The world of data can be chaos! New technologies, tools, products and the ever-changing industry dynamics—there sure is a lot to keep up with. So, what do you do to cut through the noise? Well… one way is to follow the greatest in the world of data science and simply hang on to their every word. 

We created a list of people who are followed by the humans of data around the world, share their experiences and insights regularly on social media and are well connected to the community. 

Wondering who’s on our “do follow” lists? Let’s get to our go-to list of some of the data science leaders that we think you MUST follow! 

P.S. If there is any data science leader that you think we must know and follow, help us grow the list. Tweet it out to us or send us an email here. (We will make sure you get the due credits!)

1. Kirk Borne

Principal Data Scientist at Booz Allen Hamilton, Kirk aka “Captain Kirk” is one of the top influencers you must follow, if you’re not following him already. 

Notably, Kirk was called to brief the President of the United States after the 9/11 attack when the US government was exploring data mining to prevent terrorist attacks. He formerly worked as an astrophysicist at NASA. 

He regularly shares resources, engages as a keynote speaker and sometimes pens down “Data Reflections” on his blog called Rocket-Powered Data Science here. 

Kirk has over 245.4K followers on Twitter and more than 53K followers on LinkedIn. You can follow him here. 

(We think he is one of the ultra-cool influencers out there. He has literally been on every influencer list from 2013 onwards!)

2. Ronald Van Loon

Ronald Van Loon is the Director of Adversitement, a data consulting company. He is also a recognized expert across diverse fields including big data, analytics, IoT, BI and data science. In addition to helping organizations generate business value using data, Ronald regularly writes for leading publications including The Guardian, The DataFloq, Dataconomy and Data Science Central, among others.

With over 42K LinkedIn followers, a LinkedIn group (that he manages) and more than 200.5K followers on Twitter, he is one of the most sought-after data science leaders you must follow to stay on top of your game. 

He also regularly writes for Simplilearn, a leading online education provider, and serves on its advisory board. 

3. Dr. GP Pulipaka

Dr. Pulipaka works as a Chief Data Scientist at Accenture Technology and is one of the top data science leaders. With 9+ years of experience in deep learning, machine learning, data science, PyTorch, Python, TensorFlow and R, he regularly shares industry trends, blogs and resources with his 69.2K followers on Twitter. 

The resources and posts from Dr. GP Pulipaka help everyone, from data science aspirants to professionals.

Dr. GP Pulipaka shared a post about Atlan’s open-source Python Library, Camelot!

4. Merv Adrian

Merv comes with over four decades of experience and currently works as Vice President at Gartner. If you want to learn about what’s next in the world of data, you cannot miss following Merv’s blog for Gartner. He is an expert in Database Management System (DBMS), big data and NoSQL product landscapes and adjacent technology lifecycles. He also advocates the impact of open-source on data management software and takes a keen interest in data governance in information platforms. 

Here’s an excellent blog on The Future of Database Management Systems is Cloud for you to get started!

You can also follow him on LinkedIn and Twitter (yes, his four-letter name, Merv is his Twitter handle)!

5. Carla Gentry

Carla Gentry aka data nerd (as her social media rightfully claims) has more than two decades of experience helping businesses make better decisions through her insights. She has worked with some of the biggest Fortune 100 and 500 companies including Kellogg’s, Hershey, Firestone and Disney Media. Carla is an expert when it comes to data analysis, customer segmentation, statistical analysis and product analysis. 

She is the most engaged data influencer with her followers and has a following of over 380K on LinkedIn and 54.7K on Twitter. You can follow her for all the things that matter—the role of data science in business, climate change, the impact of weather events, natural disasters, women in STEM and more!

And oh, we got the chance to interview her (Yay)!

6. Vincent Granville

Vincent Granville is a Co-Founder and Executive Data Scientist at Data Science Central, a leading community of data scientists. He has over 25 years of experience and is one of the most followed data science leaders. He regularly talks about machine learning applied to internet search technology, predictive modeling, keyword and business intelligence, fraud detection and data mining. Vincent has over 53K followers on LinkedIn.

He shares resources, trends and data science blogs for aspiring data scientists. 

You can check out his complete profile and work here or get started with his popular Data Science Cheat Sheet. 

You can follow him on LinkedIn and Twitter.

7. Doug Laney

Heard about the 3Vs of big data—Volume, Velocity and Variety? The term now commonly used to define big data was coined by Doug in 2001. 

Former VP and Distinguished Analyst with Gartner’s Chief Data Officer research and advisory practice, Douglas leads the data and analytics strategy practice at Caserta, a technology consultancy company. He advises data and analytics leaders on the best practices for optimizing their information assets. 

