Data influencers

Nine data influencers to follow on social media

Every good leader takes inspiration from others.

With this in mind, we’ve scoured the data industry and curated a Data Dreamer recommended list of the most insightful and engaging data influencers, visualisation experts and analytics storytellers you should follow on social media.

We believe their thoughts on data and how we interpret it can really change the world – so enjoy this inspiring reminder of the brilliance of the people who work in our field.

Suki Fuller 

An acclaimed keynote speaker and self-proclaimed ‘analytical storyteller’, Suki’s 16-year career in strategic intelligence and technology has taken her from the US Department of Defense to teaching students in China. Today she consults on data issues, helping people and businesses make big choices, identifying opportunities and reducing uncertainty in decision-making. She also co-hosts Clubhouse sessions with marketing author and influencer Jessica Gioglio.

Suki was recently named by the Financial Times as one of the Top 100 Black, Asian, Minority, Ethnic (BAME) Leaders in UK Tech and is on the advisory board of Global Tech Advocates

Follow her on Twitter.

David McCandless

London-based journalist, creative director and data visualisation expert David McCandless is on a mission to make data more accessible through better design.

His acclaimed website, Information is beautiful, features stunning visualisations of facts and data, bringing diverse data sets to life in a unique and engaging way. Among the latest graphics to be featured on the site are ‘Coronavirus riskiest activities’ (FYI: it’s nightclub), ‘How to reduce the world’s carbon footprint by 2050’ and ‘The UK’s Brexit Options in the Eurozone’.

An OG data influencer, David is an author of two bestselling infographic books and he’s spoken at more than 200 conferences and events, including TED Global. 

Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

Social media data influencers

Deborah Berebichez

The first Mexican woman to graduate from Stanford University with a PhD in Physics, Debbie Berebichez works to make STEM education accessible to everyone – regardless of their gender or background. 

Debbie is the Chief Data Scientist at data science and analytics training platform, Metis, where she heads up the firm’s data science bootcamps and corporate training. She presents science programs on the Discovery channel and various other media outlets and speaks regularly at global data and science events. She has been recognized as an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Ambassador for inspiring and empowering young women to learn science and to improve global STEM education standards.

Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

Duncan Ross 

Chief Data Officer for Times Higher Education, Duncan sees himself as a ‘business focused data scientist’, having worked with companies across sectors including banking, telecommunications, manufacturing, education and government.
His data influencer credentials include having been listed in the top 50 data leaders in the UK by Information Age and named as one of DataIQ’s Big Data 100, and is a regular on the UK’s data speaker circuit. As well as his business accolades, Duncan is well known for being part of the data philanthropy movement, as one of the founder Directors of DataKind UK.

Follow him on Twitter.

Ayodele Odubela

Denver-based Ayodele is a Data Science Advocate for Comet ML, a business that makes modelling software. With a marketing background and a passion for data analytics, she combines the two disciplines to educate data scientists on how to create data models and the science of experimentation.

Ayodele has a Master’s degree in data science and is an authority on machine learning and its role in marketing and customer segmentation. She teaches a machine learning course on LinkedIn Learning and has been a keynote speaker at the Women in Analytics Summit, as well as being named one of 100 Brilliant Women in AI Ethics.

Subscribe to her YouTube channel.

Who to follow in the data sector

Tom Smith

Passionate about helping the UK to nurture world-leading expertise in data science, Tom is Managing Director of the Data Science Campus at the UK Office for National Statistics, which has the mission statement of using “data science for public good”. Fuelled by a self-proclaimed ‘data addiction’, Tom is fascinated by and invested in using data to understand and tackle public issues, such as economy and society, public policy and public sector decision making. 
Tom is also seemingly an education addict. He holds degrees in physics, artificial intelligence and computational neuroscience. A regular speaker on data and public sector issues, he is Chair of the Environment Agency Data Advisory Group and a member of the Cabinet Office Open Data User Group. 

Follow him on Twitter.

Nick Singh

An authority on how to launch (and keep) a career in data science, Nick draws on his background as a former engineer for Facebook and Google to give advice and guidance on how to excel in the industry. He’s been there and done that, after all. Nick interned at Microspft and Google’s Nest Labs while still in college, as well as running a DJ-ing business at high school and a music tech startup at college.

He now sends a weekly advice email featuring tips to those wanting to break into data science or climb up the ladder, and has co-authored a book: Ace the Data Science Interview.

Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

Taylor Owen

On his podcast Big Tech, Canadian data and democracy expert Taylor Owen chats with global thought leaders to discuss the role of data in our lives and try to make sense of a world which is constantly being transformed by technology.

Taylor is a senior fellow with the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), the Beaverbrook Chair of Media, Ethics and Communications, the director of the Centre for Media, Technology and Democracy, and an associate professor at the Max Bell School of Public Policy at McGill University. His work explores the intersection of media, technology and public policy and he is the author of three books on the subject with a fourth due to be published in 2021. Somehow, Taylor is the only podcaster in our data influencer list,

Follow him on Twitter.

Timandra Harkness

UK-based writer, comedian and broadcaster Timandra Harkness has been performing and talking about science, maths, statistics and big data for more than 20 years. She has written for the Sunday Times, the Telegraph, WIRED, BBC Focus Magazine and Men’s Health Magazine, and is resident reporter on social psychology series The Human Zoo on BBC Radio. Her book, Big Data, does size matter? was published in 2017.

Timandra’s unique approach of combining science and maths with comedy and performance allows her to reach a diverse audience and explain these topics in an approachable and entertaining way. 

Follow her on Twitter.

This list is just the tip of the iceberg; the number of exciting, inspiring influencers and advocates working with and talking about data is growing rapidly. The ways in which data is used, presented and incorporated throughout our daily lives is evolving and we can’t wait to what the future holds in the world of data analytics.