7 of the best data science Twitter accounts to follow

29 Sep 2015

Twitter is an incredibly useful tool when you know how it works. The collation of the right accounts can create truly valuable personal newsfeeds and, if it’s data science you want to know more about, then these tweeters should get you started.

Featuring a collection of companies covering everything from data visualisation to nature and general science, we should have you covered.

Tableau Software (@tableau)

Tableau Software is a company making big waves in the data visuaisation sphere. Breaking onto the scene a couple of years back, expansion has brought the Seattle company across the Atlantic.

It entered Ireland in 2014 before a major jobs announcement a few weeks ago, with the company aiming to triple its Irish workforce to 120.

In an environment of ever-growing corporate resources and greater scope to absorb mounds and mounds of consumer data, working out how to make sense of all the numbers is hard. Tableau, it seems, can sort that out.

Times are so good at Tableau, in fact, that it has even started to expand through acquisitions, snapping up Montreal-based Infoactive, an infographic web app start-up, in August.

Nathan Yau (@flowingdata

When it comes to data visualisation, many people think of bar charts and graphs, which can sound simple. But, sometimes, simple can be beautiful.

FlowingData is a resource well worth monitoring, especially if clever portrayals of datasets is your bag.

Set up by Nathan Yau, FlowingData explores how statisticians, designers, data scientists and others use analysis, visualisation and exploration to understand data and ourselves.

Yau has now penned a few books on the topic, with his online service a must.

Guardian Data (@Guardiandata)

One of the best news sources in general, The Guardian’s online arm is incredibly impressive.

Given the scope a broad news outlet enjoys, often the UK publication touches on areas almost entirely reliant on reams of data.

Thankfully, it has created a specific, tailored Twitter feed to keep you up to date on when and where it has posted pieces in this field.

Twitter Data (@TwitterData)

As a nod to the premise of this article, lets look at Twitter, a place where many get most of their information, or at least where many get leads towards most of their information.

Twitter decided a while ago it may as well share with its audience, creating this account to throw up occasional gems like viral support for worldwide topics such as #IstandWithAhmed.

Delving into anything from Twitter’s own performance, to sports and entertainment, this is a mixed bag worth considering.

NASA Data Science (@NASAdata)

It’s pretty hard to comprehend just how much data sets NASA both produces and acquires for its work across almost every scientific field. What do you do with all that information?

Well, when you are funded by the US government, and operated by thousands and thousands of scientists brought up in a sharing environment, you let it loose.

Taking this year’s space exploration achievements as just one area of NASA’s interest, @NASAData provides an avenue (admittedly just one of the agency’s varied options) for followers to understand what it its researchers are working with.

This tweet is a fine example of it doing just that.

National Geographic (@NatGeo)

Okay, this was a prerequisite to me compiling this list. National Geographic‘s work, at its core, relies on the most basic premise of data science – logging notes, jotting down counts, dates, events, weather, light, heat, sightings etc.

From those basic tenets you get to major meterological understanding, animal conservation and environmental awareness.

One of the more active tweeters on this list, @NatGeo can provide you with anything from nature pictures to analytical research, videos to stats, articles to charts.

“Since 1888, we’ve travelled the Earth, sharing its amazing stories with new generations,” says National Geographic. It’s never been easier to share than now.

Data Visualisation (@data_starship)

If you would rather not add too many accounts to your followers’ list, then a compiler will probably suffice. There are quite a few options out there, with Data Science RR probably the most comprehensive of the lot, but we’ll plump for Data Starship.

This account throws up random stories relating to data, often focused on cartography, so as a starter pack it’s not the worst choice.

For example, it gives you a second chance to catch a ‘Popes around the world’ visualisation, and there can never be too many of those.

Main image via Shutterstock

Siliconrepublic.com’s Data Science Week brings you special coverage of this rapidly growing field from 28 September to 2 October 2015. Don’t miss an entry worth your analysis by subscribing to our news alerts or following @siliconrepublic and the hashtag #DataScienceWeek on Twitter.

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic