Top 25 Data Science Influencers to Follow in 2021
In the current times of COVID-19, we rely on exchanging information online, now more than ever. Keeping track of the latest open source library, a new algorithm or recently published paper can be hard or impossible on a daily basis. Fortunately, there are people who carefully curate this information for us, give us their opinion about the latest trends and share their findings on their social networks.
We want to thank these amazing people and created a list of influencers that we consider worth following, so you do not miss out on anything new in the data science field.
International best-selling author, keynote speaker, futurist, and strategic business & technology advisor to governments and companies.
He helps organizations improve their business performance, use data more intelligently, and understand the implications of new technologies such as artificial intelligence, big data, blockchains, and the Internet of Things.
LinkedIn has ranked Bernard as one of the world’s top 5 business influencers. He is a frequent contributor to the World Economic Forum and writes a regular column for Forbes. Every day Bernard actively engages his 1.5 million social media followers and shares content that reaches millions of readers.
Bernard Marr is one of the world's most highly respected experts when it comes to business performance, digital transformation and the intelligent use of data in business. In that capacity he has worked with and advised many of the world's best-known organizations including Accenture, Astra Zeneca, Bank of England, Barclays, BP, Cisco, CRH, DHL, Fujitsu, Gartner, HSBC, IBM, Jaguar Land Rover, Mars, Ministry of Defense, Microsoft, NATO, The Home Office, NHS, Oracle, Orange, Tetley, T-Mobile, Toyota, Royal Air Force, SAP, Shell, the United Nations, Vodafone, Walgreens Alliance Boots, Walmart, among many others.
He is the author of 15 books and hundreds of high profile reports and articles, including the international best-sellers ‘Data Strategy’, ‘Big Data in Practice’, 'Big Data', 'Key Business Analytics', ‘Key Performance Indicators’, 'The Intelligent Company’, ‘Managing and Delivering Performance’ and ‘Strategic Performance Management’. His books have been translated into over 20 languages and have earned numerous Amazon No 1 bestselling positions, the CMI Management Book of the Year award, the Axiom book award and the WHSmith best business book award.
Forbes AI Innovator of the Year, US Head of AI Business Development, Startups and Venture Capital at AWS
Allie Miller is the US Head of AI Business Development for Startups and Venture Capital at Amazon (AWS), advancing the greatest AI companies in the world. Previously, Allie was the youngest-ever woman to build an artificial intelligence product at IBM—spearheading large-scale product development across computer vision, conversation, data, and regulation.
Outside of work, Allie is changing the game of AI. Allie has spoken about AI and field diversity around the world, addressed the European Commission, drafted foreign AI strategies, and created eight guidebooks to educate businesses on how to build successful AI projects.
Allie was named by Forbes and AI Summit as 2019‘s "AI Innovator of the Year", LinkedIn Top Voice for Technology 2019, Award Magazine’s Top 50 Women in Tech, ReadWrite’s Top 20 AI Speakers in the World, MKAI’s Top 20 AI Mavericks, and Neptune’s Top 20 AI Influencers. Allie is also the Founder of The AI Pipeline to build stronger diversity in ML, a national ambassador for the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), an ambassador for the 10,000-person organization Advancing Women in Product, and has won the Grand Prize in three national innovation competitions.
Allie is driven, ambitious, and quick-witted. Allie holds a double-major MBA from The Wharton School, a certificate and award from Stanford Graduate School of Business, and a BA in Cognitive Science (coding a three-year ML study and studying Computer Science, Linguistics, Psychology) from Dartmouth College.@DennisMortensen on Twitter
CEO and Founder at x.ai
Dennis is an expert in leveraging data to deliver business insights. A serial entrepreneur, Dennis built and successfully exited several companies before founding x.ai in 2014. Along with co-founders Matt Casey and Marcos J. Belenguer, Dennis set out to solve a painful problem — scheduling meetings — through a sophisticated AI platform that saves people time and effort.
Dennis is a recognized leader, author, and university instructor in the field of digital data and analytics. Originally from Denmark, Dennis lives in New York with his family.
Being a single mother of two sons was a challenge for Carla, but she never backed down from a challenge. Eager to learn and grow, she entered the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in the spring of 1993. She worked in the Developmental Math Lab her entire tenure with UTC, assisting students with all levels of mathematics. Upon graduating from UTC with a double major, Applied Mathematics and Economics in 1998, she moved to the Chicago area to start her career in analytics. During the past 19+ years, she has worked with Fortune 100 and 500 companies including but not limited to, Discover Financial Services, J&J, Hershey, Kraft, Kellogg’s, SCJ, McNeil and Firestone. Acting as a liaison between the IT department and the Executive staff, she is able to take complicated databases, decipher business needs and come back with intelligence that quantifies spending, profit and trends.