A three-time recipient of Gartner’s annual Thought Leadership Award and with nearly two decades of experience, Laney regularly lectures at leading business schools. He is also a visiting professor at the Gies College of Business, University of Illinois where he teaches graduate-level courses on analytics and infonomics. 

Apart from being a contributing writer for Forbes, The Wall Street Journal and Information Management Magazine, he has dozens of Gartner research publications, blogs and a book (Infonomics: Monetizing, Managing and Measuring Information as a Competitive Advantage) to his credit. 

You can follow him on LinkedIn and Twitter

8. Gregory Piatetsky

You cannot be working in data science if you haven’t heard of KDnuggets, one of the most popular websites covering analytics, data science and the big data landscape. Gregory is the president of KDNuggets. According to him, data science is the solution to all the major problems of the world. And oh, we agree! He also founded Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining conferences (KDD) and ACM SIGKDD (an association of data science and data mining). 

He regularly shares resources, the latest updates and events on the official Twitter handle of KDNuggets here. 

9. Hillary Mason

Hillary makes beautiful things with data in all her roles—GM of Machine Learning at Cloudera, Founder and CEO of Fast Forward Labs (a machine intelligence research company) and Data Scientist in Residence at Accel. A blogger, influencer, speaker and author, Mason also spent four years as the Chief Scientist at Bitly. As part of her role at Accel, Hillary has been advising companies on their data strategy. 

Hillary’s Twitter profile (with more than 111.8K followers) says that she loves data and cheeseburgers. And we love data and cheeseburgers too! 

You can follow Hillary on Twitter here and check out her blog here.

You can also grab a copy of her book (co-authored with DJ Patil and published in collaboration with O’Reilly Media), Data Driven: Creating a Data Culture here.

And well, who doesn’t love friendly reminders like this every once in a while? 🙂

10. Bernard Marr

Data Strategy, Big Data in Practice, Key Business Analytics, The Intelligent Company and more—Bernard Marr has written more than 15 books and regularly contributes to Forbes and the World Economic Forum as a big data and analytics expert. 

He has coached some of the leading organizations in the world including Accenture, Barclays, Cisco, Gartner, HSBC, Oracle, SAP, IBM and more. He has also advised the government on digital transformation, business performance and the intelligent use of data in business. 

With a LinkedIn following of 1.5 million and Twitter following of 123.8K, he is one of the most followed big data influencers. LinkedIn also ranked him as one of the top 5 business influencers of the world. 

If you’re not following him already, go find him now on Twitter and LinkedIn

11. Cindi Howson

Former Vice President of Research at Gartner and the Founder of BI Scorecard, Cindi currently works as a Chief Data Strategy Officer at Thoughtspot. She comes with 20 years of experience in advising organizations on selecting BI tools and driving business value using data. Howson is lead author for publications including Analytics and BI Magic Quadrant, Data for Good, Critical Capabilities and IT Score Maturity Assessments. She is also a faculty member of The Data Warehousing Institute, a contributing expert to Information Week, and co-author of books that include Successful Business Intelligence and SAP Business Objects 4.0.

She regularly shares insights and resources about business intelligence via her Twitter and LinkedIn. Go follow now! 

12. Ben Lorica

Do you know who owns the @BigData handle on Twitter? Yes, Ben Lorica! He is the Chief Data Scientist at O’Reilly Media and host of the O’Reilly Data Show podcast. Ben has worked across a variety of domains including financial engineering, marketing and market research, web analytics and text mining. He is an expert in business intelligence, machine learning and statistical analysis. 

Want to stay updated on everything to do with big data? Be sure to check out O’Reilly Media and follow Ben on Twitter and LinkedIn

You can also check his blog, The Gradient Flow, where he writes about data, technology and culture!

13. Monica Rogati

Independent data science and AI advisor, Monica helps organizations address their technical and strategic data and AI needs. She previously worked as a Data Scientist at LinkedIn and VP of Data at Jawbone. Her area of expertise includes data science, wearables and health, social network analysis, recommender systems and natural language processing. She was also named in Fast Company’s most creative people in business and Fortune Magazine’s Big Data All-Stars. 

She regularly writes on Medium. Go check it out for some helpful reads! 

You can also follow her on Twitter and LinkedIn.

If you are one of the humans of data, you HAVE to follow this list for all the great tweets, blogs and posts. Go update your social media feeds—you can thank us later!

And lastly, do let us know what you think about this list! 


Love all things data, technology, and startups. Tweets at @leenasoni_.


Write A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.