Top 10 Big Data and Data Analytics Experts

In today’s context, data drives so much of our lives both at a professional and personal level. Data is ubiquitous in our lives right from Netflix, offering suggestions for your next movie-pick to airplane manufacturers predicting necessary maintenance. Data is a crucial force that drives much of what goes on in the world around us. Everything around us is becoming digital, with teachers making use of a digital curriculum to make data-driven decisions about the needs of every student. Cab rental services such as Uber have also started using data to drive efficiencies within the ride-sharing service.

Every technology or industry functions because of the people behind it. Who are the movers and shakers of big data and data analytics domains that are keeping people up-to-date on changes, driving developments, and using big data for the greater good? In this article, we will identify the 10 best experts in the fields of big data and data analytics.


What is Big Data?


Big data means large volumes of data. This can mean both structured and unstructured data. Big data is data that is huge in size and grows exponentially with time. As the data is too large and complex, traditional data management tools are not sufficient for storing or processing it efficiently. A big data expert is one who analyzes the patterns and trends revealed by data to be adopted to improve your business. It refers to very large sets of data that are analyzed to reveal trends, patterns, and associations relating to human behaviour and its interactions. This may refer to both structured and unstructured data. More than focusing on the volume of data present, big data must focus on how the data is used.


What is Data Analytics?


Data analysis or data analytics is the process of applying statistical, logical, and analytical techniques to data sets for discovering information that will aid in making informed decisions. A data analyst uses tools such as data mining, textual data analysis, and Business Intelligence (BI). The information gathered through data analysis is highly dependent on the quality of the data. Data analysis is driven by business goals. A data analytics expert curates meaningful insights from past data and is generally not used for predictions.


Top 10 Big Data and Data Analytics Experts


Let us now analyze the big names in the big data and data analytics space.

1. Ronald Van Loon


He has been recognized as being one among the top ten global influencers in Business intelligence, data science, Big data, analytics, and the Internet of Things (IoT). Ronald is a highly sought-after speaker with more than 119,000 followers on Twitter. He is the Director of Advertisement and works with data-driven businesses to make them more successful. He is an advisory board member in the Big data training category at SimpliLearn, an online education platform. He writes articles about big data for publications such as Datafloq, Dataconomy, and Data Science Central. He manages the LinkedIn group named Awesome Ways Big Data Is Used To Improve Our World.

2. Ben Lorica


Ben Lorica works as a Chief Data Scientist at O’Reilly Media. Lorica has applied his business intelligence, statistical, and machine learning analysis expertise in a wide array of domains, including web analytics, text mining, marketing, market research, and financial engineering. Ben Lorica hosts the podcast, The O’Reilly Data Show. He also blogs on technology, data, and culture at The Gradient Flow.

3. Carla Gentry


She is a data scientist holding more than twenty years of experience. She has worked with many Fortune 500 and Fortune 100 companies. She dons the roles of a data analytics expert and liaison between the IT and business departments. She was named as one of the most influential women in cloud computing in 2015.

4. Bernard Marr


He is a best-selling author, speaker, and consultant in the field of big data analytics. In terms of data in business, he ranks as one among the world’s highly respected voices. He contributes to the World Economic Forum on a regular basis. He has been acknowledged as one of the leading business brains by the CEO Journal. LinkedIn has acknowledged him as one of the World’s Top five Influencers of 2015. He also regularly contributes to Data Science Central, Forbes, LinkedIn Pulse, DataInformed, Hiscox, and Smart Data Collective.

5. Hilary Mason


Hilary is the CEO and founder of Fast Forward Labs, a machine intelligence research company. She is the GM of Machine Learning at Cloudera and a Data Scientist in residence at Accel, in which she advises companies on their data strategy. Previously, she worked in Bitly as a Chief scientist. She has co-authored a book titled ‘Data-Driven: Creating a Data Culture.’ She is an influencer, blogger, and speaker and has more than 104,000 Twitter followers.

6. Joanna Schloss


She is the VP of product marketing at Sauce Labs. She is also a data science expert in the Dell Center of Excellence, that specializes in data and information management. Schloss holds expertise in areas such as data warehousing, business intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT), big data, and data analytics. She has a combined experience as she has worked in both G500 and startup environments. She has successfully launched several products from data warehousing tools such as Business Objects Data Services to business-focused analytic applications.

7. Jen Stirrup


She has founded Data Relish and is a top influencer in business intelligence and big data. She holds twenty years of experience in the IT industry. She is a public speaker, blogger, Microsoft Data Platform Most Valuable Professional (MVP), data strategist and technologist, and diversity and technical community advocate. She has authored two books on R and Tableau. She is now in the process of writing a book on Microsoft Power BI.

8. Gregory Piatetsky


He is the President of KD Nuggets. It is one of the biggest websites in data science and big data. He has co-founded KDD (Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining) conferences. He is the co-founder of ACM SIGKDD, an association of data science and data mining. He strongly believes that data science is the answer to a majority of world problems. His Twitter account is regarded as the best for Big Data, and he has 106,000 followers.

9. Carlie Idoine


She is the research director for data science and business analytics for IT leaders. She holds more than 25 years of experience in the integration of new technologies, and this includes the deployment of enterprise analytics strategies. Her areas of expertise include data analytics and data science toolsets and approaches, optimization strategies, processes, and citizen data scientists. She provides research and advisory services that are focused on using analytics to solve complex business problems.

10. Kirk Borne


He is a principal data scientist at Booz Allen Hamilton. He was an astrophysicist formerly working at NASA. He was the expert who was called upon to brief the President of the United States about data mining after the 9/11 attack. The United States Government explored data mining to detect and prevent another terrorist attack. Since then, Borne has risen to become a prominent player throughout the data science and data analytics industry. Borne has a widespread influence in data and analytics, as she has about 185,000 followers on Twitter.




Owing to the umpteen number of specializations in the field of big data and data analytics, it would be impossible to create a complete, comprehensive list of data science experts in the field of big data and data analytics. The big data and data analytics sphere is so vast that one will be able to find data analytics experts and influencers in any number of niche domains with the expertise of each person spanning a wide range of topics. The list presented in this article is a small step forward in pointing the great minds who are making waves in the area of big data and data analytics.

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