les Sports, l’Avenir, the Belgian edition of Paris Match, Moustique,, Télé Pocket, LN RADIO and

In addition to its media initiatives, IPM Group actively invests in new technologies, particularly in location-based advertising, and in supporting innovative projects and start-ups.

For IPM Group, data is essential for developing revenues. Philippe Dautrebande, a consultant with IPM, stresses the importance of collecting data “to be able to offer Internet users content recommendationswhich enables them to stay on the site longer”, thus increasing their engagement.

4. William de Angelis, CIO-CDO at CILE (Compagnie Intercommunale Liégeoise des Eaux)

CILE (Compagnie Intercommunale Liégeoise des Eaux) is an intermunicipal company responsible for the production and distribution of drinking water in the province of Liège.

As a public operator, its mission is to guarantee the supply of quality water to its users, while respecting strict environmental standards.

William De Angelis, Chief Information Officer (CIO) and Chief Data Officer (CDO) at CILE, underlines the importance of future investment in water infrastructure, thanks to the funds Belgium will receive from Europe. 

Water is delivered to homes via pipes, which requires careful planning. By using data for predictive modeling, William De Angelis identifies opportunities for energy savings, particularly in the operation of water towers. These predictive measures could thus contribute to greater sustainability in water management.

5. Jelle Defraye, Head of Technology & Data Solutions at Befimmo

Befimmo is a major player in the real estate sector, specializing in investment, operation and development. Befimmo owns and manages a portfolio of high-quality mixed-use real estate assets in strategic locations in the business centers of major Belgian cities and in Luxembourg. 

Jelle Defraye (Head of Technology and Data Solutions at Befimmo) underlines the importance of mutual understanding, of speaking a common language, and of understanding not only the data, but also the jobs of the people who produce it, in order to optimize its use.

6. Sébastien Renault, Partner at Optimy

Optimy is a sponsorship project management software used by over 250 organizations worldwide. The platform enables efficient management of requests, simplified collaboration on projects, evaluation based on key performance indicators, and monitoring of compliance standards. Users include Volkswagen, L’Oréal, the EDF Foundation and Randstad. 

Sébastien Renault, Partner at Optimy, highlights the crucial importance of data in the business world. He sees the acquisition of knowledge on the subject as essential to improving and evolving in the sector.

Given the vast amount of data collected by a company like Optimy, Sebastien stresses the importance of these questions: 

  • What is the right data to collect?
  • How to standardize this data; and 
  • Which data is really useful to the company itself, but also to customers, and potentially to increase sales.


Our data-centric event was a source of inspiration for the entrepreneurs in attendance. Their testimonials highlighted the crucial importance of data in today’s business landscape. 

It’s clear that data is a valuable resource and will continue to play a central role in business development. This event demonstrated that those who understand the potential of data and know how to exploit it strategically can gain a real advantage in the long term.

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