The Top 20 Big Data Blogs and Influencers to Follow

According to research conducted by Gartner, “Big data investments continue to rise but are showing signs of contracting.” The company’s most recent survey found that “48 percent of companies have invested in big data in 2016, up 3 percent from 2015. However, those who plan to invest in big data within the next two years fell from 31 to 25 percent in 2016.”

Research director Nick Heudecker suggests that, based on these numbers:

“The big issue is not so much big data itself, but rather how it is used. While organizations have understood that big data is not just about a specific technology, they need to avoid thinking about big data as a separate effort.”

Regardless of where you fall on this spectrum, making big data successful in 2017 will require well-informed strategies and savvy integrations. See how the experts are handling big data by following these top 20 big data blogs and influencers.

1. Fast Forward Labs

Fast Forward Labs, run by Hilary Mason, is the blog of a business that calls itself a “machine intelligence research company” that publishes on everything from probabilistic programming, to privacy and encryption and more.

The company’s posts offer in-depth analyses suitable for an intermediate- to advanced-level audience, as well as interviews with experts in the field that will interest those with all levels of big-data expertise.

2. Blog on Big Data and Analytics

Run by Dr. Harish Kotadia, the Blog on Big Data and Analytics covers its eponymous subjects, in addition to supporting materials on robotics, AI, and public speaking, among others.

Pay particular attention to the articles on consumer sentiment and customer satisfaction – Dr. Kotadia’s educational background includes a Ph.D. in Marketing Management with a focus on using statistical models to predict customer success, making him uniquely qualified to comment on the subject.

3. Datameer

As a company whose focus is on making big data analytics easy for everyone, Datameer’s resource library – understandably – offers a wealth of useful information for new big data users and old hands alike.

In addition to the company’s highly-regarded blog, check out its tutorials, use cases and “Datameer University” program for engaging opportunities to learn big data analytics concepts at your own pace.

4. Think Big Analytics

Think Big describes itself as “the first and only pure-play big data services firm,” and its commitment to the subject is evident in the resources and training it publishes. In addition to the company’s blog posts, check out its free series of webinar replays and white papers covering topics ranging from continuous applications to big data security and more.

5. Smart Data Collective

The Smart Data Collective blog is made up of contributions from “The world’s best thinkers on data.” With authors including Patrick Sutton, Eran Levy, Julie Hunt and others, you’ll find valuable articles here on analytics, big data, business intelligence, data management, IT and software.

6. Hortonworks

Corporate blogs – especially those in highly-technical industries – often come across as dry or forced. Not Hortonworks. The company’s website is packed full of useful information in the form of blog posts, webcasts and videos, but what really makes it stand out is the company’s friendly, engaging tone.
Here’s a sample of what you can expect, from the company’s post introducing its “Hortonworks Data Heroes” program:

“You may have noticed our new homepage banner, “Be a Hero”, and thought to yourself, “I’ve been waiting for a radioactive spider bite all my life.” I have some goods news for you, and no, it’s not the hairy spider living under your desk. There’s now an easier way to become a hero.”

7. Analytics Vidhya

Analytics Vidhya is a well-rounded, multi-contributor training resource for data scientists of all experience levels. Whether you’re looking to learn Python from scratch, expand your knowledge of regression techniques or get started with tree-based modeling in R and Python, you’ll find detailed tutorials here for your reference.

Further, if big data is a new focus for you, we’re particularly impressed by the recent series of data science learning plans for beginners, transitioners and intermediate scientists in 2017, offered by site contributor Kunal Jain.

8. Planet Big Data

As an aggregator, Planet Big Data pulls articles from top data science blogs and publishes them in a helpful round-up for interested readers. Covering Simplified Analytics, Revolution Analytics, BrightPlanet, and Big Data University, among others, it’s an easy way to get a top-level overview of the articles being published on big data, Hadoop and related topics.

9. Trifacta

A company blog led by Susan Rojo and featuring detailed articles on a variety of subjects, Trifacta made our list for one reason: its special interest in data wrangling. In various blog posts, Trifacta details data-wrangling best practices for accounting, insurance, marketing and more, making it a great learning resource for those who are new to data science and trying to wrap their minds around its potential business applications.

