Top 15 Analytics and Data Science Influencers You Need to Follow

top 15 analytics data science influencers you need to follow

The data industry is a rapidly evolving space with the development of new technologies, methodologies, and platforms almost every other day. So, keeping pace with this industry can be challenging indeed. I have, therefore, created a list of 15 tech and data science influencers who are not just a source of inspiration to data science professionals and aspirants alike but also ensure that you keep abreast of all the new developments.

I have not taken social media influence and related metrics into account. I have created this list based on how much I personally enjoy the content these individuals share on their social media. Their content is valuable, informative, engaging, and, more importantly, relevant to today’s data and tech landscape.

Now, let’s cut to the chase and look at the list.

Kirk Borne

Kirk has been hailed as the ‘Captain Kirk’ of the analytics space, and for all the right reasons. Analytics influencer, space scientist, educator, and so on; Kirk wears many hats.

He worked at NASA for nearly a decade before he began to teach at George Mason University as a Professor of Astrophysics and Computational Science. He taught data science, computational modeling, statistics, data ethics, databases, etc. for 12 years. He currently works as Principal Data Scientist at Booz Allen.

If you are into analytics and data science, you are probably following Kirk already (or should be).

How often do people get a call from the President’s office? Well, Kirk did. Read Kirk Borne’s story to know more about his awesome journey.


Ronald van Loon

Ronald has been recognized among the top 10 global big data, analytics, IoT, business intelligence, and data science influencers. He writes compelling articles about these subjects for many reputed publications such as Data Science Central, DataFloq, and Dataconomy.

He recently joined as an advisory board member for the big data training category at Simplilearn, an online education provider.


Craig Brown

Craig Brown is a big data subject matter expert and a technology consultant. He has more than two decades of experience in the IT industry with a vast technological expertise.

He has authored the book — Untapped Potential: The Supreme Partnership of Self — in which he reveals how one can walk the path of self-discovery and access the tools required for success.

He mostly tweets about technical subjects, but did you know he is also a skilled motorcycle rider? With Craig, there’s way more than what meets the eye. Read Craig Brown’s inspiring story.

Read more: From Buyer Personas to Career Personas in Data Science

Bob Hayes

Bob is obsessed with the idea of using data and analytics to improve people’s lives and help society as a whole. He takes pride in using his technical skills to help businesses enhance customer satisfaction and experience.

He has a Ph.D. in Industrial Psychology and is the President of Business Over Broadway.

Read Bob Hayes’ story to know how he got into analytics and more.


Bernard Marr

Bernard is a big data and analytics expert, strategic performance consultant, keynote speaker, and author. He publishes articles about big data and analytics regularly on Forbes.

He is also an established author, having written successful books such as Data Strategy – How to Profit from a World of Big Data, Analytics and the Internet of Things.


Lillian Pierson

Lillian is the founder of Data-Mania. She offers online and face-to-face training courses and workshops in the areas of big data, analytics, and data science. She is a data science instructor at as well.

She works with many public sector enterprises in the technical domain, such as Dell and Intel, as well as government organizations, including the US Navy.

Some of her published works include Data Science for Dummies and Managing Big Data Workflows for Dummies.


Andrew Ng

Andrew is a co-founder of Coursera, an adjunct professor of computer science at Stanford University, and the former head of the AI group at Baidu. He has authored (or co-authored) more than 100 research papers in the areas of machine learning, robotics, etc.

During his brief tenure at Google, he founded and spearheaded the ‘Google Brain’ project, which involved the development of massive-scale deep learning algorithms.

Andrew is on a noble mission to provide people with access to high-quality education for free. Coursera partners with some of the leading universities around the globe to offer free online courses.

Monica Rogati

Monica is an independent data science and AI advisor. She works with many organizations to help them address their technical and strategic data and AI needs.

She is the former VP of data at Jawbone and a former data scientist at LinkedIn.

Monica has expertise in applied machine learning, text mining, and recommender systems. She is passionate about converting data into awesome products, useful insights, and amazing stories.


Carla Gentry

Carla is a data scientist at Talent Analytics and the owner of Analytical Solution.

With more than two decades of professional experience, she proudly wears the hat of ‘data nerd’. She has worked with many Fortune 100 and 500 companies such as Kellogg’s, Hershey, Discover Financial Services, and Kraft.

She has been into data since people thought a terabyte qualified as “big data”.


Gregory Piatetsky

Gregory is the President of KDnuggets, one of the biggest websites in the data mining, analytics, big data, and data science space. He is a co-founder of KDD (Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining) conferences and a co-founder of ACM SIGKDD, an association of data science and data mining.

His Twitter handle @kdnuggets has been recognized as the best when it comes to big data. Gregory firmly believes that data science is the answer to major world problems.

Read more: Business Transformation – How Big Data Analytics Helps

Vincent Granville

Vincent is a co-founder and the executive data scientist at Data Science Central, one of the most popular online resources for professionals and aspirants in big data, analytics, and data science.

He has a vast experience in machine learning applied to Internet search technology, predictive modeling, keyword and business intelligence, fraud detection, data mining, and so on.

Naval Ravikant

Naval is the CEO and a co-founder of AngelList. The serial entrepreneur is a highly respected individual in the tech space.

The startup evangelist is also an angel investor, having invested in companies like Uber, Twitter, and Stack Overflow. TechCrunch named him Angel Investor of the Year this year; he has reportedly made 88 investments since 2007.


Tamara Dull

Tamara is the Director of Emerging Technologies at SAS. She has an extensive knowledge about all things big data, the Internet of Things (IoT), open source, and data privacy and security.

She has been recognized in the IoT Institute’s ‘25 Most Influential Women in IoT’ list.

Tamara has more than three decades of professional experience in the tech space. She loves to write about data and tech, and has published with sites like Datafloq, KDnuggets, and Brand Quarterly.


Hilary Mason

Hilary is the founder and CEO of Fast Forward Labs, a research company specializing in machine learning, data science, and related technologies. She is also the data scientist in residence at Accel.

She has won the TechFellows Engineering Leadership award and was featured on the Forbes 40 under 40 to Watch list and Crain’s New York 40 under Forty list.


Evan Sinar

Evan is the Vice President and Chief Scientist at Development Dimensions International (DDI), where he leads the Center for Analytics and Behavioral Research (CABER), a team of analytical, research, and customer intelligence specialists.

He is a highly regarded thought leader in areas such as talent management analytics, data visualization, IoT, and leadership development.

And that’s my list, folks. I am sure I have left out many highly respected tech and data science influencers, but the 15 I’ve mentioned in this list are my personal favorites. And I think every analytics and data science enthusiast out there ought to follow them. Now!

So, who else should be on this list according to you? Who are your favorites? Do leave a comment and share your thoughts.

Also, read my lighthearted take on the 12 situations data scientists would totally relate to.