Data Scientist, KDnuggets President and LinkedIn Top Voice on Data Science & Analytics
Gregory Piatetsky-Shapiro, Ph.D., is the president of KDnuggets. He is a well-known expert in Business Analytics, Data Mining, and Data Science and a top influencer in the field. He was no. 1 on LinkedIn Top Voices in 2018 on Data Science and Analytics. Gregory is a co-founder of KDD (Knowledge Discovery and Data mining conferences) and co-founder and past chair of SIGKDD, professional organization for Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining. Gregory has over 60 publications and edited several books and collections on data mining and knowledge discovery.
CEO at Thulium
Featured multiple times in Forbes for her pioneering influencer marketing strategies on social media for B2B and Enterprise, Tamara describes her career path as anything but ordinary. From helicopter trauma nurse in 1987 to cancer researcher in 1990 to bringing new medical technology to market in Silicon Valley in the mid-90's, Tamara McCleary is now the CEO of global tech company, Thulium, which harnesses artificial intelligence, machine learning, data, and analytics to drive smart social in the B2B and enterprise space.
Tamara is a technology futurist, host of podcasts, TechUnknown and SAP Industries Live, keynote speaker, and unique advisor to leading global tech companies Amazon, Oracle, SAP, Cisco, Dell, IBM, Verizon, Mercer, Marsh & McLennan Companies, Cognizant, Brink, and RSA Security.
Named the #1 Most Influential Woman in MarTech by B2B Marketing, and ranking by Klear in the Top 1% of global thought leadership including Top 5 in AI, robotics, IoT, and digital transformation.
Founder and CEO of Landing AI and deeplearning.ai
Andrew Ng is VP & Chief Scientist of Baidu; Co-Chairman and Co-Founder of Coursera; and an Adjunct Professor at Stanford University.
In 2011 he led the development of Stanford University’s main MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses) platform and also taught an online Machine Learning class to over 100,000 students, leading to the founding of Coursera. Ng’s goal is to give everyone in the world access to a great education, for free. Today, Coursera partners with some of the top universities in the world to offer high quality online courses, and is the largest MOOC platform in the world.
Ng also works on machine learning with an emphasis on deep learning. He founded and led the “Google Brain” project which developed massive-scale deep learning algorithms. This resulted in the famous “Google cat” result, in which a massive neural network with 1 billion parameters learned from unlabeled YouTube videos to detect cats. More recently, he continues to work on deep learning and its applications to computer vision and speech, including such applications as autonomous driving.
CEO, Principal Analyst Intelligent World, Helping Data-Driven Companies Generating Success, Top10 AI-Data-IoT-Influencer
His continuous pursuit to advance education and thought leadership in big data, IoT, AI, machine learning, 5G, deep learning, predictive analytics, cloud, edge and data science has evolved into his Top 10 Global Influencer and Thought Leader recognition by renowned institutions, and a combined social media presence that reaches over 300,000 active data and analytics fans across Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest and LinkedIn.
The Principal Data Scientist & Data Science Fellow, and Executive Advisor at Booz Allen Hamilton
Kirk Borne is a data scientist and an astrophysicist who has used his talents at Booz Allen since 2015. He was professor of astrophysics and computational science at George Mason University (GMU) for 12 years. He served as undergraduate advisor for the GMU data science program and graduate advisor in the computational science and informatics Ph.D. program.
Kirk spent nearly 20 years supporting NASA projects, including NASA's Hubble Space Telescope as data archive project scientist, NASA's Astronomy Data Center, and NASA's Space Science Data Operations Office. He has extensive experience in large scientific databases and information systems, including expertise in scientific data mining. He was a contributor to the design and development of the new Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, for which he contributed in the areas of science data management, informatics and statistical science research, galaxies research, and education and public outreach.
Chief Decision Scientist at Google, Inc.
Cassie is a data scientist and leader at Google with a mission to democratize Decision Intelligence and safe, reliable AI. She brings a unique combination of deep technical expertise, world-class public-speaking skills, analytics management experience, and ability to lead organizational change. She has provided guidance on more than 100 projects and designed Google's analytics program, personally training over 20,000 Googlers in statistics, decision-making, and machine learning.