10. Arcadia Data

Arcadia Data offers a specialized data discovery and visualization platform that runs natively on Hadoop clusters; its blog supports this purpose with articles on everything from “Transform Your Raw Data into a Trusted Asset” to “Time to Make Your Big Data Visual.” Written in an engaging, conversational tone, the site is useful for beginning data scientists and more advanced practitioners alike.

11. Inside Big Data

Run by Rich Brueckner, one of Forbes Magazine’s Top 20 Big Data Influencers, Inside Big Data describes its focus as “big data, data science, AI, machine learning, and deep learning.” You’ll find all that and more on the site, thanks to a combination of blog posts, white papers, industry perspectives and other resources (in particular, we’re enjoying the “insideBIGDATA Guide to Use of Big Data on an Industrial Scale”).

12. International Institute for Analytics

Founded back in 2010, the International Institute for Analytics is “an independent research and advisory firm that works with organizations to build strong and competitive analytics programs.” Multiple authors contribute to the site, including Bill Franks, whose monthly articles cover important questions such as “When Big Data Can’t Predict” and the “Ethical Implications of Industrialized Analytics.”

13. Business Over Broadway

No, this isn’t about the intersection of big data and Hamilton (though that’s an interesting subject in its own right).

Instead, Business Over Broadway is the home of Bob Hayes, an industry expert recognized for his expertise in customer experience, data science and big data. On Business Over Broadway (colloquially known as “B.O.B.”), Hayes shares data and insight into questions as wide-reaching as how businesses can identify data science skills in candidates and how the scientific method should be applied to the field of data science.

14. Data Mania

Data Mania’s Lillian Pierson, P.E. has a simple goal: to make learning from data a piece of cake. In service of that goal, she’s published more than 140 articles on data science, big data and analytics that attempt to make the subjects as fun and accessible as possible. In particular, we’d recommend this site for new data science students; her sidebar list of four “New to data analytics?” articles are a great place to get started in the field.

15. Ben Lorica on O’Reilly Media

An online education resource in the same vein as Coursera and Udemy, O’Reilly Media features course content from industry experts – including Chief Data Scientist and Director of Content Strategy for Data at O’Reilly Media, Ben Lorica. Lorica’s contributions to the program include podcasts, articles and more, focusing mainly on AI topics, but also touching on Hadoop, enterprise data applications, and data preparation, among others.

16. Forrester

Even the greenest of big data newbies will know the name Forrester. Widely-renowned for its research assets, Forrester also boasts a blog dedicated to big data. Featuring contributions from Jennifer Belissent, Ph.D., Boris Evelson, Mike Gualtieri and Charlie Dai, among others, the blog delivers on its stated intent of sharing “Actionable guidance, aligned to your professional role.”

17. IBM Big Data & Analytics Hub

Another well-recognized name, IBM devotes considerable assets to maintaining its big data and analytics resources. Its blog content can be filtered across topics ranging from Analytics to IBM Watson Foundations, and its section on “Big Data & Analytics Heroes” provides a veritable “who’s who” of industry influencers you’ll want to familiarize yourself with and follow.

18. KD Nuggets

Like Planet Big Data, KD Nuggets offers a wide-reaching industry aggregator service, but with one major added benefit: the inclusion of job listings from around the world. Subscribe to the site not just for the influential articles that pass through its filters, but for position announcements that’ll help you turn the big data skills you’ve developed using the sites on this list into a new data science career.

19. R Bloggers

The R Bloggers site boasts contributions from 750 authors (and counting), all focusing on R news and tutorials. If you’re new to this dynamic language, pay particular attention to the “Learn R” section, which features a learning path and tutorials designed to take you from the basics of R all the way through to reporting results in the language.

20. 3Blades

Finally, the blog of cloud-based development environment 3Blades made our list, thanks to its engaging, visually-driven style. If you plan to make big data your focus in 2017, we recommend starting by taking a look at contributor Samuel Noriega’s list of “30 Must-Read Books in Analytics/Data Science.”

Thanks to the growing importance of big data, the web is full of great resources covering the subject from all sides. So while this list should give you a great starting point for discovering blogs and influencers to follow, it’s certainly not exhaustive.

If you have other resources or big data blogs to share, leave us a note in the comments below with your suggestions.

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