Top 10 Data Scientists You Need to Follow Today

Staying updated in any field is akin to surviving in it.

And when it is a field like data science that is constantly evolving and requires the entrants to be on their toes always, you can’t afford to take the backseat and cut-off.

Don’t want to be the motley of the in thingDATA SCIENCE?

Follow the veterans and read a lot. This will be the easiest way to have an upper hand and a rewarding career as a data scientist.


This way you would know what not to do. Knowing what to do is always easy. Right?

Presenting the Top 10 Data Scientists You Need to Follow

Do you know who is leading the giant ship of data science? Who all are THE NAMES in this field enriched with predictive analysis?

Presenting to you the list of top 10 data scientists, in alphabetical order.

This list doesn’t follow any specific criterion and is just based on how active they are on social media. Look up the following data scientists.

  1. DJ Patil
    DJ Patil Data Scientist: The Sexiest Job of the 21st Century
    Social Media Presence

    Education: PhD. (2001), University of Maryland College Park


    • Head of Technology, Devoted Health
    • U.S. Chief Data Scientist, The White House
    • Chief Security Officer, Chief Scientist and Head of Data Products, LinkedIn


    • Young Global Leader (2014), World Economic Forum
    • Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service
    • Has several patents like Methods and systems to generate graphical representations of relationships between persons based on transactions, Methods and systems to detect and report fraud in real time and many others, credited to his name.

    Dhanurjay Patil or DJ Patil is the co-author of the famous “Data Scientist: The Sexiest Job of the 21st Century” HBR article.

    He has an illustrious career with many big names like Skype, LinkedIn, PayPal and many others.

    Entrusted with the responsibility of the first U.S. Chief Data Scientist by then President Barack Obama, DJ Patil aims at changing the healthcare system with the introduction of new healthcare reforms.

    He aspires to build innovative and state-of-the-art products with the help of data, design and technology.

  2.  Harry Shum
    Harry Shum Bing Artificial IntelligenceSocial Media Presence

    Education: PhD. (1996), Carnegie Mellon University

    Experience: EVP, Microsoft AI and Research


    • International Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, UK
    • Elected to National Academy of Engineering, USA
    • Published more than 200 research papers on computer vision and computer graphics
    • Published critical computer vision papers on ACM SIGGRAPH

    A veteran in the field of AI, Harry is renowned for his research in the field of computer graphics and computer vision.

    He developed the famous search engine, Bing. He is the patron of interactive computer vision research.

    Stressing on innovative research in his field, Harry believes in bringing Artificial Intelligence to the focus and for common use.

    Since the time he started his career in AI research, his constant motive has been to unearth how AI can be used for the maximum benefit of the business and people alike.

  3. Hilary Mason
    Hilary Mason Cloudera
    Social Media Presence

    Education: B.A. (Computer Science), Grinnell College, Iowa


    • GM (Machine Learning), Cloudera
    • Founder and CEO, Fast Forward Labs
    • Data Scientist in Residence, Accel Partners


    • TechFellows Engineering Leadership Award
    • Features in the Fortune 40 Under 40 Ones to Watch List
    • Among the Top 100 Most Creative Business Persons (Fast Company)

    Hilary is a veteran at an young age and her extent of experience defines the catchphrase on her Twitter account- “I love data and cheeseburgers.”

    She is an expert in data science and machine learning and related technologies.

    Hilary is an active data scientist who advises companies on technology and investment related opportunities in data science.

  4.   Jeff Dean
    Jeff Dean: Head, Google Artificial Intelligence
    Social Media Presence

Twitter: @JeffDean

5.  Kirk Borne
Dr. Kirk Borne: Big Daddy of Data Science
Social Media Presence

Education:  PhD. (1981), California Institute of Technology


  • Principal Data Scientist and Executive Advisor, Booz Allen Hamilton
  • Executive Committee Member, Astroinformatics and Astrostatics International Organizations
  • VP/Astronomer/Data Scientist, ARIES Scientific


  • Top Big Data Science and AI Influencer, 2019
  • Top Worldwide Digital Influencer, 2018-2019
  • Top Big Data Worldwide Influencer
  • No. 2 Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence Worldwide Influencer

With close to 4 decades of experience in Astrophysics, Data Mining and Data Science, he is rightly the Big Daddy of data science.

Dr. Kirk Borne aims at making data science accessible and comprehensible for all.

He loves to explore, develop and test various researches, theories and evidence in the field of data science.

In his various capacities, he has been a data scientist across various verticals like customer engagement, human resources, thought leadership, risk mitigation, data technologies and others.

To realize his aim of educating people in the field of analytics and data science, he frequently shares insights, articles and posts on his social media channels to keep his followers effectively engaged.