Director of Data Science and Machine Learning at Gartner and Author of The Hundred-Page Machine Learning Book
Andriy Burkov is a dad of two and a machine learning expert based in Quebec City, Canada. Nine years ago, he got a Ph.D. in Artificial Intelligence, and for the last six years, he's been leading a team of machine learning developers at Gartner.
His specialty is natural language processing. His team works on building state-of-the-art multilingual text extraction and normalization systems for production, using both shallow and deep learning technologies.
Co-Founder at Hidden Door
Hilary is the Founder of Fast Forward Labs, a machine intelligence research company, and the Data Scientist in Residence at Accel. Previously, she was the Chief Scientist at bitly. She also co-founded HackNY, co-hosted DataGotham, and is a member of NYCResistor. She likes to make beautiful things with data and believes technology should give us superpowers.
Chief Scientist at RStudio, Inc.
Hadley Wickham is a statistician from New Zealand who is currently Chief Scientist at RStudio and an adjunct Professor of statistics at the University of Auckland, Stanford University, and Rice University. He is best known for his development of open-source statistical analysis software packages for R (programming language) that implement logics of data visualization and data transformation. Wickham's packages and writing are known for advocating a tidy data approach to data import, analysis and modelling methods.
Chief Data Scientist at FOXO BioScience
Randy is a data tinkerer based in the Vancouver, WA area. He specializes in AI, machine learning, and data visualization, although he’s always learning something new to make himself more useful to his clients and collaborators. He regularly writes about his latest work on his personal blog, where I've become known for computing optimal road trips around the world and solving Where’s Waldo?, among many other creative applications of machine learning. His work has been featured all over the world and in the news, including the New York Times, Wired, FiveThirtyEight, and much more.
Chief Data Scientist at Data By V-Squared and Editor of The ML Rebellion
Vin Vashishta brings data science and machine learning products to market. He has spent the last 22 years taking products off the whiteboard and into production. His career is one-part strategy and two-parts technical expertise. Vashishta speaks ground truths to senior leaders so they can drive revenue with emerging technologies.
Chief AI at HPC Scientist and SAP Technical Lead at Accenture
Dr. Ganapathi Pulipaka is a distinguished technology leader providing innovatory solution architecture on SAP Business systems, Enterprise application development, design engineering, management, data science, machine learning, deep learning, IoT platforms, natural language processing, and consulting delivery services offers expertise in SAP delivery execution and executive interaction as a trusted advisor.
Co-founder and Executive Director of Data for Progress
Sean (he/him/his) is co-founder and Executive Director of Data for Progress. He oversees Data for Progress operations, communications, polling, development and strategy. Sean has guided Data for Progress into a trusted public opinion research organization that has worked with Congress members, Senators, Presidential candidates and movement organizations on public opinion and policy design.
He has spent nearly a decade bringing cutting edge data analysis and polling to progressive advocacy and his work has been cited by politicians at the national, state and local level. His writing has been featured in The New York Times, The Atlantic, Vox and The Washington Post and is frequently quoted in those publications on progressive policy and strategy. He has published academic research in The Forum and Perspectives on Politics and policy research with The Century Foundation, Demos and Scholar Strategy Network.
Prior to co-founding Data for Progress, Sean was a policy analyst at Demos, where he led the development of new research methods to study racial equity and democracy reforms.
Sean is also the Director of Polling at Take Back The Courts and sits on the Board of Secure Elections for America Now. He has been featured on the Politico 50 and City & State’s Manhattan Watch List. He is a member of the Scholars Strategy Network.
In his role as Executive Director, Sean oversees Polling for Progress, AVR NOW, Policies for Progress and Primaries for Progress. He also oversees the prestigious Data for Progress fellows program, which brings diverse new voices to policy discourse. Sean uses R and Stata for analysis.
Social Media and Digital Marketing, Consultant, Tech Influencer, Director, Talent Development
Harold Sinnott is a Social Media and Digital Marketing consultant, recognized and ranked a top influencer in digital transformation, emerging technologies, future of work, and business intelligence. He empowers leaders to enable business strategy and deliver value transformation.
He is also a thought leader with extensive experience in global Fortune 500 and mid-sized companies, across diverse industries including telecommunications, financial services, and healthcare, empowering leaders, enabling business strategy and driving business outcomes.
