Knowledge Graphs: The Conjunction of Data with Semantically Rich Metadata

August 10, 2021 by Thomas Thurner

I recently had the pleasure to talk with Emiel van Bockel, Director Data Driven at Ordina and Marco Brattinga, Senior Principal Expert Data Driven at Ordina.

SEMANTiCS: Ordina is again a gold sponsor of the conference. Tell us about the connection Ordina has with Semantics and why this conference is important for you.

Emiel van Bockel: For years, Ordina has had the vision that managing data is one of the key challenges and a success factor for any organization. We introduced the concept of a “Intelligent data-driven organization”. With this concept we acknowledge that successful organizations need to let data drive their business. Data has a huge impact on all aspects of an organization: the data-driven culture, business analytics & performance, smart business processes, customer insights, supply chain interaction, products and services. This starts with accurate knowledge about the data that is actually present in an organization. Classical data management as we have been used for years is not enough anymore. You need to understand the meaning of data, within the context of your organization. We have experienced that semantic technology is one of the key solutions. The semantics conference fits very well with this understanding, as it is one of the rare conferences where scientific research is combined with actual experiences in the field.

SEMANTiCS: What is your vision regarding the adoption of semantics, and particularly knowledge graphs and explainable AI, looking from your viewpoint as a service provider for your customers?

Emiel van Bockel: We are experiencing a huge increase in the adoption of semantic technology with respect to data governance. Almost all customers are looking into solutions that combine “traditional” data governance with solutions to specify the semantics of data. Three drivers can be distinguished: (1) compliance to legislation is driving the need to better understand the data that is used within the organization; (2) understanding of the data used by artificial intelligence and algorithms is key, otherwise the value of these solutions is also questionable (garbage in = garbage out); (3) most applications today need to combine data from different sources and from different contexts. This is almost impossible to do without knowing the semantics. The actual combination is made possible by linking these datasets with their semantics and making the conjunction at the semantic level. This is precisely what knowledge graphs are: the conjunction of data with semantically rich metadata. 

SEMANTiCS: What are your expectations of Semantics 2021?

Marco Brattinga: As this is one of the first real life conferences in almost two years due to the Corona-crisis, it is a bit hard to have a clear expectation. We actually expect many new innovations and real use-cases as we ourselves have experienced a huge increase in the demand for semantic technology. We are looking forward to multiple days of interesting talks and to be able to check our vision for new use cases and scientific development.

SEMANTiCS: What can we expect from Ordina at the conference?

Marco Brattinga: Semantics is one of the key events for Ordina this year. As we find it very important to have real on-site experience and to have a mix of scientific and industry talks, we have proposed the use case workshops in the morning and are organizing the legal understanding workshop on Wednesday. Wednesday is for Ordina the focus point of the conference, as you can expect multiple talks from our company and customers that are using our solutions. We will also organize mini-talks at our booth every day, and you can expect to talk with us and other experienced semantic engineers at our booth during the whole conference. We are looking forward to seeing you in September at the Meervaart!


Talk, Wednesday, September 8, 16:30:
Data turns the world around – what is the effect on your organization?