18 top data science accounts you need to follow on Twitter

28 Oct 2016

Image: Pawel Pawlak/Shutterstock

Need a daily data science fix? Try these Twitter accounts for regular updates on data, analytics, machine learning and more.

Data science

Another Data Science Week is coming to an end on Siliconrepublic.com, but that doesn’t mean you need to go without a regular dose of data science news after the week is out.

Future Human

These 18 Twitter accounts will keep your database populated with fresh entries for your digestion and analysis. And, in the interest of following more women on Twitter, well…

data science

Marie Wallace (@marie_wallace)

A lover of technology with a fascination for all things analytics, Marie Wallace is an analytics strategist at IBM.

She has spent more than a decade in the research and development division building content, semantic and social analytics technologies. In recent years, her primary focus has been on the analysis of people networks to deliver smarter, personalised solutions for individuals and organisations.

In 2014, she gave a TED talk regarding privacy in the realm of big data.

Daphne Koller (@DaphneKoller)

Having been appointed chief computing officer for Calico, Daphne Koller is set to build a world-class computational biology and machine-learning team.

Koller is also the co-founder of Coursera, an education platform that partners with top universities across the world to offer courses online for anyone to take. She received the MacArthur Fellowship in 2004 and was awarded the first ever ACM-Infosys Foundation Award in computing sciences.

Yodit Stanton (@yoditstanton)

A community leader for women in data science in the UK, Yodit Stanton is the founder and CEO of OpenSensors.io, which builds technology focused on lowering the cost and barriers to entry for the internet of things (IoT).

The idea for the company first spawned from Stanton’s care for her oldest child who has asthma, a condition that can be badly aggravated by poor air quality.

She’s also an advocate for women in data science, organising regular meet-ups for women in data to come together to learn and talk about their experiences in the data world, as well as working on interesting challenges.

Hilary Mason (@hmason)

American data scientist Hilary Mason is showing the world how to “make beautiful things with data”. As the founder of Fast Forward Labs, a machine intelligence research company, Mason spearheads reports and prototypes on near future technology to promote data science learning capabilities for organisations. She is also data scientist in residence at Accel, where she advises companies on data strategy.

In an interview with Forbes, Mason described data science as a game of two halves: analytics and “the invention of new techniques that can draw insights from data that were not possible before”.

A native of New York, she regularly tweets interesting data science-related articles and is definitely one to watch as this industry continues to grow.

Safia Abdella (@captainsafia)

Chicago resident Safia Abdella is a data scientist and software engineer. She works with Nteract, a desktop application that enables data scientists to incorporate prose, code and images into their interactive documents. She is also the organiser of PyData Chicago, an online sharing platform for users and developers of data analysis tools.

Abdella is an active Twitter user, constantly encouraging kindness and inclusivity in the open source community. When she is not spreading love to the online world, she is drinking tea and making witty observations about everyday life as a tech enthusiast.

Catherine Breslin (@catherinebuk)

Engineering graduate Catherine Breslin has an impressive 12 years’ experience as a machine-learning scientist. Having previously studied at Oxford University, Breslin received her PhD in engineering from the University of Cambridge in 2008.

She developed speech and language technology for Amazon Alexa, before recently being appointed manager of machine learning at Amazon.

Utilising her background specialism, Breslin has also given talks on speech recognition and audio segmentation on behalf of Skills Matter, an online community for developers of software and technology.

Breslin’s Twitter page is a constant flow of tech buzz stories, and her regular updates of job vacancies within Amazon would be highly beneficial to any data scientist currently seeking work.

Emer Coleman (@emercoleman)

Chair of the recently created Open Data Governance Board, Emer Coleman’s tech experience is extensive. A graduate of University College Cork, one of Coleman’s key professional roles in recent years was as architect of the London Datastore, which involved releasing all of London’s public sector data.

Essentially, Coleman plays a pivotal role in advising the Irish Government on a national strategy for its Open Data Initiative, which was launched in July 2014.

“While not all citizens (and I include myself in that) may be able to understand and wrangle with large datasets filled with numbers and statistics, the willingness of government to release its data for public scrutiny and debate has to be the cornerstone of any modern democracy,” she wrote when taking her position to lead the Open Data Governance Board.

Monica Parker (@monicacparker)

Monica Parker is the founder of Hatch Analytics, the company behind a survey tool that provides businesses with direct data to improve their labour force.

In a keynote talk at Inspirefest 2016, she delivered her ‘four Cs’ for creating a motivated workforce: cause, control, contemplation and community.

Parker got to this simplified version of improving a workplace through the studies and results achieved through Hatch’s service to industry.

A prolific tweeter, her social media heavily revolves around data science and its use in enterprise, though in recent months she’s honed in on Brexit and its fallout in her UK home.

Deirdre Lee (@deirdrelee)

Deirdre Lee’s Twitter activity is almost exclusively related to data science and various projects run both in Ireland and abroad.

Lee is director, co-founder and CEO of Derilinx, an Irish data company with previous and current clients including the National Open Data Portal, the Department of Justice, and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Derilinx creates what it calls ‘clean’ data, a combination of both open and internal data used for research or innovation projects in companies and organisations. A spin-out from the Insight Centre for Data Analytics at NUI Galway, the company is now based in Dublin.