Speaker, Strategist and Author on the Future of Work
Dr. Mark van Rijmenam is an international keynote speaker on the future of work and the organization of tomorrow. He also delivers virtual keynotes and webinars. He is the author of three best-selling management books on big data, blockchain and AI. His latest book – The Organization of Tomorrow – details how AI, blockchain and analytics turn your business into a data organization. He is the founder of Datafloq.com, a leading content platform on emerging technologies. He recently founded Mavin.org, a decentralized reputation-based content network to bring (anonymous) accountability to the internet. He holds a PhD in Management from the University of Technology in Sydney, where he did research on how big data, blockchain and AI are changing organizations. He is a member of the 2Tokens project in The Netherlands, developing a roadmap towards realizing value from Tokenization.
Machine Learning Storyteller, Founder of Data Moves Me and Data Science Instructor at UC Berkeley Extension
Kristen Kehrer is #8 Global 2018 LinkedIn Top Voice - Data Science & Analytics. Currently Kristen is a Data Science instructor at UC Berkeley Extension, Faculty/SME at Emeritus Institute of Management and Founder of Data Moves Me, LLC. Since 2010, Kristen has been delivering innovative and actionable machine learning solutions across multiple industries, including utilities, healthcare, and eCommerce. Kristen holds an MS in Applied Statistics from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and a BS in Mathematics.
VP Research, Insights and Analytics at NYC & Company
Career Whisperer for Young Professionals
Jonathan Tesser is the golden goose laying eggs of knowledge for smart and confused young professionals. He has 15+ years of experience using data to learn about consumers and applying those insights to drive key business objectives.
He is a passionate advocate for bringing the power of self awareness to the job search for early career professionals. He advises highly talented young professionals who are looking to set the world on fire. He creates LinkedIn content and believes that good writing has the power to make people better. His goal is to make you think differently.
Founding Researcher at Machine Learning Mastery
Jason Brownlee, Ph.D. is a machine learning specialist who teaches developers how to get results with modern machine learning and deep learning methods via hands-on tutorials.
World's First 4x Kaggle Grand Master
Abhishek Thakur is the first person in the world to have achieved the rank of Kaggle Quadruple Grandmaster. Kaggle is the world’s largest online community of data scientists and machine learning engineers, where they can work together and enter competitions to solve data science challenges.
Abhishek Thakur works as a data scientist in Norway and has also written a book titled "Approaching (Almost) Any Machine Learning Problem". From time-to-time, he also uploads cool tutorials on his YouTube channel.
Co-founder of AI Now Institute, Senior Principal Researcher MSR and Distinguished Research Professor at NYU
Kate Crawford is a widely-published researcher, academic and author who studies the social impacts of large-scale data systems, machine learning, and AI. She is a Distinguished Research Professor at NYU, Principal Researcher at MSR-NYC, a Visiting Professor at MIT’s Center for Civic Media, and an Honorary Professor at the University of New South Wales. In 2016, she co-chaired the White House symposium AI Now on the social and economic implications of AI in the near term. Kate is a member of the World Economic Forum's AI and Robotics Future Council, and the chair of WEF’s Network on “AI, IoT, and The Future of Trust.” She co-founded the Fairness, Accountability, Transparency and Ethics (FATE) group at Microsoft. In 2017, she co-founded the AI Now Institute at NYU, which is dedicated to understanding the social implications of artificial intelligence and related technologies.
Kate brings deep experience doing research on the ethics and politics of data, and mechanisms for due process and fairness. She has advised policy makers in the White House, the Federal Trade Commission, the United Nations, and the City of New York. She has written for The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Wall Street Journal, and Harper's Magazine, and has spoken at many high-profile events including Strata, Re:publica, and MIT’s EmTech, and SXSW.
Machine Learning Engineer and Open Source Lead at Snorkel AI
Chip Huyen is a writer and computer scientist. She is currently with a startup that focuses on the machine learning production pipeline in Silicon Valley. Previously, she was with NVIDIA, Netflix, Primer, Baomoi.com (acquired by VNG). She helped launch Coc Coc - Vietnam’s second most popular web browser with 20+ million monthly active users.
She graduated from Stanford University, where she created and taught the course TensorFlow for Deep Learning Research. She is also the author of four bestselling Vietnamese books. She is working on a book in English about machine learning interviews.
If you’d like to connect with more thought leaders in the data science field, join the conversation on our upcoming Data Science Salons. There are plenty of networking opportunities where you can get in touch with the data scientists from different industries and amazing speakers.
*It’s important to mention that this is by no means a comprehensive list. There are many more active people out there making great contributions. We would love to add more contributors from different backgrounds and women. If you think of anyone that should be included here please leave a comment or reach out directly.