6. Lillian Pierson
Lillian Pierson: Big Data for Dummies
Social Media Presence

Education: BS (Environmental Engineering), University of Central Florida


  • Data Strategist (Specializing in Advising and Training), Data Mania
  • Founder and Technical Consultant,
  • Spatial Data Scientist and Data Analytics Engineer, Orange County Government


  • Published Big Data for Dummies (Dell Edition) and Managing Big Data Workflows for Dummies
  • Worked in the technical domain of the US Navy

A perfect example of the transition from engineering to data science, Lillian is rightly the “Big Data Gal”; aptly displayed in her Twitter moniker.

Working across domains like data strategy services (B2B), business coaching for tech professionals (B2C) and technical training and workshops on big data science topics (B2B), there is hardly anything she hasn’t ventured into.

Lillian inspects and recommends optimal engineering and data science operations solutions to individuals and businesses.

She conducts workshops and provides training in the realm of data science, analytics and big data.


7. Peter Norvig
Peter Norvig: Google
Social Media Presence

Education: PhD. (1985), University of California, Berkeley


  • Engineering Director, Google
  • Visiting Lecturer, Stanford University
  • Head (Computational Sciences Division), NASA
  • Senior Research Scientist, Sun Microsystems


  • Listed in the Academic Faculty and Advisors, Singularity University
  • Author of Verbmobil: A Translation System for Face-to-Face Dialog
  • Famous for his Gettysburg Powerpoint Presentation

The co-author of the coveted title Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach and a Director of Research at Google, Peter Norvig is a specialist in the field of artificial intelligence.

He is one of the developers of JScheme and has more than fifty publications in the different realms of concentrating on artificial intelligence, software engineering, natural language processing, computer science and information retrieval.

His belief is that there still needs to be a revolution in teaching backed by computer tools.

  1.  Ronald van Loon
    Ronald van Loon
    Social Media Presence

    Education: MSc, Nyenrode University


    • Director, Adversitement
    • VP (Sales and Marketing), O2MC I/O – Prescriptive Web Computing
    • CEO & Co-founder, ContentForces


    • Top 5 Global Thought Leaders on Technology, 2019
    • Biggest Influencers in IT-Consulting, 2019
    • Digital Scouting’s Top 20 Digital Influencer, 2019
    • Top 2 Analytics and Business Intelligence Influencers to Follow in 2019

    A thought leader and renowned expert in the field, Ronald has been working with various data-driven organizations to develop value for their business and achieve one goal after another.

    He is in the Top 10 business intelligence, IoT, global big data, data science and analytics influencers.

    Ronald is a coveted author, writing on these subjects.

    An endorsement from Dr. Kirk Borne for Big Data on LinkedIn speaks volumes about his work and credibility in this field.

    9. Sebastian Raschka
    Sebastian Raschka
    Social Media Presence

    Education: PhD. (2017), Michigan State University


    • Assistant Professor of Statistics, University of Wisconsin Madison
    • Research Collaborator, MSU i-PRoBe Lab (Machine Learning and Deep Learning)
    • Temporary Research Consultant, Protein Structural Analysis and Design Lab


    • Developed predictive modeling practical applications in Biology and Biomedicine
    • Machine Learning Application to address issues in Biomedical Sciences
    • ACM Best of Computing Award (2016) for his bestseller “Python Machine Learning”

    With privacy protection and face recognition as the central ideas, Sebastian is continuously working on the development of learning architectures to tackle the issues in the biometrics field.

    A machine learning researcher and teacher at heart, he loves to write, teach and stay updated about the latest in the field.

    In addition to this, he works towards making people, who don’t have a machine learning background, understand the data-driven solutions.

    He is an avid speaker on Python, machine learning and data science.

    10. Yann LeCun

    Yann LeCun: Chief Scientist Facebook

 Social Media Presence

Education: PhD. (1987), Pierre and Marie Curie University


  • VP and Chief Scientist, Facebook
  • Professor, New York University
  • Co-founder and Advisor, Element Inc.
  • Department Head, AT&T Labs Research


  • Member , US National Academy of Engineering
  • Harold Pender Award by the University of Pennsylvania, 2018
  • Doctor Honoris Causa by IPN Mexico, 2016
  • PAMI Distinguished Researcher Award, 2015
  • IEEE Neural Network Pioneer Award, 2014
  • Published Feature Learning and Deep Architectures: New Directions for Music Informatics

The famous Chief of AI at Facebook, Yann LeCun is a computer scientist from France. He developed Lush, a programming language, along with Leon Bottou.

Yann is a researcher, R&D manager, and professor.

His main work is in the areas of artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotics, deep learning, data mining, computational neuroscience, scientific advising, intelligent data analysis and many others.

Yann is the founding father of convolutional nets and is widely recognized for his work in computer vision and optical character recognition using convolutional nets.

This brings us to the end of the list.

These are the data scientists you should start following….. NOW!

These will serve as an inspiration in your aim to become data scientist.

I might have missed out on some credible data science influencers in this list.

Who else do you think should be there in this list? Why do you think so? Who are your favorite veterans or masters in the field?

Do share your list and the supporting reasons in the comment box below.

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