Lee has written numerous data-related papers and book chapters, including content for Open Data Ireland’s best practice handbook.

Elena Grewal (@elenatej)

Elena Grewal is the interim lead for data science at Airbnb, the $25bn unicorn that is disrupting the accommodation sector. Her love of data is instinctive and her desire to see more women embrace opportunities in data science is palpable in her tweets.

Grewal studied economics and political science at Yale University before moving on to be a research assistant at Stanford University’s school of education, where she developed a love for data analysis. At Stanford, Grewal obtained a doctorate in education, learned how to code and took classes in computer science.

When she learned Airbnb was hiring its first data scientists, Grewal joined the company and her coding skills came in handy to sift through and organise the global accommodation network’s data. As the data science team grew from five to 50, the percentage of women has doubled to 30pc.

Neha Narkhede (@nehanarkhede)

Neha Narkhede is co-founder and head of engineering at Confluent. She is passionate about building large-scale data systems and for anyone with similar interests, she is a must-follow.

Narkhede is co-creator of Apache Kafka, an important tool that is used in a variety of ways in data science. It collects user data activity, manages IT operational metrics and presents large volumes of data for real-time consumption.

Monica Rogati (@mrogati)

Monica Rogati is the person behind a LinkedIn technology that keeps the narrative of personal connections on that social media platform flowing every day.

She was the first VP of data at LinkedIn, where she developed the system that matches jobs to candidates, and created the first machine-learning model for the ‘people you may know’ feature.

Today, Rogati is VP of data at Jawbone, an audio technology company that develops and sells wearable technology and portable audio devices. Her expertise is in text mining, applied machine learning and recommender systems. At Jawbone, she is leading the data team and is focused on the intersection of wearable computing, quantified self and personalised healthcare.

Karen Church (@karenchurch)

Karen Church’s tweets (and retweets) are essentially a one-stop shop for everything data science.

Proffering resources for those who work with data, serving up links to podcasts, sharing columns, and giving an insider look at data conferences, Church serves up a broad view of the data sector.

A senior products analytics manager at Intercom – previously of Yahoo and Telefónica Innovation – Church has a wealth of experience behind her, ensuring that those tweets and retweets offer a fantastically nuanced look at data.

A nut for analytics and research, she does skew towards those areas on Twitter, but her feed is more of a broad church (sorry), even including – just sometimes – some glorious data visualisations.

Angela Zutavern (@AngelaZutavern)

Angela Zutavern is VP at management consulting, technology and engineering firm Booz Allen Hamilton and has been working in the sector for nearly 30 years. Zutavern’s focus is on data science, complex analytics and machine learning.

An impressive CV, for sure. One thing she missed, though: expert content curator. Zutavern’s Twitter timeline is chock-full of links and retweets, highlighting articles and opinion pieces that discuss the cutting-edge work within the data science sector, from AI and algorithms to datavis and autonomous vehicles.

Zutavern will also pepper your feed with insider looks at conferences and events celebrating data science, influential leaders and the tech talent of tomorrow.

Carla Gentry (@data_nerd)

Carla Gentry calls herself a data nerd. Casting an eye over her Twitter timeline, it’s clear that’s not an exaggeration. Gentry is a prolific tweeter, bringing followers an intense and broad approach to data, covering everything from infrastructure to analytics.

Gentry is an all-rounder. While she shares heavily on the data side of things, you can also expect to see tweets about the wider tech scene, product launches and emoji, as well as the occasional mention of basketball, cooking or pop culture.

When Gentry is sharing data, though, you can rest easy in the knowledge that she knows what she’s talking about. A data scientist at Talent Analytics, she brings nearly 20 years of experience to the table.

Amy O’Connor (@ImAmyO)

When it comes to the business of making sense of big data, there are few women in the game as experienced as Amy O’Connor. While she currently works as a big data evangelist at Cloudera, O’Connor previously built and ran Nokia’s big data team, as well as leading the software and storage business of Sun Microsystems.

A self-confessed “geek in high heels”, O’Connor was named as one of Information Management’s ‘10 Big Data Experts to Know’ last year. She has also previously spoken of her interest in other future technologies like 3D printing.

Claudia Perlich (@claudia_perlich)

Aside from her current role as chief data scientist at the data analytics firm Dstillery, Claudia Perlich is one of the US’s biggest advocates for big data, machine learning and AI – as an advisor and board member to a number of different advocacy groups.

She also holds a number of patents for different machine-learning technologies and, in a previous life, was working at IBM’s Watson Research Center, leading its machine-learning development.

Having won a number of data mining competitions for her patents, Perlich was also included in Wired’s ‘2013 Smart List’ and Fast Company’s ‘100 Most Creative People’.

Lillian Pierson (@BigDataGal)

Few entrants on this list can say they have literally written the book about data science, but Lillian Pierson certainly can.

Having started her career in the chemical sciences working with DNA, Pierson has now transitioned to become an engineer, entrepreneur and data scientist, and previously published Data Science for Dummies.

As the founder of the website Data-Mania, Pierson has made it her mission to educate as many people as possible about data science, with online courses and her range of books. As of this year, she has over 140,000 online followers across a number of social media accounts, as well as her own YouTube channel about data science.

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